About 100 aircraft and 2500 military personnel from 17 nations will arrive in the Northern Territory in two weeks to commence Exercise Pitch Black 2022 (PBK22).
CAPTION: A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet departs from RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Diamond Storm 2022. Story by Flight Lieutenant Jessica Aldred. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Sam Price.
With a four-year hiatus since the last Pitch Black due to the global pandemic, this year’s exercise will see a return of the combined force to Australian skies, enhancing interoperability and strengthening relationships.
PBK22 Director Engagement Group Captain Peter Wood said he was pleased to see a return to Pitch Black after the extended break.
“International participation in Exercise Pitch Black, from within the Indo-Pacific region and further abroad, provides all nations’ personnel with experience in working with aircraft, systems and work practices, in northern Australia’s unique environment, that would otherwise be unfamiliar,” Group Captain Wood said.
“Exercising with our international partners in combined air combat operations is pivotal to ensuring Air Force remains ready to respond whenever the Australian Government requires.
“The training and integration of forces that occurs during this exercise directly supports Air Force’s ability to conduct operations.”
PBK22 is Air Force’s biennial capstone international engagement activity with key strategic partners.
This year’s participants include Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, UK and the US.
“We’ll have nations operating out of RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal primarily, supported by RAAF Base Amberley,” Group Captain Wood said.
“We are very much looking forward to working with our international partners once again for Exercise Pitch Black.”
For more information about Exercise Pitch Black, go to www.airforce.gov.au/PB22.