C-17 and C-130 Elephant Walk

U.S. Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and Canadian Air Force C-17 Globemaster III and C-130 transport planes conduct an Elephant Walk and Minimum Interval Takeoff (MITO) at Joint Base Lewis–McChord, WA during exercise Mobility Guardian on August 2, 2017. An elephant walk is a USAF term for the taxiing of military aircraft right before takeoff, when they are in close formation. Often, it takes place right before a Minimum Interval Takeoff.
The term elephant walk dates to World War II when large fleets of allied bombers would conduct attacks in missions containing 1,000 aircraft. Those who observed this said that the taxiing of these large numbers of aircraft to takeoff in single file in nose-to-tail formations said that they looked like elephants walking to the next watering hole. Over time, it was incorporated into the lexicon of the United States Air Force to identify a “maximum sortie surge”
The benefits of an elephant walk include being able to show the capability of the units as well as teamwork. It is often performed to prepare squadrons for war time operations, as well as prepare pilots for the launching of fully armed aircraft in one mass event.
Film Credits: U.S. Air Force Video by SrA Megan Mallory, SSgt Traci Keller, SrA Izabella Sullivan, Tech. Sgt. Jodi Martinez
C-17 and C-130 Elephant Walk

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