CAMP RAPID, S.D. – For the 35thyear, the South Dakota National Guard is hosting the Golden Coyote training exercise.
All across the Black Hills from June 8th through the 22nd, members of the National Guard, reserve, naval reserve and all types of units from across the country come and get some realistic training that’s going to help units prepare for their different mission sets. There are going to be a lot of training opportunities for these units, mostly in the Black Hills region. But there will also be doing some training opportunities here on Camp Rapid in Rapid City going through different simulators.
“This year’s exercise, we’re going to have about 2500 participants from about a dozen different states, nearly 40 units, as well as two foreign nations. We have soldiers from Canada and Denmark that are going to be helping us participate in this exercise as well. And so, we’re excited. That’s one of the best parts of this exercise. We bring in all different types of units from across the United States as well as our foreign partners, our allied partnerships as well that we have with different countries across the globe. Just being able to meet different people from all across the country and all across the world is one of the best parts about this exercise,” said Lt. Colonel Anthony Deiss, Director of Public Affairs for the South Dakota National Guard.
Ellsworth Air Force Base is also a critical part of the South Dakota National Guard being able to host this exercise. “When units in-process into the exercise, Ellsworth allows us to use one of their facilities out there. They’ve got a much larger footprint than we do here on Camp Rapid. So as these units come in with all their big military vehicles, they’re able to stage out there and we can get them the proper briefings that they need coming into this area and be able to get good accountability of all the units” said LtC. Deiss.
“One of the humanitarian missions that we do as part of this exercise that we’re allows excited and proud in supporting is our Timber Haul Mission. Where se take timber from the Black Hills National Forest and deliver that to a number of different Native American reservations here in South Dakota. This year we’ll be going to Pine Ridge and the Cheyenne River Sioux tribes and dropping off loads of timber. The Black Hills is very sacred to the Sioux and to the Native Americans, so we love doing that mission. We love helping our communities and providing that kind of support with the different missions sets that we have.”
This is one of the largest and longest running National Guard exercises in the country. Remember, that over the next several days, you might see an increase in traffic and more noise than usual from military personnel throughout the area due to this exercise.