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NEWS | July 3, 2024

USAF Joins 19 Nations for Australian Led Pitch Black Exercise

By Pacific Air Forces

The United States will participate in Exercise Pitch Black 2024 largely based at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin and Base Tindal, Australia, July 12 – Aug. 2, 2024.

This year’s exercise will be the largest in the exercise’s 43-year history, with 20 participating nations, over 140 aircraft, and approximately 4435 personnel participating. The United States Air Force is contributing six F-22A Raptors for the first time.

Nations expected to participate include: Australia, Singapore, Italy, Indonesia, India, Japan, UK, France, Germany, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Spain, Brunei, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Canada, and Timor Leste.

Exercise Pitch Black is the RAAF’s premier biennial flying activity, focusing on the tactical execution of large force employment and offensive counter air and land operations in a multi-national coalition environment to enhance the capabilities of all participating country’s forces to operate together, enhance readiness, and strengthen regional partnerships.

Pitch Black 2024 is the latest in long standing, multilateral exercises designed to enhance participating countries’ air operations. Pitch Back 2024 supports the U.S.-Australia Force Posture Agreement, signed in 2014, and the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) initiative that began in 2017. EAC fosters greater integration between Department of Defense and Australian Defence Force air elements.

​Pitch Black began in 1981 as a solely Australian exercise.  Over time, it grew in size and purpose, with the United States first participating in 1983.