As previously reported on Fighter Sweep, Hill Air Force Base in Utah was the scene of a spectacular display of technology and air power earlier this week, with a whopping 35 U.S. Air Force F-35As taking to the sky in rapid succession.

This training exercise, commonly referred to as an “elephant walk,” is intended to demonstrate the U.S. military’s capacity to launch a significant wave of air power in rapid succession; though as many have pointed out in the days since Hill’s F-35 display, it’s also a powerful PR tool.


Fielding not one but two fifth-generation fighter wings with only seconds between launches may not be the most practical drill in modern warfare, but it does send a significant message to allies and potential opponents alike. With the F-35 entering into combat operations first with the Israeli military and then the U.S. Marine Corps earlier this year, this elephant walk and its ensuing publicity could be seen as a staunch reminder that the United States remains the premier air power in the world.