Defence has confirmed that Exercise Pitch Black 2020 will not go ahead as planned. The RAAF’s ‘largest international air engagement’ exercise was scheduled to take place in the Top End over the period 24 July to 14 August.
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Pitch Black 2020 was expected to draw in a wide range of personnel and aircraft, ranging from Australia's regional allies like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan, through to strategic partners like France and the US.
"In line with whole-of-government advice, Defence has implemented significant measures to ensure the health and safety of its personnel and the broader community," a spokesperson told Defence Connect.
"Defence is fully committed to adhering to the public health guidelines to minimise transmission of COVID-19 and is directly engaged with public health authorities to ensure we are taking measures to reduce transmission as early as possible."
Running on a biennial schedule, it has been reported that Defence is undecided whether to reschedule Pitch Black for 2021 – or whether to run the next in the series in mid-2022.