The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has commenced this year’s Exercise Pitch Black in the northern territory of the country.

Exercise Pitch Black 18 involves the participation of more than 4,000 personnel and 140 military aircraft from different countries across the globe.

The participating nations include Canada, France, Germany, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Philippines, and the US amongst others.

The exercise is part of the USAF’s biennial, capstone International Engagement activity with participation from nearly 15 airforces from different regional and coalition nations.

“The exercise will be conducted in northern Australia until 17 August, with forces predominantly based at RAAF Darwin and RAAF Tindal and a forward operating base at Batchelor Aerodrome.”

According to Australia air vice-marshal (AVM) Steve Roberton, the exercise focuses on improving regional partnerships, enhancing interoperability and promoting regional stability.

Roberton said: “The exercise will be conducted in northern Australia from today until 17 August, with forces predominantly based at RAAF Darwin and RAAF Tindal and a forward operating base at Batchelor Aerodrome.”

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Exercise Pitch Black is a large-scale operational collective training activity that includes both day and night flights using fast jets, transport and other aircraft in a multi-national coalition environment.

Roberton added: “We thank the territory community for their support and will hold a number of public events, including a Mindil Beach flying display on 2 August, RAAF Darwin Open Day on 4 August and other activities.

“We also look forward to showcasing the northern territory to our international visitors, it’s a great part of the world to visit at this time of the year.”