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 ThomsonThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Sigmund,
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.
NRA Life Member
NRA Rifle Instructor
NRA Pistol Instructor
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The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected.
-- Robert Frost
|A man's got to know |
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?
Senza, I just finished the book and that wss one of my first thoughts...Phu-2.
"Cedat Fortuna Peritis"
The link has the same trailer plus several still photos.
The Outpost’ depicts leadership, valor and heartache of Battle of Kamdesh
By ROSE L. THAYER | STARS AND STRIPES
Published: June 30, 2020
AUSTIN, Texas — Movie audiences can experience one of America’s most decorated battles of the ongoing war in Afghanistan as “The Outpost,” a veteran-directed film on the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh, hits theaters and on-demand streaming services July 3.
The battle occurred Oct. 3, 2009, when more than 300 Taliban fighters attacked Combat Outpost Keating in a remote valley outside of Kamdesh. Outnumbered, about 50 soldiers from Bravo Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, fought for 12 hours as the enemy breached the walls of the outpost until reinforcements arrived. In the end, eight soldiers died and 27 were injured.
There were feats of heroism as well. Then-Spc. Ty Carter and Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha received the Medal of Honor and nine others were awarded the Silver Star. Nearly two dozen more received the Bronze Star and 27 received Purple Heart medals.
“This battle was won as a result of very strong leadership on the ground and very strong character embedded into these men,” said Rod Lurie, director of “The Outpost,” and 1984 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. “The leadership at the ground level, in the captains and below, was absolutely extraordinary.”
Lurie, who directed “The Last Castle” and “Straw Dogs,” said he is energized by movies of leadership, character and principle, and was immediately drawn to that element of the battle.
“In this particular battle, their only mission was to survive. The mission of the base eventually became just stay alive. That is how it ended,” he said. “Eight men died in this battle, but 46 survived and it was due to the leadership, but also the fact that every man died trying to save another man.
“We learn much more about ourselves by what we are willing to die for as opposed to what we are willing to kill for. That is a lesson that I really learned as I was making this film,” he said.
To re-create the terrain of COP Keating — in a lush, jungle-like valley surrounded by steep mountains near the Pakistan border — Lurie found a quarry in Bulgaria where he rebuilt the base. Veterans of the battle helped bring their experiences to life, including Carter, who left the Army as a staff sergeant in 2014.
“It did bring back a lot of memories. There was an off-putting eerie feeling,” Carter said of the set. He served as a military adviser and co-producer. “A couple times I got emotional just watching or seeing the replay on the screen.”
Though Carter has a small acting role in the film, his actions in battle are portrayed on screen by actor Caleb Landry Jones. Romesha, fellow Medal of Honor recipient, is portrayed by Scott Eastwood.
In a way, Carter said seeing the filming was a form of therapy. “You watch somebody else do it over and over again, it removes the anxiety,” he said.
Fellow veterans of COP Keating Stoney Portis, Christopher Cordova, Daniel Rodriguez and Henry Hughes also spent time on set, Lurie said. Hughes was a co-producer and actor in the film, portraying Brad Larson. Rodriguez portrays himself in the movie. During the battle he was in the mortar pit when Pfc. Kevin Thomson died — the first of eight deaths.
“He had to recreate the death of his best friend for us to watch,” Lurie said.
There is no shying from death — or its impact on survivors — to re-create such a bloody battle. That challenge nearly caused Lurie to walk away from the project after his 27-year-old son, Hunter Lurie, died suddenly of a blood clot in 2018. The movie is dedicated to him in the closing credits.
“I didn’t know if I would be able to make the film,” he said, noting the closeness in age of his son and the men who died at COP Keating. Most of them have surviving family members who continue to grieve the loss. “What I did know is how to film their deaths because if somebody were to make a movie about the death of my son, I wouldn’t want to have sweet music. I wouldn’t want to have it glamorized. I would just want the world to see exactly how he died with the precise fanfare in which he died, because that would be the most respectful thing.”
With the encouragement of his daughter, Lurie said he was able to return to the movie.
“The deaths in the middle of battle are matter of fact, because you can’t stop and sort of memorialize the moment of somebody’s death. You have to move on,” Lurie said. “They are killed with the indifference of war in our film.”
The movie does take liberty with the way it portrays previous commanders of the outpost, 1st Lt. Ben Keating and Capt. Robert Yllescas. Keating died while serving at the base in 2006 and it was later named in his honor. He is played by Orlando Bloom in the movie.
Yllescas died there in 2008 and is portrayed by Milo Gibson. Their stories are the first half of the movie and help build the narrative of the poor placement of the outpost and how closely the enemy observed the base.
“It was one of the great follies of the military that these outposts were ever created,” Lurie said. Created for counterinsurgency to stem the flow of weapons from Pakistan, it was “a death trap.”
“This outpost was placed in a really godforsaken place,” he said.
In the months that followed the Battle of Kamdesh, two Army officers were disciplined for “inadequate planning” in setting up the base and reacting to reports of planned attacks.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper wrote a book about the COP Keating titled, “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” published in 2012, which spanned the history of the base. He helped transform the 500-page book into a script that included Keating and Yllescas and fit into a 123-minute film.
“Putting them into this narrative required playing with time and taking liberties with the fact that [they] did not serve with guys from 3-61,” said Tapper, who discussed the rewriting in real time with veterans and families through a private Facebook group. “In this case, the desire was to honor [Keating and Yllescas] and illustrate how dangerous it was at COP Keating.”
Tapper noted there were other soldiers who died at the base over the years it existed, but he was just not able to write them into the script. “It’s sad that they’re not,” Tapper said. “There’s no right decision.”
Families previewed the film in late 2019 with the expectation it would premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in March. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the festival was canceled.
“The Outpost” will be released July 3 in select theaters, but also is available for purchase at home through most on-demand streaming services, only in the United States.
Former Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, film director Rod Lurie, CNN anchor Jake Tapper and actor Scott Eastwood will discuss “The Outpost” with National Medal of Honor Museum President and CEO Joe Daniels at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The film is based on Tapper’s nonfiction book “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor,” which tells the story of the 2009 Battle of Kamdesh in Afghanistan. Carter and former Staff Sgt. Clinton Romesha received the Medal of Honor for their actions in that battle.
Panelists will give an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the movie, which releases to select theaters and on-demand streaming services Friday, and discuss the importance of telling the stories of American heroes. Attendees are invited to listen but will not be able to ask questions.
To RSVP, go to https://ev2.perigonlive.com/1-...480a95d99a7411d13f8a.
Everyone in the Command staff that chose and sited troops in that location should have been court martialed.
One of the photos I saw of the outpost showed a wrecked Soviet APC on the camp outskirts.
Hint.... Hint.... Hint!
End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
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