Six allies joined in an elephant walk at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, on July 19, showcasing the international air armada they are currently fielding in the Indo-Pacific.
The U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan, and France all contributed to the 23-plane formation, which included fighters, bombers, transports, and aerial tankers.
U.S. Air Force aircraft included:
- Five F-35 fighters from the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- One B-52 bomber from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
- Two KC-135 tankers from the 92nd Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash.
- Two C-17 transports from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.
- One C-130 from the 19th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.
Joining in from the allies were:
- France: Four Rafale fighters, one A400 Atlas transport aircraft, and one A330 MRTT from the French Air and Space Force
- United Kingdom: One A400 Atlas from the Royal Air Force
- Canada: One C-130J and one CC-150T Polaris from the Royal Canadian Air Force
- Japan: One C-130H from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force
- Australia: One C-130J from the Royal Australian Air Force
Nearby, additional B-52s were parked on the flightline, noted an Air Force Global Strike Command social media post.
The aircraft are in the region for several exercises and oevents, including Mobility Guardian, Air Mobility Command’s signature exercise meant to practice the logistics and mobilization necessary for a vast conflict in the Pacific. Mobility Guardian is overlaid in support for concurrent exercises led by Pacific Air Forces: Northern Edge, normally held solely in Alaska, expanded to other regions of the Pacific this year; and Cope Thunder, a joint U.S.-Phillipines exercise.
All told, PACAF estimates that more than 15,000 U.S. and Allied forces are currently engaged in exercises around the Indo-Pacific.
The French Air and Space Force is also holding its own exercise, PEGASE 23.
Those exercises come amidst a series of Bomber Task Force rotations in Guam and Japan. involving both B-52s and B-1s.