KC-30A brings French Air Force Rafales to the Top End

A Royal Australian Air Force KC-30A has played a key role in assisting the French Air Force fly Rafales to Exercise Pitch Black 18 for the very first time.

The KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport travelled from the Middle East region to RAAF Base Darwin, refuelling three French Air Force Dassault Rafale aircraft who are participating in Exercise Pitch Black along the way.

French Air Force (Armée de l'Air Française) Detachment Commander Colonel Arnaud Brunetta said although it was a long journey for his team to come to Australia, they were excited to have the opportunity to train in a new environment with so many different nationalities.

“Pitch Black gives our personnel the opportunity to participate in work exchanges with the ADF which is important for professional and personal growth,” Colonel Brunetta said.

“We are proud of our aircraft, the Rafale’s have travelled a long distance with over 20 hours of flying to arrive in Australia with no technical issues.”

In order to get to Australia, the three Rafale aircraft and their crew travelled more than 14,000 kilometres.

With over 4000 personnel, 140 aircraft and from 16 different nations, Exercise Pitch Black 18 is the largest iteration of the Northern Territory exercise ever held and will conclude on the 17th of August. 

By FLTLT Alyssa Vickridge 

Download the Imagery here: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20182586