The Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is participating in Exercise Pitch Black 2022, a biennial large-scale multilateral air combat exercise hosted by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in Darwin, Australia. Held from 19 August to 8 September 2022, this year marks the resumption of the exercise following a cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19. The exercise will involve up to 2,500 personnel and up to 100 aircraft from 17 participating nations pitting their air combat skills against simulated threats in a challenging and realistic training environment.
The RSAF, participating as one of the largest representation in terms of personnel and assets, has deployed over 400 personnel, eight F-15SG and eight F-16D+ fighter aircraft, one Gulfstream 550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft and the inaugural participation of an A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (A330 MRTT) aircraft for the multinational exercise. Flying as part of the exercise, the A330 MRTT's conducts air-to-air refuelling operations to extend endurance with fighter aircraft from participating countries and enhance the ability to conduct large-scale air combat training scenarios.
Speaking during the exercise, the RSAF Exercise Director, Colonel Mark Tan said, "The RSAF started as one of the earliest countries to participate in Exercise Pitch Black. Today, as one of the largest participating nations, this exercise provides the RSAF with an excellent opportunity to conduct large-scale realistic air combat training in both day and night conditions, and is essential for sharpening our operational competencies. This year, the RSAF also trained alongside the RAAF's and United States Marine Corps' F-35 Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) aircraft. This has offered us valuable insights into the F-35 JSF's advanced capabilities and how they can be integrated into the Singapore Armed Forces' warfighting systems to enhance our operational edge. Our RSAF personnel also had the opportunity to build strong bonds and relationships with our foreign counterparts, cross-sharing best practices and operational ideas with other participating air forces. We will continue to conduct such high quality large-scale training and forge closer ties with the foreign air forces for future editions of Exercise Pitch Black."
Established in 1981, Exercise Pitch Black seeks to enhance professionalism and coordination among participating air forces and is testament to the trust and close rapport between service personnel.