News: Golden Coyote exercise underway in the Black Hills
RAPID CITY, S.D. – The South Dakota National Guard’s 28th annual Golden Coyote training exercise is underway in Rapid City and the southern Black Hills, with more than 2,200 service members participating from across the country and the world.
The two-week training exercise, which began June 9 and continues until the 23, allows military forces to conduct combat support and combat service support missions in a realistic training environment and provide valuable services to the public.
Created in the mid 1980’s with the cooperation of the National Forest Service and Custer State Park, the exercise provides relevant training opportunities in support of overseas contingency operations and homeland defense. Golden Coyote has developed into one of the nation’s top training opportunities for National Guard, reserve and active-duty forces, as well as military personnel from foreign countries.
“This exercise is a great opportunity for units to tailor their training to their needs,” said Brig. Gen. Jeff Marlette, commander of forces for Golden Coyote. “Nationwide there are very few exercises that are designed for National Guard, U.S. reserve and international forces to come together and train. It helps to prepare units to be able to go abroad and support operations overseas, as well as train on homeland security missions right here in the United States.”
There are 37 units representing 17 states and six foreign nations participating in the exercise and from multiple branches of military service – Army, Navy, and Air Force – working together to create an invaluable training experience. This includes medical, chemical, transportation, signal, aviation, military police, engineer and quartermaster units. These military forces train on their equipment and employ tactics to prepare them for any future overseas deployment.
“Military forces are able to participate in numerous warrior training tasks and battle drills, such as urban combat operations, medical aid, and day and night convoy operations,” said Maj. Travis Eastman, exercise coordinator.
Units can also participate in combat patrols, fire arms training and reacting to improvised explosive devices, said Eastman.
Participating units also complete various projects that help improve the forest and local communities. Local residents receive numerous benefits of the many engineering projects conducted during the training exercise.
Units will be repairing roadways, providing reclamation of hazardous wilderness areas and hauling cut timber from the forest.
“We have transportation units moving timber cut by the National Forest Service for fire control purposes to Native American reservation communities who can use it as firewood,” said Eastman. “Our engineers will also repair hazardous wilderness areas and make them safe for public use, and re-surface local roadways that have fallen into disrepair.”
“This exercise is a great testament to how we come together with the civilian public,” said Marlette. “We coordinate with the National Forest Service, Custer State Park and other local agencies, and the event allows both their agencies and us to be better prepared to meet homeland security missions and provide services to the public.”
This year’s exercise also includes members from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Suriname.
“The training aim for this exercise is the interoperability with our allies and synchronization between different work forces and equipment,” said United Kingdom Territorial Army Maj. Andrew Inglis, Headquarters, 71st Engineer Regiment. “We are looking to provide aid to your civil community here; mainly to conduct route construction, hauling missions and other construction projects.
“As combat engineers we are soldiers first, so we will take part in the exercise’s warrior lanes,” continued Inglis. “The majority of (soldiers) here will probably deploy in the next two to three years, so this is a method of the sub-unit commander to look at his people and make sure they are ready to deploy.”
“The international units here provide us an opportunity for joint operations that we will conduct serving our counties abroad,” said Marlette.
Date Posted:06.12.2012 08:54
Location:RAPID CITY, SD, US
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