The U.S Air Force 55th Electronic Combat Group (55th ECG) conducted the â€˜elephant walk’ exercise, launching approximately seven Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call jamming planes in a row at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, June 28, 2021. This event showcased the 55th Electronic Combat Group’s ability to rapidly generate multi-ship, combat-ready sorties with any of their aircraft, ensuring quick reaction and counter-communication airpower is ready anywhere, anytime.
An elephant walk is a U.S Air Force 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 back to World War II when the Army Air Forces had a large number of bombers, which would regularly generate attacks in excess of 1,000 aircraft from its Numbered Air Forces. It was named Elephant Walk because the nose-to-tail, single-file taxi movements of bombers resembled the nose-to-tail trail of elephants on their way to the next watering hole.
The 55th Electronic Combat Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, provides combat-ready EC-130H Compass Call aircraft, crews, maintenance and operational support to combatant commanders. The group is a geographically separated unit (GSU) that falls under the command of the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB, NE. The group also plans and executes information operations, including information warfare and electronic attack, in support of theater campaign plans. Members of the 55 ECG conduct EC-130H aircrew initial qualification and difference training for 20 aircrew specialties.
The EC-130H Compass Call is an electronic attack aircraft flown by the United States Air Force. Based on the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules, the aircraft is heavily modified to disrupt enemy command and control communications, perform offensive counterinformation operations, and carry out other kinds of electronic attack. Planned upgrades will add the ability to attack early warning and acquisition radars. Based at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona, EC-130Hs can be deployed worldwide at short notice to support U.S. and allied tactical air, surface, and special operations forces.