Exercise Pitch Black takes off in Top End
27 July 2018
Top End skies will start filling with international military aircraft as the Royal Australian Air Force’s Exercise Pitch Black starts in the Northern Territory today.
Exercise Pitch Black is the RAAF’s biennial, capstone international engagement activity with air forces participating from a range of regional and coalition nations.
More than 4000 personnel and 140 aircraft from Canada, France, New Caledonia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and the United States will take part in the exercise from 27 July until 17 August 2018.
Air Commander Australia, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Steve Roberton said the exercise aimed to strengthen regional partnerships, improve interoperability between nations and promote regional stability.
“Pitch Black is a large-scale operational collective training activity that includes fast jets, transport and other aircraft in a multi-national coalition environment,” AVM Roberton said.
“Fast jet activities will be based out of RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal. Other flying activities will involve KC-30A flying from RAAF Base Amberley in south-east Queensland and the remote Batchelor Aerodrome, south of Darwin.”
The Batchelor Airfield component will include a field hospital, stabilisation and security operations with Army and Air Force elements, logistical support to maintain a remote airbase and the C-27J operating remotely as an exercise participant for the first time in the Northern Territory.
“The exercise will also include day and night flying with consideration given to minimising the impact on the local community and the environment,” AVM Roberton said.
“We thank the Northern Territory community for their support and look forward to showcasing the Top End to our international visitors. It’s a great part of the world to visit at this time of the year.”
A number of public events will be held during the Exercise including a Mindil Beach flying display on 2 August and RAAF Darwin Open Day on 4 August.
More information is available at: https://www.airforce.gov.au/exercises/pitch-black
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20182494