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U.S. Forces Afghanistan released the findings from the investigation into the Oct. 3, 2009 complex attack on Combat Outpost Keating in the Kamdesh district of Nuristan province, Afghanistan.
Soldiers of B Troop, 3rd Squadron, 61st Calvary heroically repelled a complex attack from an enemy force of 300, killing approximately 150 enemy fighters. The attack resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. Service members and the wounding of 22 more. The investigative report provides facts, findings and recommendations about the incident.
The report determined that commanders must continue to assess the value and vulnerabilities of each COP throughout the rugged terrain of Afghanistan, and made several recommendations to improve coalition tactics. The investigation concluded that critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets which had been supporting COP Keating had been diverted to assist ongoing intense combat operations in other areas, that intelligence assessments had become desensitized to reports of massing enemy formations by previous reports that had proved false, and needed force protection improvements were not made because of the imminent closure of the outpost. These factors resulted in an attractive target for enemy fighters.
The report also found that the Soldiers and junior leaders fought heroically in repelling an enemy force five times their size. Members of B Troop upheld the highest standards of warrior ethics and professionalism and distinguished themselves with conspicuous gallantry, courage, and bravery under the heavy enemy fire that surrounded them.
Based on the recommendations in the investigation, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal took appropriate action regarding Army personnel involved. McChrystal also issued guidance to commanders and NCOs at all levels throughout both ISAF and USFOR-A to ensure the lessons learned from the investigation findings and recommendations were incorporated into current practices to prevent or mitigate future incidents.