Pitch Black to take off in Australia Published July 23, 2018 Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs 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. Pitch Black began in 1990 as an exercise between Singapore and Australia, and the United States last participated 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.