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Pitch Black to take off in Australia

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress lands at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, after returning from a mission in support of Exercise Pitch Black 2016 (PB16) in Australia, Aug.18, 2016.  PB16 allows participant nations to exercise deployed units in the tasking, planning and execution of offensive counter air and offensive air support while utilizing one of the largest training airspace areas in the world.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress lands at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, after returning from a mission in support of Exercise Pitch Black 2016 (PB16) in Australia, Aug.18, 2016. PB16 allows participant nations to exercise deployed units in the tasking, planning and execution of offensive counter air and offensive air support while utilizing one of the largest training airspace areas in the world. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Richard P. Ebensberger)

U.S. Air Force F-16Cs, assigned to the 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, approach a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft for air-to-air refueling in the vicinity of RAAF Base Townsville, Australia, Aug. 16, 2016. Pitch Black is a biennial multinational air warfare exercise hosted by the RAAF that focuses on offensive counter air and defensive counter air combat in a simulated war environment.

U.S. Air Force F-16Cs, assigned to the 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, approach a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport aircraft for air-to-air refueling in the vicinity of RAAF Base Townsville, Australia, Aug. 16, 2016. Pitch Black is a biennial multinational air warfare exercise hosted by the RAAF that focuses on offensive counter air and defensive counter air combat in a simulated war environment. (Australian Defence Force photo by Cpl. Glen McCarthy)

A line up of U.S. Air Force F-16Cs, assigned to the 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, sit on the tarmac at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 16, August 4, 2016. Pitch Black is a biennial multinational air warfare exercise hosted by the RAAF that focuses on offensive counter air and defensive counter air combat in a simulated war environment.

A line up of U.S. Air Force F-16Cs, assigned to the 14th Fighter Squadron, Misawa Air Base, Japan, sit on the tarmac at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Darwin during Exercise Pitch Black 16, August 4, 2016. Pitch Black is a biennial multinational air warfare exercise hosted by the RAAF that focuses on offensive counter air and defensive counter air combat in a simulated war environment. (Courtesy Photo)

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii --

U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps forces are scheduled to participate alongside 16 partner and allied nations in the Royal Australian Air Force’s Pitch Black exercise from July 27-August 17 in Northern Australia.

 

Exercise Pitch Black is conducted biennially to enhance flight operations and proficiency as well as maintain interoperability between partner nations. It also extends Northern Australia’s critical role in supporting combined training as part of the U.S. and Australia’s Force Posture Initiative.

 

Approximately 140 total aircraft are scheduled to participate in the training, to include U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps: fighter and bomber jets; refuelers; rotary wing aircraft; and supporting ground forces.  

 

Participating nations scheduled to participate include: Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the Philippines.

 

Exercise Pitch Black began in 1981 and has expanded to become the hemisphere’s largest air force training exercise with the United States last participating in 2016. This year’s iteration of the exercise is being conducted during the Marine Corps Force-Darwin (MRF-D) initiative, which is one of two components that comprise a Force Posture Agreement between the two nations and serve as a tangible demonstration of the United States’ sustained commitment to the U.S.-Australia alliance and the Indo-Pacific region.