Aviation Spotters Online

Aviation Spotters Online

Exercise Pitch Black 2016 is starting to ramp up.

The biggest Exercise in Australia is starting to take shape up in the Top End with some of the participants  starting to arrival. ASO is happy to announce our newest member to the team Sid Mitchell who is based in Darwin , Sid is already capturing the action of the arrivals and the warm up flights before the Exercise starts on the 29th of July to the 19th of August.

The Northern Territory will host up to 2500 personnel and 115 aircraft from around the globe for the exercise including participants from Australia, Canada, France (New Caledonia), Germany, Indonesia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.

The 1st International country to arrive was the Republic of Singapore Air Force or RSAF which brought F-15SG and F-16 aircraft.

F-15SG's returning from another warm up flight
F-15SG’s returning from another warm up flight

F-15SG aircraft from 149Sqn Republic of Singapore Air Force returning from a mission in the area surrounding RAAF Base Darwin, NT. The availability of large training areas and weapons ranges, which are easily accessed from Darwin, are just two of the many factors partner nations are keen to deploy to Australia for exercises.

F/A-18C from VMFA-122 "Werewolves"
F/A-18C from VMFA-122 “Werewolves”

F/A-18C from VMFA-122 “Werewolves” arriving into RAAF Base Darwin for Exercise PB2016, after a long haul from Japan. En-route the flight was refuelled by KC-135R from 186th Air Refuelling Wing, Mississippi Air National Guard. VMFA-122 has a history dating back to WWII including being commanded by Major ‘Pappy’ Boyington during 1943.

RSAF F-16D returning to base
RSAF F-16D returning to base

RSAF F-16D 695 bearing the “Osprey feet on Singapore” insignia of 140 Sqn “Stand Firm in Defence” based at Tengah Air Base, Singapore. Not known for it’s luggage capacity, the F-16 crew adapt what cockpit space they have, to stow their ‘kit’. Combined with the F-15’s RSAF has made one of the largest team deployments to Darwin.

The exercise will use airspace over Bradshaw Training Area and Delamere Air Weapons Range to practice large formation offensive and counter air and offensive air support operations.

A handling display will occur over Mindil Beach on 11 August and an Open Day at RAAF Darwin is scheduled for 13 August. Both events are free for the community to enjoy the many capabilities on display during the exercise.

The Royal Australian Air Force will have the latest News on their Youtube channel so like their page to keep up to date. Here is the first news video :

To keep up with all the action subscribe to ASO :


 

 

Sid Mitchell will be bringing regular updates from all the action around Darwin and the Top End.

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