Golden Coyote military exercise underway in Rapid City

Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 3:49 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Military units from all over are spending a couple of weeks in the Black Hills to participate in Golden Coyote.

“For us, it’s a great opportunity to be able to work with them,” said Maj. Eric Lothspeich, commander of Delta Company, 1/112 in Fargo, North Dakota.

It also allows units to practice somewhere outside of their usual element.

“So, we came from Fargo, North Dakota. Pretty flat out there. Obviously, a lot more terrain out here in the Black Hills. We got elevation that we’re climbing up that we’re not used to and terrain that we’re not used to flying around, so it’s a lot different. For us as aircrews, that’s great to be able to do that,” explained Lothspeich.

Scenarios are set up throughout the week for units to respond to.

Tuesday’s exercise was a Medevac unit responding to an emergency situation.

“We’ll go out and get a call on a 9-line, an injury happens, and our crews receive that call. We’ll have to get out to the aircraft, run it up, and we have to get all the information, the location, what kind of patient it is, what kind of injuries, and how many,” explained Lothspeich.

The helicopter used in training can hold a crew of 4 including 2 pilots in the front, a medic, and a crew chief in the back, “we can take up to two patients at a time is usually what we do.”

Soldiers practiced loading someone on a stretcher with the helicopter off and then did a hot run with the propeller on.

“Mainly the importance is to give them familiarity so that when we get out onto the field and on and off the aircraft that they’re familiar with it and they know what to do,” said Lothspeich.

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