PITCH BLACK IS BACK

Written by on 21/06/2024

The Royal Australian Air Force’s major exercise for the year, Exercise Pitch Black 24, will bring two major community events to Darwin in July.

The Mindil Beach Flying Display on Thursday 18 July, and the RAAF Base Darwin Open Day on Saturday 20 July.

Head of Air Shows Air Commodore Micka Gray said more than 20 different aircraft would participate in the flying display.

“The 90-minute flying display will start at 5:00pm and include a mix of Australian and international military aircraft – and conclude with a handling display by a RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet,” Air Commodore Gray said.

“Since 2012, this event has become a traditional part of the Exercise Pitch Black calendar, combining international visitors from around the globe with an iconic Northern Territory location.”

On 20 July, the RAAF Darwin Open Day will run from 9:00am until 4:00pm. The open day is a free community event, but visitors will need to book an entry ticket in advance to allow Air Force to manage services on the day.

“The open day will feature 30 different Australian and international military aircraft on ground display, as well a wide range of military equipment, interactive exhibits, working dog displays, the Air Force Band, and the Air Force Cadets,” Air Commodore Gray said.

“It’s a great opportunity to see the latest operational aircraft and meet air and ground crews from over 20 nations.

Exercise Pitch Black is the Air Force’s premier biennial flying activity for strengthening international engagement.  ​

This year’s exercise will occur from 12 July to 2 August, and will be the largest in the exercise’s 43-year history, with 21 participating nations, over 140 aircraft, and approximately 4435 personnel.

This includes first time participation with aircraft from Philippines, Spain, Italy (Air Force and Navy), and Papua New Guinea; and first-time embedded personnel from Fiji and Brunei.

Through Exercise Pitch Black 24, Australia will build on its professional working relationships with regional and global counterparts, and contribute to the peace and stability of the Indo-Pacific region.

“These events symbolise the close relationship between Exercise Pitch Black with the Top End community,” Air Commodore Gray said.

“The strong showing and support we’ve received from the community in past years is appreciated by Defence, and we look forward to seeing everyone in July.”

Tickets are available via OzTix at www.tickets,oztix.com.au

Article and Imagery courtesy of Department of Defence.
Main Image: A Republic of Singapore F-16D Fighting Falcon aircraft arrives through the heat haze at RAAF Base Darwin for Exercise Pitch Black 2022. Photographer SGT Pete Gammie.

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