Major air force exercise winds up in NT

·1-min read

A major air exercise in the skies over the Northern Territory involving around 100 military aircraft from Australia and 16 other nations is winding up after three weeks of intense training.

Exercise Pitch Black 2022 concludes on Thursday and involved 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.

Exercise Pitch Black improved the ability of participating forces to work together on the planning and conduct of high-end air operations, Air Commodore Alsop said in a statement.

"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."

The exercise hosted the largest number of nations in its 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.

It marked the first time aircraft from Germany, Japan and the Republic of Korea participated.

"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," Air Commodore Alsop said.

The next Exercise Pitch Black will be held in 2024.