Golden Coyote

The Golden Coyote training exercise one of the largest and longest-running National Guard exercises in the country.

Hosted by the South Dakota National Guard and held in the Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park – the two-week exercise provides National Guard, Reserve and active-duty military units with relevant training opportunities in support of overseas contingency operations and homeland support missions.

It is a three phase scenario driven exercise that enables commanders to focus on METL requirements and warrior tasks and battle drills.

Created in 1984 by the South Dakota National Guard, with the cooperation of the National Forest Service and Custer State Park, the exercise allows about 3,000 service members to conduct combat support and combat service support missions in a realistic training environment and provide valuable services to the public.

Every year, dozens of military units from all across the United States, as well as foreign nations, participate in the exercise from multiple branches of military service – Army, Navy and Air Force – working together to create an invaluable training experience. Participating units conduct military operations, train on their equipment and employ tactics, as well as complete various humanitarian missions and engineer projects that help improve the forest and infrastructure of many local communities.

Local residents receive numerous benefits from the many engineer projects conducted during the exercise. Units transport timber to Native American communities that use it as firewood, conduct building construction, repair and upgrades, identify hazardous wilderness areas and make them safe for public use, and resurface local roadways that have fallen into disrepair.

Units are also able to participate in many warrior training tasks and battle drills such as combat patrols, urban combat operations, land navigation, first aid, casualty evacuation and convoy operations. This provides a valuable opportunity for units to train on skills needed for any future overseas deployment.

Golden Coyote combines every participating unit’s unique characteristics and experiences into a combined joint exercise, which includes:

  • 34 years experience planning and conducting a multi-component CS/CSS training exercise.
  • 80X100 square mile training area with terrain similar to Afghanistan, Bosnia and Korea.
  • Longstanding partnerships with several governmental agencies.
  • Training is based on the commanders training objectives, allowing units flexibility and innovation in executing their training.
    A realistic multi echelon environment.

Golden Coyote integrates the following:

  • Command & Control (C2)
  • Real World Humanitarian Support Missions
  • Interoperability Training Opportunities with Allied Nation Units and Staff
  • Multi Branch Staff Training and Coordination
  • Sustainment Operations
  • Mobility/Counter Mobility/Force Protection
  • Lanes Training/Warrior Tasks and Drills
  • Observer Controller Support for all Training Events
  • Exercise Role Player Support

Below is the Schedule for Golden Coyote. Scenario role-play occurs within the Task Force Area of Operation.

Phase I: Pre-Exercise

  • ADVON Operations
  • RSO&I Operations
  • Forward Operations Base Establishment

Phase II: Golden Coyote Exercise

  • Task Force Missions
  • Warrior Training Tasks and Drills
  • Sustainment Operations
  • Execution of Commanders Training Plan

Phase III: Redeployment

  • Recovery Operations
  • Unit Out-processing
  • Redeployment to Home Station

The South Dakota Army National Guard is dedicated to providing world class training opportunities.

These opportunities include:

  • Warrior Training Lanes
  • Leaders Reaction Course
  • Combat Simulators (VCOT, HEAT, FATTS)
  • Real World Humanitarian Support Missions: Medical, Transportation and Engineer projects

To find out how your unit can participate please contact:
Golden Coyote Coordinator
Comm. (605) 737-6611, DSN 747-6611