Australian F-111s Take Part in Final Major Exercise

Royal Australian Air Force F-111s are taking part in their final major training exercise before these venerable aircraft are retired at year’s end. Four F-111s from No. 6 Squadron at RAAF Amberley, are now participating in the three-week-long, multinational Pitch Black exercise in Australia’s Northern Territories, according to an Australian defense department release. The exercise runs through the first week of August. The F-111 has been Australia’s long-range strike aircraft for nearly four decades. They first arrived at Amberley in 1973. “I am sure the end of 2010 will be an emotional time for many people when we say goodbye to the [F-111]. But for now we have F-111s to prepare, fly, and fight,” said Wing Cmdr. Micka Gray, commanding officer of No. 6 Squadron. The US Air Force officially retired its last F-111s in 1996.