Excitement hits new heights in lead-up to Exercise Pitch Black 14
16 July 2014
The Northern Territory skies will serve as a spectacular backdrop for up to 110 military aircraft next month when the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and a number of international partners commence Exercise Pitch Black 14.
Around 2,300 participants from Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and French Armed Forces in New Caledonia will call the Territory home from 1 to 22 August 2014 while they take part in Exercise Pitch Black 14.
Air Commander Australia Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Mel Hupfeld said the biennial exercise would feature the cutting edge of modern military aviation technology with a mix of first-time and returning participants, making it the most advanced contingent in the event’s 24-year history.
“For the first time at Exercise Pitch Black, the United Arab Emirates will be showcasing their Mirage 2000-9 fighters,”AVM Hupfeld said.
Participants at Exercise Pitch Black 14 will utilise one of the largest training airspaces in the world to practise offensive counter air and offensive air support operations with large formations of foreign aircraft.
“The Northern Territory is ideally placed for exercise participants to bring together aircraft to conduct operations that feature a range of realistic and simulated threats found in the modern battlespace environment,” AVM Hupfeld said.
“Conducting Exercise Pitch Black 14 is a massive undertaking, not just for aircrews and maintainers but also for the planning that is involved.”
The local community will have a chance to get involved in Exercise Pitch Black 14, with an F/A-18A Hornet to conduct a handling display over Mindil Beach on 14 August and an Open Day to be held at RAAF Base Darwin on 16 August.
“Air Force has a deep bond with the Northern Territory extending back to 1938, and holding these events is our way of extending a sincere thank you to the public for their support,” AVM Hupfeld said.
Updates, imagery and more information regarding Exercise Pitch Black 14 will be available at the following:
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/airforcehq or #ExPB14
Public Enquiries Line: 1300 DEFENCE (333 362)
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999