Exercise Pitch Black 2022 concluded today (8 September), following three weeks of successful training by Australian and international military aircraft over the skies of the Northern Territory. This year’s exercise involved 17 nations, including Australia, with approximately 100 aircraft and 2500 personnel operating primarily from Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin, as well as RAAF Bases Tindal and Amberley.
The Exercise Commander, Air Commodore Tim Alsop, said he was impressed with how quickly all participants were able to integrate and conduct realistic training scenarios. “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,” 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.”
This year Exercise Pitch Black hosted the largest number of nations in the exercise’s history. Participating nations included Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand, UAE, UK and the USA. Significantly, Exercise Pitch Black 2022 marked the first time aircraft from Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea participated.
Alsop said the Northern Territory was well situated to host the exercise and thanked the community for their ongoing support. “We couldn’t conduct this vital training without the support of the people of the Northern Territory. 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.”