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Swedes Descend on Alaska: The Swedish Air Force flew seven of its Gripen fighters from Sweden on July 13 to Alaska where they joined Pacific Air Forces' Cooperative Cope Thunder exercise for the first time. The five day journey took the fighters from Sweden to Scotland to Keflavik, Iceland with stops in Greenland and Canada as well. By the time the team arrived at Eielson AFB, the pilots and 23 ground technicians had flown 5,495 nautical miles. The Swedes put a lot of importance on their contribution to the exercise. "It will give us a lot of important experiences for future deployment outside Sweden," said Lt. Col. Ken Lindberg.