Watch the first trailer for the Battle of Kamdesh thriller, ‘The Outpost’
The first trailer for the “The Outpost,” a big screen adaptation of Jake Tapper’s renowned book of the same name, has arrived, and given the magnitude of the film’s subject, let’s hope it does it justice.
Directed by former Army officer and West Point graduate Rod Lurie, “The Outpost” documents the events surrounding the nightmarish October 2009 Battle of Kamdesh — a 13-hour assault by nearly 400 Taliban forces on a detachment of only 50 American soldiers at Combat Outpost Keating.
“The Outpost” stars Orlando Bloom (“Lord of the Rings,” “Pirates of the Caribbean”) as 1st Lt. Benjamin Keating, Scott Eastwood (“Fury,” “Suicide Squad”) as Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha, and Caleb Landry Jones (“Get Out,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) as Staff Sgt. (then-Spc.) Ty Carter.
Each soldier was assigned to B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, when they found themselves at COP Keating, an unusually positioned outpost nestled in the bottom of a steep valley in northeastern Afghanistan. The position yielded advantageous high ground from nearly 360 degrees, leaving the men as sitting ducks to an unruly enemy’s coordinated attack.
Despite the odds, the attack — which remains one of the deadliest in the 20-year-old war in Afghanistan — also revealed American military valor on a scale not replicated since the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu.
Two Medals of Honor and nearly a dozen other combat valor awards made B Troop one of the war’s most decorated units.
Staff Sgt. Ty Carter was presented the Medal of Honor in August 2013 by President Barack Obama, just six months after Staff Sgt. Clint L. Romesha received the same award at a White House ceremony.
Romesha and Carter became the fourth and fifth living service members, respectively, to receive the nation’s highest award for heroism in Afghanistan or Iraq.
The Taliban launched their assault just before 6 a.m. on Oct. 3.
Rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns, a recoilless rifle, and small arms battered the scrambling soldiers amidst an incessant barrage of mortars that rained down onto the compound every 15 seconds.
Observation Post Fritsche, positioned to provide supporting fire for COP Keating, immediately came under a concentrated enemy attack that rendered it useless.
The first American soldier was killed within two minutes of the first shot being fired.
Twenty Afghan soldiers assisting the American detachment almost immediately abandoned the fight, allowing Taliban forces to breach one side of the compound within an hour of launching the attack.
As Taliban fighters closed in and began setting fire to the outpost, Romesha knew he had to act. Without cover, he sprinted to recon the area and pull reinforcements to the weakest points.
Romesha then took out an enemy machine gun team just before an incoming RPG destroyed the generator he was using for cover, peppering him with shrapnel. Still, he kept moving and rallied his men.
“Having those guys over there, those dear friends, we were all one team that day,” Romesha said. “Throughout the course of the day, knowing they’re relying on you just as much as you’re relying on them, kept me going.
[We] weren’t going to get beat that day."
Gathering a small team, Romesha maneuvered — continually exposed — to destroy enemy fighters who continued to close in, “including three Taliban fighters who had breached the combat outpost’s perimeter,” his citation read.
During the carnage, Romesha managed to establish radio communication with the tactical operations center, coordinating air support that would kill more than 30 Taliban fighters.
Word soon came down that several injured soldiers were stranded at one of the outpost’s more exposed locations.
After providing cover fire that enabled some of the wounded to retreat toward the aid station, Staff Sgt. Romesha’s team embarked on a harrowing 100-meter push in the face of intense fire to recover additional wounded, arriving just before the Taliban could reach them first.
Nearby, Carter and his men were pinned down and running low on ammunition. Twice, the Washington state native bolted across an exposed 100-meter stretch to bring back a resupply.
On his second trip, an RPG exploded near the unarmored truck where his team was taking cover. The blast knocked Carter unconscious and laced him with hot shrapnel.
When he regained consciousness, Taliban fighters had breached COP Keating. One of Carter’s friends, Spc. Stephen Mace, lay critically wounded in an exposed field of enemy fire.
Carter unhesitatingly ran through RPG and machine gun fire to get to Mace, who would later succumb to his wounds, carrying him to cover before returning once more to check on another wounded soldier.
There, Carter managed to recover his squad’s radio and immediately coordinated a medevac. Carter then “assisted in moving the wounded Soldier 100 meters through withering enemy fire to the aid station and before returning to the fight,” his citation reads.
With only his M4, Carter volunteered to remain behind and defend the exposed position until reinforcements arrived. He remained there for hours, burning through magazine after magazine of 5.56 ammunition to repel Taliban fighters that threatened to overrun their position.
Both Carter and Romesha would fight for another 12 hours until reinforcements finally arrived.
Romesha’s story would become the subject of the 2016 book, “Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor,” which he co-wrote with Kevin Fedarko. Romesha left active duty in 2011.
Carter, meanwhile, would deploy once more to Afghanistan in 2012 before eventually leaving active duty as a staff sergeant in 2014.
The Army vacated COP Keating following the battle, but not before destroying it. Eight soldiers died that day:
• Sgt. Chris Griffin
• Sgt. Justin Gallegos
• Sgt. Josh Kirk
• Sgt. Josh Hardt
• Sgt. Vernon Martin
• Spc. Stephen Mace
• Spc. Michael Scusa
• Pfc. Kevin Thomson
This really makes one wonder who the idiot was that decided to place a US outpost in this location. It defies all logic and tactical sense.
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I read the book Red Platoon by Clinton Romesha a few months back it was a hell of a battle, lots of heroes that day. You have to wonder why the military would build a fire base in a valley surrounded by hostile rag heads. Doesn't make any sense. Still, I will see the movie and appreciate those brave Americans for what they did there.
"But, as luck would have it, he stood up. He caught that chunk of lead." Gunnery Sergeant Carlos Hathcock
I read the book when it came out, and thought it gave an excellent over view of what a crap show the whole situation was along with what the soldiers had to endure.
My dad goes absolutely bat crap crazy when this story comes up.
We both agree that the Generals who were in charge of this colostomy bag must have skipped the class when they discussed Dien Bien Phu.
love that quote 'We're taking this bitch back!'
that is an exact quote Romesha said according to the book
God Bless those combat vets!
if you haven't read the books -- I highly recommend
there were actually TWO Medals of Honor earned that day and there is another film forthcoming about Ty Carter's experience IIRC
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
I think Jocko either interviewed someone over this battle or covered the book. Either way I remember it struck a note with me.
I'm in for this movie.
Train how you intend to Fight
Remember - Training is not sparring. Sparring is not fighting. Fighting is not combat.
IMDB says release date is July 3 (that could change) and it was filmed in Bulgaria:
|Gloom, despair and|
agony on me.
There is also a Medal if Honor series on Netflix that has an episode for each of these men.
i know we love to praise the "Greatest Generation"
but the GWOT proved we have plenty of younger Americans more than equal to the task
hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day -- take time to remember events like these
Proverbs 27:17 - As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Yes indeed, reminds me of this...
“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.” - Heraclitus.
Tomorrow's battle is won during today's practice.
Thanks for the heads up. I just put a reserve request in to my local digital library for Red Platoon.
"Cedat Fortuna Peritis"
There were a lot of vulnerable Army bases in Afghanistan, particularly in the Bermel District. "Outlaw Platoon" by Capt. Sean Parnell is a great book and 1st hand account of his experiences at hostile installations in Eastern Afghanistan.
I'm being repressed!
Scott Eastwood really reminds me of his dad in this one.
The Medal of Honor series mentioned above is really well done.
One of the interesting aspects of the battle was the fact that Sgt Romesha had a captured Soviet Draganov in his possession as a trophy. At the beginning of the battle, he used the Draganov to great effect before switching to his primary US issued weapon. It will be interesting to see if that's depicted in the movie.
Romesha had already been fighting hard, exposing himself to enemy fire countless times; he had the shrapnel wounds to show for it, but enough was enough. He squeezed the trigger on his trophy Soviet Dragonov sniper rifle and “put an end to that.” It was time to take Keating back.
Romesha, “Ro” to his Soldiers, seemed fearless as he ran from one position to another, securing this building, closing that entrance, inspiring his troops with his resolve and steely sense of calm.
“I think that’s what gave more motivation to Soldiers, just to see that this guy had no fear,” said now-Staff Sgt. Armando Avalos Jr., the unit’s forward observer. He just looked like an old Vietnam veteran with this long mustache, and just to see him out there, directing … not once was he ever questioned. He was precise, he was confident and he knew exactly what to do.”
I'm looking forward to this movie.
I was a Cav Scout back in the 80's.
Here's a good break down of the battle.
The Battle of COP Keating - October 3rd, 2009
"If they don't go concentrating on meaningless cosmetic changes, like rainbow this or two-tone that, or wood grip panels from the ackabalacka tree"-Parabellum
Seems very reminiscent of the Korean War with all the outposts out beyond the lines.
Read The Outpost War when you have a chance.
I wonder if outposts are created to get the enemy to amass in one area then annihilate them when the attack in force.
Let all Men know thee, but no man know thee thoroughly: Men freely ford that see the shallows.
General Henri Navarre?
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