The Rapid City Journal reports today that the Golden Coyote training exercise is underway in the Black Hills of South Dakota:

Here for the Golden Coyote training exercise, military units are working to re-create the stress of combat and mixture of civilian, tourist and wildlife populations soldiers encounter in war theaters such as Iraq and Afghanistan, all while training with foreign soldiers.

In addition to military units from six countries and 17 states, the exercise includes units from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and Suriname.

Capt. Mitchell Nachtigall, who was overseeing the exercise, said the international forces and the U.S. are involved in “familiarization” activities.

“They’re not as aware of us, that there are actually other people out there,” said a Canadian soldier coordinating the exercise with American soldiers. “They are very American-focused, while we’re very multinational.”

In 2010, the National Guard posted the following on their web page:

Created in the mid 1980’s by the South Dakota National Guard, with the cooperation of the National Forest Service and Custer State Park, the Golden Coyote training exercise will allow nearly 2,200 service members to be brought together into a combined joint task force with a mission to provide force protection, humanitarian aid, and infrastructure improvement in a realistic training environment and provide valuable services to the public.

Emphasis added.