07 September, 2022
This year’s exercise saw 17 countries, 2,500 people, and over 100 aircraft working together to achieve joint air power effects.
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) effort for this exercise focuses on Air Base enabler trade groups who are critical in the delivery of air power effects.
NZDF personnel have been embedded with RAAF units in Darwin and Tindal to support the exercise. High-quality training exercises such as Pitch Black are essential for our personnel to be ready to respond to a range of scenarios.
Such exercises also provide an opportunity for enabling trades to deploy and operate from remote locations outside of New Zealand, in order to strengthen relationships with other militaries, and promote regional security through multi-national interoperability.
Security Forces personnel are responsible for the security of the air base, including personnel and equipment. This involves carrying out regular patrols of the base perimeter to monitor safety and security, and providing force protection against a range of threats, as well as delivering readiness training to service personnel back in New Zealand. AC William Lennox is embedded with Security Forces in RAAF Base Tindal.
“On a typical day here, we conduct roaming patrols and aircraft checks. We walk around the aircraft to make sure everything looks as it should, there’s nothing unusual, and nothing’s been tampered with. On our patrols, we look out for anyone that may be in an area they’re not supposed to be in, or doing things they’re not supposed to be doing. If we see anyone suspicious we would then approach them and find out if they are allowed to be there or not.
“My favourite part about Pitch Black has been working with the Aussies and noticing the similarities in what we do day to day. We do similar training but they just specialise a lot more than we do.”