News: Danish Home Guard participates in Golden Coyote exercise for first time
RAPID CITY, S.D. – Soldiers from Denmark left home to make their first appearance at the South Dakota National Guard’s 2012 Golden Coyote training exercise in the Black Hills June 6-23.
Golden Coyote is an annual training exercise that provides relevant training opportunities for U.S. service members and military personnel from foreign countries in support of overseas contingency operations and homeland defense.
“This exercise is a great opportunity for units to tailor their training to their needs,” said South Dakota Army National Guard’s 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.”
Golden Coyote offers an opportunity for the Danish Home Guard to join more than 2,200 service members from units across the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Suriname in a realistic training environment.
“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, the Golden Coyote exercise coordinator.
Units may also participate in combat patrols, firearms training and reacting to improvised explosive devices, said Eastman.
“The soldiers are getting an exercise where they can improve their own capabilities and gain experience by working with other nations,” said Danish Maj. Gen. Finn Winkler, commander of the Danish Home Guard.
Most of the Danish soldiers here have deployment experience in Afghanistan and Kosovo, Winkler added.
Danish soldiers were able to train side-by-side with members of the U.S. military.
“They took us and put us in with their guys,” said Pvt. Suthan Kulasingam, a medic with the Danish Home Guard. “One of us would be with three or four Americans during training.”
Marlette says training side-by-side with the Danes helps improve interoperability between nations.
“We learn from them and they learn from us,” said Kulasingam. “That’s the greatest thing so far.”
“Anytime we can train with other countries in this environment it goes a long ways to help everybody be more prepared,” said Marlette. “It helps us for those times down the road when we are called to fight in theater side-by-side.”
Winkler says he hopes Golden Coyote is only the beginning and would like to make a formal agreement with the National Guard Bureau to provide opportunities for the Danish Home Guard to continue to train in the United States.
“There are many things that bind us together,” said Winkler. “The U.S. National Guard and our soldiers in the Home Guard are very similar. They are citizens in uniform who are doing something to protect their country, support their defense and support the civilian community.”
Date Posted:06.13.2012 19:08
Location:RAPID CITY, SD, US
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