In Episode 188, Andrew Bundermann walked us through the Battle of Kamdesh – the attack on remote COP Keating in Afghanistan, where 53 U.S. cavalry scouts held off over 300 Taliban fighters attacking from the mountains above. Bundermann was the acting commander at COP Keating on the day of the attack. His company commander, now LTC Stoney Portis, was stranded at a nearby base because the helicopter he was flying in had taken enemy fire two days prior, and air assets were unable to get him back to COP Keating prior to the attack kicking off on October 3rd, 2009. In this episode, Portis chronicles his fight to get back to his men as the battle raged from dawn until dusk. Hearing him talk about what his men did to save not just the outpost, but each other, is a powerful testament to what soldiers will do for each other in combat. Stoney also shares the leadership challenges he faced after the battle, reconstituting a unit that had just endured a brutal fight that took some of their own. It’s clear from the way Stoney Portis speaks and carries himself, now and shortly after the Battle of Kamdesh, that his men couldn’t have asked for a better leader to get them through the dark times after the bullets stopped flying, as well as to let the world know about the great things his men did for each other on that fateful day in 2009 in the remote mountains of Afghanistan. Hear the full story on this latest edition of HAZARD GROUND!
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