Ohio National Guard News

Ohio Soldiers supply timber to local tribal
communities during Golden Coyote Exercise

Story and photos by Spc. Kristin Lichius
129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, South Dakota Army National Guard

Soldiers from the 1487th Transportation Company transport timber to the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D. This community support mission was conducted as part of the unit's annual training this summer, as part of the Golden Coyote training exercise. South Dakota Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Michael Beck reports. READ STORY

EAGLE BUTTE, S.D. (06/17/16) — Soldiers from the 1487th Transportation Company transported timber this summer during the 32nd Golden Coyote training exercise, a mission that allowed them to gain valuable experience in their military job skills and get the opportunity to partner with local tribal communities and provide a critical service to area residents.

The timber haul has been an integral part of the Golden Coyote exercise for many years and allows participating National Guard units to execute their community mission and build relations with tribal communities throughout the state.

“The wood from the timber haul is used for sun dances, powwows, to heat homes during the winter and for any other needs the community has,” said Doug Dupris, Cheyenne River Housing Authority maintenance director.

For Soldiers of the 1487th, an Ohio Army National Guard unit based in Piqua, Ohio, the timber haul required them to drive on unfamiliar routes in a convoy to complete the mission to deliver Timber to the Cheyenne River Reservation, near Eagle Butte. The unit primarily transports heavy equipment, so hauling timber was an opportunity to gain new, varied experience in their jobs.

“We have a lot of new drivers,” said Sgt. Jonathan Crum, a convoy commander with the 1487th. “We’re teaching them how to drive in a convoy, and safely secure the straps and chains on the trucks to make sure the loads don’t shift along the way.”

The South Dakota Army National Guard’s 152nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion (CSSB) coordinated with local tribal communities to determine how many loads of wood would be delivered to each drop site. Then, the transportation companies hauled the timber to each community.

“The convoy commanders were in constant communication with each other, as well as with coordinators at the drop sites,” said 1st Lt. Carla Mentele, liaison officer from the 152nd CSSB.

One hundred and fifty loads of timber was taken from the Black Hills and transported to Pierre, S.D., where it was distributed throughout the tribal communities.

“Being a former Soldier myself it is nice to work with the National Guard,” Dupris said. “You can tell the Soldiers thoroughly enjoy what they’re doing. It’s a good training exercise for them and the timber is appreciated.”

share on facebook