|June 14, 2012
Source: Rapid City Journal
Tourists arrive in the Black Hills to see Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse, but the unique topography is also drawing military units from throughout the country and around the world for one of the largest National Guard training exercises in the United States.
Here for the Golden Coyote training exercise, military units are working to re-create the stress of combat and mixture of civilian, tourist and wildlife populations soldiers encounter in war theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan, all while training with foreign soldiers.
Military units from six countries and 17 states — 2,200 soldiers overall — descended on the Black Hills for the two-week Golden Coyote exercise, now in its 28th year. The operation began June 9 and runs until June 23.
Other military bases don’t offer the sort of realism of nearby civilian populations, rough terrain and wildlife that the Black Hills does, according to those involved in the training.