RAPID CITY, S.D. - On June 16, 3rd Platoon of the North Dakota Army National Guard's 191st Military Police Company woke up as they did the entire week before - early! They were at Golden Coyote at Camp Rapid, S.D., taking part in a massive two-week training program hosted by the South Dakota National Guard that has brought together nearly 2,200 Soldiers from around the United Sates.

That morning, the Military Police loaded their gear and got ready to start hands-on training at the convoy operations lane. When they got there, the commissioned officer and the noncommissioned officer in charge of the mission gave everyone a mission brief as well as a list of things to look out for. After looking at a sand table, which displayed the terrain of the area and the route the Soldiers would take, the Soldiers conducted rehearsals, or "battle drills," and hit the road.

They handled the beginning of the course with ease until they came upon a vehicle with a simulated explosive device inside of it. The driver detonated it, "killing" himself and causing harm to two civilians walking down the road. The convoy's medic put her skills to work and tended to the injuries in anticipation of a medical evacuation from the area.

Once they finished the lane, Soldiers were surprised with another mission - to head out as a quick-reaction force. As the training situation played out, they learned that a fuel point had been ambushed and that the Soldiers would need to secure the area and evacuate any "injured" Soldiers. Once the Soldiers arrived, they saw one Soldier on the ground and one in the truck. They quickly secured the area with their vehicles, which were mounted with .50 caliber machine guns, and a medic moved in to tend to the "wounded." Training situations are never simple, in order to prepare Soldiers for the worst-case scenario they may encounter. As the Soldiers responded to the wounded, they came under more stress: simulated small-arms fire. They continued to care for the injured and evacuated them on a helicopter before the day's missions ended.

"The Soldiers preformed above and beyond their experience," said 2nd Lt. Justin A. Huber, of Jud, N.D., who serves with the 191st Military Police Company. "I could not have asked for more motivation and drive."
<i>Since the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, the North Dakota National Guard has mobilized more than 3,500 Soldiers and more than 1,800 Airmen in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Currently, about 600 North Dakota Guardsmen are serving overseas. With a total force of about 4,400 Soldiers and Airmen, sufficient forces remain in the state for emergency response and homeland defense.

High-resolution photos to accompany this release are available on Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/ndguard. Navigate to the photo set titled "Golden Coyote 2010."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16