More aircraft took to the skies in Exercise Pitch Black from RAAF Base Darwin throughout August and September thanks to infrastructure delivered under the United States Force Posture Initiative (USFPI).
CAPTION: A US Air Force pilot prepares to exit an F-15C Eagle from 67th Fighter Squadron at RAAF Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 2022. Photo by Leading Aircraftwoman Emma Schwenke.
The new infrastructure included two expanded parking aprons to accommodate large aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon hangar and a US Air Force aircraft maintenance support facility.
Director General Force Posture Air Commodore Sandy Turner said the Australian and US governments were investing in infrastructure projects in the Northern Territory under the USFPI.
“Australia and the US continue to invest in northern Australia to support Defence preparedness,” Air Commodore Turner said.
“As a result, we have higher levels of activity and engagement supporting our strategic objectives. This only strengthens bilateral collaboration and interoperability.”
Air Commodore Turner said upgrades to airfield infrastructure, training areas and fuel storage also formed part of the USFPI.
“Greater infrastructure and facilities underpin Defence’s ability to prepare for, conduct and sustain military operations including in response to natural disasters,” Air Commodore Turner said.
“Enhancing interoperability goes further than flying and operating together – we need to expedite interoperability across our logistics enterprise.
“Developing shared procedures for refuelling, air movements, munitions loading and base support operations as well as exercising together during major activities will place us in the best position to respond in times of crisis to regional contingencies as an effective combined force.”