The Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) 8th Squadron conducted a readiness exercise on Tsuiki Air Base, Fukuoka Prefecture, 19 April, 2021. The JASDF’s 8th Air Wing conducted a runway formation called an “Elephant Walk” demonstrating the rapid mobility of the flying units. The event was also held to mark to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the squadron, which is part of the JASDF’s 8th Air Wing.
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. The benefits of an elephant walk include being able to show the capability of the units as well as teamwork.
The 8th Tactical Fighter Squadron is a squadron of the 8th Air Wing of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force based at Tsuiki Air Base, in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is equipped with Mitsubishi F-2 and Kawasaki T-4 aircraft. The Mitsubishi F-2 is a multirole fighter derived from the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, and manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Lockheed Martin for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The Mitsubishi F-2 is nicknamed “Viper Zero”.