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United States Air Force F-22 Raptor aircraft arrive in Australia
F-22 Raptor aircraft from the United States Air Force (USAF) will be visiting the Northern Territory this month as part of the Enhanced Air Cooperation (EAC) program.
The US aircraft arrived at RAAF Base Tindal yesterday, Thursday 18 August 2022, in preparation for several weeks of EAC program training and activities.
This activity is happening at the same time as Exercise Pitch Black, which commences today, 19 August 2022, in the Top End.
Air Vice-Marshal Darren Goldie, Air Commander Australia, explained that while this activity is happening at the same time as Exercise Pitch Black, this is a separate activity, under the United States Force Posture Initiative.
“The F-22 Raptors have arrived in the Northern Territory as part of the EAC Program,” AVM Goldie said.
“This program has been in place since 2017, which builds on a broad range of long-standing air exercises and training activities undertaken between Australia and the United States.
“It is the same program that recently saw B-1 Lancer aircraft visit RAAF Base Darwin in June during Exercise Diamond Storm and also B-2 Spirit Stealth Bombers visit RAAF Base Amberley recently in July, integrating into Exercises Koolendong and Arnhem Thunder.
“It is testament to how well our two Air Forces assimilate, that these incredible aircraft are able to visit our bases and utilise our infrastructure and support services, so we can all train closely with one another.”
AVM Goldie said that he was pleased to welcome the USAF back to the Northern Territory.
“Dry season in the Northern Territory is always a busy time for our Air Force, as you just cannot beat the training opportunities our ranges in the Top End present.
“I welcome the visiting United States personnel and hope they get as much out of working with us as we do with them.
“It is always an exciting opportunity to be able to work with and integrate with such a capable aircraft.”
EAC aims to deepen advanced air to air integration between the Australian Defence Force and US air elements to better enable us to operate together seamlessly, and has been successfully operating for several years as one of the United States Force Posture Initiatives.