Australia’s largest air-warfare exercise is currently under way in the the Norther Territory.
CAPTION: Two French Armee De l’Air (air force) Dassault Rafales fly in formation with a RAAF No. 33 Squadron KC-30A en route to Australia for Exercise Pitch Black 2018.
Royal Australian Air Force’s Exercise Pitch Black officially started last week, with air operations kicking off yesterday in the in the ‘Top End’.
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 are taking part in the exercise from 27 July until 17 August 2018.
Air Commander Australia Air Vice Marshal 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,” Air Vice Marshal 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 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.
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.