To ensure compliance with COVID-19-related Government restrictions and to protect our personnel, their families and the community, Exercise Pitch Black will not be conducted in 2020.
In line with whole-of-government advice, Defence has implemented significant measures to ensure the health and safety of its personnel and the broader community. Defence is fully committed to adhering to the public health guidelines to minimise transmission of COVID-19 and is directly engaged with public health authorities to ensure we are taking measures to reduce transmission as early as possible.
Information about Defence’s response to COVID-19 is available on the department’s website: This website is updated regularly.

The exercise is a biennial three week multi-national large force employment exercise conducted primarily from RAAF Base Darwin and RAAF Base Tindal. RAAF Base Amberley will also be included in the exercise this year.

Exercise Pitch Black 20 is the Royal Australian Air Force’s biennial capstone International Engagement activity with forces participating from a wide range of regional, coalition and allied nations developing and enhancing military relationships at all levels.

Exercises such as this are pivotal to ensuring Air Force remains ready to respond whenever the Australian Government requires. The training and integration of forces that occurs during this exercise directly supports Air Force’s ability to conduct operations.

Exercise Pitch Black features a range of realistic, simulated threats which can be found in a modern battle-space environment and is an opportunity to test and improve our force integration, utilising one of the largest training airspace areas in the world — Bradshaw Field Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range.

The exercise hosts up to 3500 personnel and up to 120 aircraft from around the globe including participants from Australia, Canada, France (New Caledonia), Germany, Indonesia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Republic of Korea and the United States. Japan will also be participating for the first time.

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.

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