The unannounced military exercise was meant as a show of force in the Pacific theater.

The United States Air Force staged a massive “elephant walk” yesterday at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. The 18th Wing stationed at Kadena is the largest combat-ready wing in the Air Force, operating two squadrons of F-15 Eagles as well as HH-60 Pave Hawks, E-3 Sentries, and KC-135 Stratotankers.

An elephant walk is a military exercise that involves taxiing entire squadrons of aircraft in close formation as would be necessary in a short-notice wartime situation. The unannounced exercise is to prepare airmen to respond quickly to a threat if necessary, and also to serve as a show of force to potential aggressor nations in the surrounding region.

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