A contingent from the German Air Force is scheduled to arrive in Australia mid-August for the exercise, with more than 200 personnel taking part in the German military’s Rapid Pacific deployment.
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Exercise Pitch Black 2022 marks the first time that the Royal Australian Air Force and the Luftwaffe will train together, with the German government deploying six Eurofighter Typhoons, three A330 multi-role tanker transports and an A400M transport Aircraft to the Pacific for the exercise.
It is expected that the contingent will reach Singapore within a day of departure before relocating to Australia.
“We want to demonstrate that we can be in Asia within a day,” Chief of the German Air Force Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz said to Defense News.
The German Air Force’s social media encouraged people to track the “24h-Luftwaffe-challenge”.
We are about to start our 24h-Luftwaffe-challenge. Follow us here for all news about #RapidPacific2022. From ?? to ?? in 24hr. @GermanyInOz @GermanyinSGP @GermanyinJapan @GermanyinKorea @AusAirForce @JASDF_PAO_ENG @TheRSAF pic.twitter.com/Q2Ek4JF4PZ— Team Luftwaffe (@Team_Luftwaffe) August 15, 2022
The Exercise is scheduled to run from the 19th of August to the 8th of September, with Australian forces training with representatives from 16 other nations across the globe.
“The Indo-Pacific is of great importance to Germany. We share the same values with many partners in this region,” LTGEN Gerhartz continued.
“Defending those values in case of a war emergency and being able to support our partners is something that needs to be practised.”
According to Defence, Germany is tasked with overseeing NATO’s airspace, hosting quick reaction forces in Estonia and working alongside Italy and the UK in Romania.
It is hoped that Exercise Pitch Black will enable the Luftwaffe to integrate with Australia’s F-35A capabilities.
“The F-35 aircraft will further expand the broad spectrum of our capabilities. Since the Royal Australian Air Force is already flying this combat aircraft, we will be able to learn from them as well,” LTGEN Gerhartz said.
While the Eurofighter is a multi-role aircraft, the German government has confirmed that it will also acquire F-35 systems to replace their aging Tornado capabilities.
Not only is Exercise Pitch Black the first occasion that Australian and German air forces will train together, but it also marks the first time Australia’s F-35A Lightning II aircraft have taken part in the biennial exercise.
“Exercise Pitch Black is the largest Australian-based international exercise 81 Wing has participated in since transitioning to the F-35A and we’re excited by the opportunity to integrate the jet’s advanced capabilities with so many of our international partners,” Commanding Officer of No. 3 Squadron, Wing Commander Adrian Kiely said.
[Related: RAAF F-35As to light up Exercise Pitch Black]