Exercise Pitch Black 2018 - From Dusk to Dawn

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Exercise Pitch Black 2018 - From Dusk to Dawn

Exercise Pitch Black (XPB) is one of the largest exercises in the RSAF’s calendar. Set in the top end city of Darwin, Australia, XPB gives our airmen and women the opportunity to train in a vast training airspace over 20 times that in Singapore – larger than that of Exercise Red Flag in the United States. 

This exercise also allows us to pit ourselves against and alongside some of the most advanced air forces around the world, flying various platforms and tactics, allowing us to be interoperable with our foreign partners, and more adaptable to potential treats.

This year, we deployed five F-15SG, six F-16C/D, a KC-135R Stratotanker and a G550 Airborne Early Warning aircraft. This year’s XPB is also the largest ever, with 140 aircraft and up to 4,000 personnel from 16 participating nations. 
  
Photographing Exercise Pitch Black is one of the most visually exciting assignments for any RSAF photographer. Not only being able to see a wide variety of foreign platforms, the RSAF also conducts a wide range of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions in both day and night conditions.

Check out these shots by ME1 (NS) Chen Chuanren who was at #ExPitchBlack2018!

The RSAF is the only Asian air force to have Mission Commanders leading the Large Force Employment missions. CPT Jonathan Ow is one of three Mission Commanders representing Singapore.

The GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II is one of the munitions deployed by our F-16C/D Fighting Falcons at XPB.

It is full on concentration as our Air Force Engineers align the bomb to the F-16C/D underwing pylon.

The Crew Chief gives the pilot a final salute as he launches the F-15SG for a Large Force Employment mission.

The Indian Air Force participates in XPB for the first time this year, their Su-30 (background) taxis behind our F-15SG.

3SG Adriel Toh and his colleagues shield themselves from the jet blast as an F-16C taxis out for another sortie.

A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A Hornet awaits clearance as our F-16C/D Fighting Falcons departs en masse for another mission.

LTA Loh Yin Onn climbs onto a F-15SG for a night sortie.

The beautiful curves of the G550-Airborne Early Warning aircraft is accentuated under the airfield lights, as it start up for a night mission.

MAJ Conran Chia in the F-15SG cockpit prior to engine start up.

Named after its pitch black nights, XPB is one of the few Large Force Employment exercises that allows the RSAF to put their night fighting skills to the test.

Our F-16D Fighting Falcon taxis out for a night mission, the airfield lights opposite gave a nice effect, silhouetting both pilots in the cockpit.

Our F-16D Fighting Falcon takes to the skies for the night mission.