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Poland's First Red Flag: Polish air force C-130s earlier this month made the NATO ally's first appearance in a Red Flag training event, flying alongside Australian, German, Japanese, and USAF assets from JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, announced base officials. Flying through Alaska's mountains is "a completely new experience" for Polish mobility crews, providing excellent training for combined operations in Afghanistan, said Polish navigator Capt. Slawomir Lis in Elmendorf-Richardson's June 14 release. Surface-to-air radar and air defense threats on the nearby Alaska Pacific Range Complex also lent crews their first practical experience using the aircraft's self-defense suite in a combat environment, noted Polish aircraft commander Maj. Jaroslaw Gozdalski. "This was the first opportunity to check our [radar warning receiver] . . . because the ranges are equipped with emitters that simulate real threats," he added. This Red Flag-Alaska iteration began on June 7 and runs through June 22. (Elmendorf-Richardson report by SSgt. Zachary Wolf)