US 6th ARW elephant walk credit USAF 640More than half a mile of Stratotankers

On 26 April 2023, USAF's 6th Air Refueling Wing, in close collaboration with Air Force Reserve Command's 927th Air Refueling Wing and US Army's 5th Battalion, 159th Aviation Regiment, conducted Operation Violent Storm at MacDill AFB (FL).

Operation Violent Storm consisted of an Elephant Walk of eighteen KC-135R/T Stratotanker aircraft and one UH-60M/HH-60M each. The aircraft were mobilised through the efforts of more than 700 personnel from across the MacDill installation, all in under six hours.

This was the first time the 6th ARW and the associate 927th ARW conducted a large-scale Elephant Walk since the 6th ARW transferred from a mobility wing to a refueling wing in 2016. Operation Violent Storm was designed to force operations, maintenance and support personnel from active duty, reserve and sister service units to work together to launch as many aircraft in as little time as possible.

Despite some of the aircraft being more than 60 years old, MacDill Airmen were able to perform around the clock maintenance to ensure the aircraft retained operational capability for the operation.

Credit photo: USAF

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