The largest take-off of a KC-135 fleet from Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington was successfully launched Wednesday.

The 20-ship, Minimum Interval Take-Off (MITO) was conducted by the 92nd Air Refueling Wing (ARW) as part of a “proficiency and readiness exercise, [seeking] to validate Fairchild’s maintenance generation and operational capabilities to launch multiple aircraft,” the 92nd ARW press release read.

According to the press release, more refuelers were launched Sept. 29 than are owned by other countries.

Prior to take-off, the jets lined up in an “elephant walk”, a term that originated in World War II to describe the close-formation taxiing of aircraft resembling elephants on the way to a waterhole.

The 92nd Air Refueling Wing’s KC-135 fleet has been in service for more than 60 years.

Rachel is a Marine Corps veteran, Penn State alumna and Master's candidate at New York University for Business and Economic Reporting.

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