By Spc. Kristin LichiusJune 14, 2018
CUSTER, S.D. - Soldiers from Kansas' Army National Guard's 137th Transportation Company participated in the counter improvised explosive device training lane at Custer State Park, June 12.
The CIED course provided an opportunity for units attending the Golden Coyote training exercise to practice identifying and reacting to IEDs in a tactical scenario.
"We provide quality, realistic training that allows units to gain experience in a complex environment," said Maj. Carol Jordan of South Dakota Army National Guard's Joint Force Headquarters, the officer in charge of the training course.
The training was broken into three parts. The unit first received instruction on how to identify and properly react to a potential IED. The unit then developed a plan of action that included their tactics, techniques, and procedures for reacting and reporting identified devices. Lastly, the unit directed a convoy of tactical vehicles through several simulated scenarios on a canyon road.
"This training is new for many of our Soldiers," said Sgt. Mike Steed, 137th truck driver and convoy commander for the training. "It gives them the opportunity to operate the trucks in a new environment with unfamiliar terrain."
The convoy drove down an uneven gravel road with canyon walls and pine trees on either side. The drivers must maneuver over large rocks and differentiate between natural and man-made disturbances in the terrain. Anything that looked out of place may be related to a potential IED.
"This is the most realistic and professional training I've been through," said Sgt. Sean Harper, a 137th truck driver. "It teaches the Soldiers the importance of always being aware of their surroundings and prepares them for situations they may encounter overseas."
While navigating through the canyon, the convoy recognized three disturbances in the road and react to two events in which they encountered simulated small arms and artillery fire from theoretical enemy forces.
"The training was new, fun, and absolutely worthwhile," said Steed. "It really shows our Soldiers what their trucks are capable of doing in these scenarios."
The CIED lane is one of several training courses that units are participating in while attending the Golden Coyote training exercise.