On the morning of October 3rd, 2009, American Combat Outpost Keating was attacked by over 300 Taliban fighters, the small outpost defended by just 53 U.S. cavalry scouts. The location of COP Keating couldn’t have been any worse from a tactical standpoint, inviting the inevitable before American forces would shut it down: an overwhelming attack by insurgent fighters. The small outpost sat along the banks of a river at the base of the mountains, deep within Afghanistan’s rugged Nuristan province. Built in 2006, COP Keating’s strategic purpose was initially to serve as a base from which U.S. Army counterinsurgency efforts could win-over local Afghan villagers; however, after a few years, it had produced little counterinsurgency benefit. On the day it was attacked with overwhelming force, Andrew Bundermann, a platoon leader at the time, was the acting commander. He and his soldiers mounted a successful counter-attack, eventually taking back the outpost, but at the cost of losing eight men from their unit. Two soldiers would receive the Medal of Honor, and Bundermann would ultimately receive the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions during the battle. It was one of the most intense firefights of the war, which by all accounts, Bundermann and his men should have lost. Hear how they took back COP Keating on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND!
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