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Defence

Australia hosts one of Asia-Pacific’s largest air force exercises

Air forces from 16 countries are involved in the massive drills that last three weeks

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 July, 2018, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 July, 2018, 5:10pm

The skies over Australia’s northern coastline were filled with air force pilot top guns from 16 nations on Saturday in one of Asia-Pacific’s largest air force training exercises.

The tropical northern city of Darwin is hosting 4,000 personnel and 140 aircraft over the next three weeks as air forces from around the world take part in Exercise Pitch Black.

The training includes night flying and aerial refuelling and is said to give different nations a chance to learn from each other and improve their force integration using one of the largest training airspace areas in the world.

Pitch Black is held every two years and began in 1990 between Australia and Singapore. It features a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be found in a modern battle-space environment, according to the Royal Australian Air Force website.

“Activities such as Exercise Pitch Black recognises the strong relationship Australia has with its participant nations and the high value it places on regional security and fostering closer ties throughout the Asia-Pacific region,” the Royal Australian Air Force said.

The other air forces involved are from the US, Canada, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand and New Zealand.