About 70 Civil Air Patrol members, mainly from North and South Dakota, gathered at Custer County Airport to learn about leadership and emergency skills. They were able to put everything into practice.
The search is on for two missing people and a helicopter. Civil Air Patrol cadets, look on land and by air. But it's not a real emergency.
"Today it is a practical application, we're giving them tasks as we receive them and we're simulating what would actually happen coming from the air force as they task us to go out and do different things," said Cadet Major Elizabeth Foy.
It's part of the 2013 Joint Dakota Emergency Services Encampment, where cadets learn about search and rescue. The first part was more of a classroom setting and now they're getting hands on experience.
"We are going to put our knowledge to the test and see how it works. Get some real world applications," said Cadet Blake Berry.
Cadet Berry said they are not only learning how to save lives.
"But it is also helping to build team spirit with other people."
Cadet Major Foy was in charge of putting together encampment activities.
"To work with them for ten days and then to have them come out here and perform and do it as excellently as they have been is exceedingly rewarding," said Foy.
About four of these large exercises are held each year. And people involved say it's important.
"When we're called upon to do this for real, we have to be ready to go. And in order to that we have to train," said John Seten, Incident Commander for the exercise.
The cadets get the chance to put into play everything they've learned.