U.S. Air Force performs "elephant walk" of bombers on Guam base following Chinese military drill near Taiwan

by Laura Mize · Apr 15th, 2020 12:17 pm

Fourteen U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft, including five B-52 bombers, carried out a show of force called an "elephant walk" Monday at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam.

The display came days after China executed a military drill near Taiwan and in international waters between two Japanese islands. The drill involved a Chinese aircraft carrier and military jets. North Korea also has carried out its own show of force recently.

In the American elephant walk, the planes taxied closely together on the runway, then successively and rapidly took off.

The U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has been docked in Guam since late March, when an outbreak of coronavirus sidelined many of the crew. One sailor has since died.

Around the time of the Chinese navy's exercise near Taiwan, the force released a statement calling the voyage "evidence that the People's Liberation Army Navy has done a much better job controlling coronavirus than the U.S. Navy," CNN reported, citing the PLA's website.

Former U.S. Air Force officer Ralph Cossa, now an advisor to a think tank in Hawaii called Pacific Forum, downplayed the threat of Chinese carriers.

"Chinese aircraft carriers don't make me lose a lot of sleep," Cossa said. "I wouldn't want to be on one in a fight with the U.S. Navy."


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