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September 9, 2022

Multinational exercise Pitch Black 2022 successfully completes

This year’s exercise involved participation of the Republic of Korea, Japan and Germany for the first time.

The Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) three-week-long multinational exercise Pitch Black 2022 has completed in the Northern Territory.

The latest iteration of biennial exercise was conducted between 19 August and 8 September.

Military forces from across 17 nations participated in the exercise, including the UK, India, Indonesia, Canada, the Netherlands, France, the Philippines, Malaysia, the US, the UAE, Singapore and Thailand.

This is the first time aircraft from the Republic of Korea, Japan and Germany participated in the exercise.

Throughout the exercise, the aircraft and forces operated primarily from RAAF Base Darwin, Tindal and Amberley.

With the participation of 2,500 personnel and 100 aircraft, Pitch Black involved many training drills.

Each operation was conducted with a distinct training objective. It allowed forces to integrate and conduct realistic training scenarios to enhance their interoperability.

Furthermore, the exercise involved day and night flying missions with a wide variety of realistic threats encountered by the forces in a modern battle-space environment.

Exercise commander air commodore Tim Alsop said: “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.

“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.”

In a series of first time events, the RAAF deployed its F-35A Lightning II aircraft in this exercise, replacing the F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet.

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