National Guard troops improve their skills during Golden Coyote Exercise

CUSTER, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Throughout the month, troops with the South Dakota National Guard are improving their skills to protect civilians through a series of training exercises called Golden Coyote.

Troops discuss and prepare for the next two weeks of the Golden Coyote Exercise.

Forty military units from the United States, Denmark, and Canada will camp out in the Black Hills for two weeks as part of the 35th annual Golden Coyote Exercise. U.S. troops are in Custer State Park removing slash piles and repairing roads as part of the exercise. While completing these tasks they must prepare for potential threats from enemies, also known as Canada for this year's event.

"We have this very elaborate storyline that we follow where we come down here, we set up our base and then we have, you know, obviously the bad guy harassing us. So not only are soldiers out there completing missions, but they're also having to pull security and make sure that they're staying safe," says Maj. Thadius Schmit with the South Dakota National Guard.

More military vehicles will be around the Black Hills as the exercises continue so people are asked to be aware and to stay a safe distance from moving vehicles and aircraft.