RAMSTEIN, Germany – About 100 aircraft and 2500 military personnel from 17 nations will arrive in the Australia's Northern Territory in mid-August to commence Exercise Pitch Black 2022.
With a four-year hiatus since the last Pitch Black due to the global pandemic, this year's exercise will see a return of the combined force to Australian skies, enhancing interoperability and strengthening relationships.
International participation in Exercise Pitch Black provides all nations' personnel with experience in working with aircraft, systems and work practices, in northern Australia's unique environment
"International participation in Exercise Pitch Black, from within the Indo-Pacific region and further abroad, provides all nations' personnel with experience in working with aircraft, systems and work practices, in northern Australia's unique environment, that would otherwise be unfamiliar," said Group Captain Peter Wood, Pitch Black 2022 Director Engagement.
Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growlers taxiing during exercise Pitch Black 2018.
Archive photo by by RAAF.
Indonesian Air Force F-16 fighters participated in the 2018 edition of exercise Pitch Black in Australia.
Archive photo by RAAF.
A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 Super Hornet during take-off. Archive photo by RAAF/Sam Price.
Exercise Pitch Black is Air Force's biennial capstone international engagement activity with key strategic partners. Besides the hosting Royal Australian Air Force, this year's participants include air forces from NATO members Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the US, NATO Partners New Zealand, Republic of Korea and the United Arab Emirates as well from Indonesia, India, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Participating air forces will be operating out of RAAF Bases Darwin and Tindal primarily, supported by RAAF Base Amberley.
Multinational live-fly exercises offer a unique opportunity for Allied and Partner air forces to hone their flying skills and enhance common tactics, techniques and procedures indispensable for operating alongside each other in real-world missions. By inviting NATO Allies to conduct interoperability training with Partners and other regional air forces in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia has created an opportunity for bringing the air forces together and promoting mutual understanding of global security issues.
Since 2005, NATO and Australia have been engaged in dialogue and cooperation. Australia is one of a range of countries beyond the Euro-Atlantic area, often referred to as "partners across the globe". Priorities in NATO-Australia relations include upholding the international rules-based order, and enhancing interoperability between NATO and Australia. Cooperation is underpinned by regular high-level political dialogue. Australia is an Enhanced Opportunities Partner, alongside Finland, Georgia, Jordan, Sweden and Ukraine.