Exercise Pitch Black 2016 – aircraft arrivals
21 July 2016
Royal Australian Air Force and foreign military aircraft will fly into Darwin and Tindal next week as the RAAF prepares to begin its largest training activity this year - Exercise Pitch Black 2016.
Exercise Pitch Black 2016 is a three week multinational large force employment exercise to be conducted in the Northern Territory from 29 July to 19 August.
The exercise will involve up to 2500 personnel and up to 115 aircraft. Nations represented will include: Australia, Canada, Indonesia, France (New Caledonia), Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand and the USA.
Air Commodore Christopher Sawade, Head of Special Events, said while some exercise elements, including the Republic of Singapore Air Force had already arrived in Darwin for pre-exercise training, most of the participating aircraft and personnel will fly in from Monday 25 July.
“The main force is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday 27 July and Thursday 28 July." Said Air Commodore Sawade.
"During the exercise, RAAF Darwin will host squadrons from Australia, France (New Caledonia), Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and United States. Australian, Canadian and United States assets will operate from RAAF Tindal.
“The exercise will use airspace over Bradshaw Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range. Major exercises such as Pitch Black are essential in ensuring Air Force remains ready to respond whenever the Australian Government requires”, AIRCDRE Sawade said.
“In planning Exercise Pitch Black, Air Force has balanced the requirement to meet training outcomes with minimising aircraft noise, especially at night. Noise abatement procedures will be in force.
“Air Force will ensure the Northern Territory community has up-to-date information throughout the exercise – via media outlets, the exercise website and Air Force social media.
“Exercise Pitch Black is a significant boost for the Northern Territory economy. Pitch Black 2014 contributed $25 million to the local economy and this year’s exercise is expected to exceed that."
There will be two major opportunities for the public to see Air Force capabilities on display. A handling display will occur over Mindil Beach on Thursday 11 August and an Open Day at RAAF Darwin is scheduled for Saturday 13 August. Both events are free.
Air Force is planning a picture opportunity for the main force arrival. A media alert will be issued next week.
The exercise website is: www.airforce.gov.au/pitchblack16