The largest iteration of the multinational exercise has concluded following three weeks of interoperability training in the Top End.
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Exercise Pitch Black 2022 has officially wrapped up following a series of multinational air domain exercises in the Northern Territory from 19 August to 8 September.
Approximately 2,500 military personnel and 100 aircraft from 17 nations took part in this year’s iteration, operating out of Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin, RAAF Bases Tindal and Amberley.
This represented the largest international contingent in the exercise’s history, with Australian forces joined by counterparts from Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, the Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, the UK and the USA.
Notably, aircraft from Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea participated for the first time.
RAAF F-35A Lightning II aircraft also took to the skies for their inaugural participation in the exercise, operated by Nos. 3 and 75 Squadrons.
Exercise Commander, Air Commodore Tim Alsop, lauded the partners’ swift integration.
“Australia, with multinational partner forces, uses Exercise Pitch Black to enhance our ability to work together on the planning and conduct of high-end multi-domain air operations in a real world environment,” Air Commodore Alsop said.
“By training with our international partners, we develop common standards, personal relationships, and most importantly, a level of trust that allows us to operate effectively together.
“Exercise Pitch Black provides more than just flying operations training. It’s about deepening relationships and understanding between personnel, and that’s exactly what we achieved this year.”
Air Commodore Alsop said the Top End was an ideal location for joint air domain activities.
“We couldn’t conduct this vital training without the support of the people of the Northern Territory,” he said.
“The Top End has some of the largest training airspace in the world, and it was fantastic to be able to share these training areas with our international partners.
“It’s been an honour to host all the participants this year, and we look forward to welcoming them back for the next iteration of Exercise Pitch Black in 2024.”
[Related: RAAF F-35As to light up Exercise Pitch Black]