This week the U.S. Air Force launched what was probably the biggest number of F-22 Raptors ever to take off at once.
Twenty-four F-22s took off from an air base in Alaska, proving the stealth fighter fleet is capable of generating a large number of ready planes at once. The fighters lined up on the tarmac and then took off, one by one, into the Alaskan wild blue yonder, as you can see in this clip:
The mass launch, known as an “elephant walk” in U.S. military parlance, took place at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. The Air Force has done the same thing in recent years with 30 A-10 Warthogs, a group of Japan-based F-15s, a bunch of A-10s and F-16s, and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In addition to making for cool visuals, the elephant walk is a fun way to remind other countries of American air superiority and its ability to muster a lot of warplanes fast.
The fighters were part of the JBER-based active duty 3rd Wing and reservists from the 477th Fighter Group. Also participating was a E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control aircraft (AWACs) and a C-17 Globemaster III heavy lift transport. The elephant walk was part of Polar Force, a semiannual exercise held at Elemendorf Richardson to test the base’s ability to respond to contingencies throughout the Indo-Pacific region.
For a collection of pictures from the event, click here.
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