Eighth anniversary of Battle of COP Keating

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Eighth anniversary of Battle of COP Keating

Today is the eighth anniversary of the Battle for COP Keating, which long time readers of the Burn Pit are familiar with.  If you aren't, you can read my Magazine article on the battle and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Clint Romesha's role in it BY CLICKING HERE:

The Battle for COP Keating produced a constellation of medals: 27 Purple Hearts, 37 Army Commendation Medals with “V” devices for valor, three Bronze Stars, 18 Bronze Stars with “V” devices, and nine Silver Stars. Staff Sgt. Clinton “Clint” Romesha recently received the Medal of Honor for his actions that day, and another soldier, Sgt. Ty Carter, has been recommended for one.  [Editor's note: Ty would later receive his Medal of Honor.]

The enemy death toll is estimated at between 150 and 200. Eight U.S. soldiers paid the ultimate price that day: Justin T. Gallegos of Tucson, Ariz.; Christopher Griffin of Kincheloe, Mich.; Kevin C. Thomson of Reno, Nev.; Michael P. Scusa of Villas, N.J.; Vernon W. Martin of Savannah, Ga.; Stephan L. Mace of Lovettsville, Va.; Joshua J. Kirk of South Portland, Maine; and Joshua M. Hardt of Applegate, Calif.

The video with Clint from CBS Sunday Morning is perhaps my favorite one of all time, because he really is this humble:

COP Keating coincided with my becoming a blogger here for The American Legion, and we leapt into action as soon as we heard that their stuff had been destroyed.  By the end of our fundraiser we received roughly $250,000 in goods and monetary donations.  You can read the original post HERE, but because of changes in the blog the formatting looks pretty weird.  Nonetheless, an article put on the Legion website at the time discusses it:

Soldiers attacked by enemy forces at Command Outpost Keating in Afghanistan are reaping the benefits of an American Legion-inspired fundraising campaign that brought in more than $100,000 in donations.

The money has been used to buy comfort items for the soldiers, who survived an onslaught from about 300 enemy insurgents. When COP Keating came under attack Oct. 3, members of Bravo Troop 3-61 Cavalry from Fort Carson, Colo., had to call in an air strike on their own position that destroyed their personal possessions.

Most of the 56 survivors left the region with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and their weapons. Lost were all their personal items, including computers, cameras, books, video games and other comfort items that brought some respite from the war.

Soon after the attack, one of the soldiers e-mailed The American Legion and expressed concern that no one at home knew what they were doing in Afghanistan, and that no one really cared. The soldier’s words were posted on The Burn Pit (www.burnpit.legion.org), and the Legion’s COP Keating Relief Fund was born. In less than a week, more than $50,000 poured in. Computer Science Corp. offered laptop computers, Target matched the $50,000 with gift cards and merchandise, and Legionnaires in three cities rallied to the cause.

The American Legion also got videos with both TY and Clint:

Proud to know both Ty and Clint, and even more proud that the Legion could step up and help them when they needed it.

Posted in the burner | 15 comments
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Apparently this country, driven by greed and power, has no intention of learning or holding any upper level authority figure accountable for incompetence in performance. NCOs would certainly have been subject to court martial.

For a very well written very descriptive honest account of what transpired at COP Keating - check out MOH Clinton Romesha's book :Red Platoon.

I read that book and really did not like it. Clint exhibited more hubris than the president did when he took credit for killing OBL. He characterizes the dead as either dumb or unlucky and takes pains to throw his contemporaries under the bus while glorifying every step he took. I understand that two people can experience the same thing and each version will be shaded by his or her own experiences, but I am used to MOH recipients who are humble. He doesn't fit the mold.

god Bless all of our MOH recipients! too bad a couple had to be awarded by Obama!

Too bad there always has to be a jag off like you that feels the need to politicize everything.

Need I say more?

I am embarrassed and ashamed. If I did know anything about COP Keating at the time, I have long since forgot. I can tell you all about the battle of Britain, Midway, Leyte Gulf. Thank you for reminding me that all battles where our people risk their lives are just as important.

i agree , what officer or officer's had this post built. it looks like a fish bowl. just like in corporate america the big dogs make the rules and the little guys have to pay for it.

Speaking of "fish bowls", take a look at COP Michigan. So many locations are open to downward shooting positions seems to be common. These unprotected sites are why personnel are being shot in their chow halls and showers..
iev COP Michigan.

Speaking of "fish bowls", take a look at COP Michigan. So many locations are open to downward shooting positions seems to be common. These unprotected sites are why personnel are being shot in their chow halls and showers..
iev COP Michigan.

Speaking of "fish bowls", take a look at COP Michigan. So many locations are open to downward shooting positions seems to be common. These unprotected sites are why personnel are being shot in their chow halls and showers..
iev COP Michigan.

The only reason the base must have been placed there in the first place would be to draw out the enemy so they could be destroyed. In that case the area coordinates should have been preset for artillery before the base was even manned, and later drills with these memorized, by officer(s) and non-coms, called in with the shelling starting within 10 minutes, soon destroying the enemy. Both the French and Americans earlier lost heavily using these tactics in bad weather using aircraft. By this period our administration was probably more concerned about non-combats in the village than the soldiers on the compound.

Yet another politicizing comment? Mmmmmmmm . . .

Yes, COP Michigan was almost an exact replica of COP Keating. Located in a very similar place; in a valley by a river. There are reasons. These rivers and the trails that run along them are major travel routes. Supplies and personnel, ours and the enemies, could move much easier in the bottom than across the top of the mountains. While this did leave our soldiers like sitting ducks, our soldiers also had positions high up on the ridges looking over the valleys. Still, it was not ideal. Another reason is that trying to build an outpost up on a mountain or ridge is time consuming and difficult. These COPs we usually constructed in weeks with minimal clearing and leveling required. This put our soldiers in the area ASAP. I would also recommend watching the documentary Taking Fire. This was put together from soldier worn helmet cams in COP Michigan. If you want a first hand on the scene look at what it is like then watch it.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.