Multinational Allies and partners conduct elephant walk during Cope North 24

  • Published
  • By A1C Audree Campbell
  • Pacific Air Forces

U.S. Air Force, Marines and Navy, Royal Australian Air Force, Japan Air Self-Defense Force, French Air and Space Force, and Republic of Korea Air Force aircraft participated in an Elephant Walk for Cope North 2024, Feb. 5, 2024.

This Elephant Walk was a coalition of 33 aircraft, operating together to present a united front with Allies and partners to enhance integrated deterrence.

The United States does not fight alone, nor do we deter alone. Relationships and increased operational capabilities with Allies and partners are vital to preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“Being able to direct and oversee this amazing showing of interoperability from Andersen AFB has filled me with awe,” said Senior Airman Robert Rennie, an air traffic controller assigned to the 36th Operations Support Squadron. “The sheer amount of aircraft and the way our Allies and partners operate together with us is inspiring.”

Elephant Walks date back to World War II, where aircraft assembled in a single file line. Events like this demonstrate the airpower presence, strength, and preparedness that exists across the Indo-Pacific region.

“When I see something like an Elephant Walk, I know we are moving in the right direction to ensure deterrence,” said Rennie. “This showcase proves to our adversaries that we aren’t afraid to work together, and we are the best at it.”

As long-term strategic competition persists and continues to challenge international institutions, it is vital that bonds are strengthened with Allies and partners to sharpen the competitive edge, secure common interests, and promote shared values.

“On behalf of RAAF, JASDF and the USAF exercise leadership, we are excited to kick off Cope North 24 with this successful demonstration of interoperability through the Elephant Walk,” said Lt. Col. David Overstreet, Cope North lead planner. “Throughout the exercise we aim to aggressively practice combat air forces and mobility air forces dispersal activities in concert with all six participating nations. Our network of alliances and partnerships remains the backbone of global security.”