Helping prepare for the unknown of overseas combat, that's the main focus of the National Guard's Golden Coyote training exercise.
And in Custer State Park the 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment got a first hand look at one of the most terrifying aspects of overseas combat: improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.'s.
Today's exercise was a simulation where public affairs officers dealt with everything from I.E.D.'s and suicide bombers to mission strategies.
"You know this isn't something that we're used to
doing, we're a pretty small unit, so getting out here and getting a chance to actually do the crawl, walk, run phase is really quite good for us. It give us more experience, so mostly today I just want us to get together as a group, build communication and be able to learn from our mistakes," said SGT. Jacqueline Fitzgerald.
"We're not evaluating this unit, however they will be evaluated for their mobilizations coming up, so we will have a PTA Evaluator riding along with us that will make sure to see that they will be doing the correct procedures as they go along in the lane," said Master SGT. Monte Patterson.
The 129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment deploys to Afghanistan in February.