Troops train during annual Golden Coyote exercise in the Black H - KOTA Territory News

Troops train during annual Golden Coyote exercise in the Black Hills

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It's training that may one day save their lives.

Members of the military participated in the Golden Coyote military training exercises Rapid City and the southern Black Hills on Tuesday. It provides relevant training to prepare our units for real–life combat situations.

Army Specialist Daniel Leacraft said they try to make the training as realistic as possible.

"To give the platoons a fairly real life situation they can react to," Leacraft said.

Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Harlan said the training is set in an urban environment and the squads go through small team leadership tactics. The units use a standard M16-A2 gun and a paintball-style gun.

Harlan said the exercises are a great opportunity for units to enhance skills already learned in basic training.

"Whether or not they've had combat experience from deployment, it improves their communications skills and their team cohesion as they move through tight situations,” Harlan said.

More than 4,000 soldiers from 6 different countries are participating in the exercises. They include the Army Reserve, National Guard, Naval Reserve and Air Force reserve and active duty.

The training runs through June 23rd.

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