Modern War Institute at West Point
Top 10 The Spear Episodes
Best episodes ranked by Goodpods Users most listened
Armor in Ramadi, Part 1
03/03/22 • 29 min
In 2004, Dan Gade’s armor company took over a sector of Ramadi, Iraq, then the heart of the Sunni insurgency. Within days, his unit suffered its first fatality. As a company commander, Gade had the responsibility to lead his troops back outside the wire the next day regardless of the emotional toll Tyler’s death might have taken. In the first episode of a two-part series, Gade describes how his company continued to patrol, taking contact from enemy forces nearly daily.
The Fighting XO
02/16/22 • 41 min
As an executive officer of an infantry company at Forward Operating Base Fenty in Afghanistan, Michael Houghton was heavily involved in one of his company's primary missions: conduct counter–indirect fire patrols. Fenty was routinely targeted and these patrols were important for protecting the personnel and assets located there. Houghton was responsible for orchestrating the fight as what his commander called “a fighting XO.” After repeated enemy ambushes and rocket attacks from a known point-of-origin site, his company commander launched an operation to ambush their attackers. The fighting XO was needed to manage the battle and support while the commander led the fight. Listen as he shares the story in this episode.
A Machine Gunner's Wound
02/03/22 • 42 min
In an episode of The Spear released in June 2021, Karl Blanke shared a story that featured the actions of one of his former Marines, Lance Corporal Jackson (a pseudonym). “Jackson” was a machine gunner in the 1st Marine Division and took part in the march to Baghdad in 2003, where he was wounded in a firefight and awarded a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device for his actions. In this episode, we hear the story from Jackson's perspective.
Preparing to Evade
01/20/22 • 52 min
In 2011, Todd Angstman and his Special Forces team deployed to Gao, Mali, to provide training and assistance to the Malian Armed Forces. Gao was an important city, the hub of trans-Saharan trade, and had a combined arms task force deployed there, working with Angstman's Green Berets. The Arab Spring and subsequent uprising in Libya led to a decrease in security across northern Mali as displaced Tuareg tribesmen entered Mali. What was supposed to be a simple training mission took on more ominous tone as instability threatened the team. In this episode, Angstman recounts a fascinating tale of having to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Ambushed in Baghdad
01/05/22 • 69 min
On August 11, 2004, Staff Sgt. John Borman’s platoon ventured out on what was supposed to be a short counter-mortar observation mission. Except that day, instead of targeting Camp War Eagle, the Mahdi Army targeted John’s observation post with accurate indirect fire. To top it off, John wasn’t even supposed to be in Iraq that day. He was supposed to be in Wisconsin at his sister’s wedding. After fixing a damaged HMMWV, John’s patrol pushed to another position that turned out to be a U-shaped ambush supported by mortars. John was wounded in that ambush and tells us the story of that day and of his recovery.
Fire in the Skies Over Baghdad
12/22/21 • 48 min
In this episode, retired US Air Force Col. Kim Campbell joins to share a story from 2003. A career A-10 pilot, her squadron was deployed to the Middle East at the beginning of the war in Iraq. During a mission, she and her flight lead in another A-10 responded to a call for air support from a US unit engaged with Iraqi troops. On her last rocket pass, she felt and heard an explosion—and knew immediately that she had been hit. Listen as she explains what happened that day and how she responded when she suddenly found herself flying a heavily damaged aircraft.
12/08/21 • 49 min
In early 2019, Eric Kahle was a first sergeant assigned to an aviation maintenance company bound for Forward Operating Base (FOB) Dahlke in Afghanistan—also known as “Rocket City.” It was not long before rockets became a common occurrence for the soldiers of Delta Company and Kahle was mentally transported back to his first combat deployment in 2006 to Iraq. That deployment, which saw the loss of flight crews and friends, impacted how Kahle approached combat leadership and taking care of his soldiers. Faced with an ever-increasing threat from indirect fire, Kahle and his commander trained their soldiers how to react regardless of where they were on the FOB. On August 10, 2019, their training was tested when a rocket hit the soldiers’ housing area.
Shot in Baghdad
11/24/21 • 69 min
In the fall of 2006, Rory McGovern was a company fire support officer assigned to a combined arms team operating in the area around Abu Ghraib, Iraq. The day after Christmas, he was on a security patrol in support of a local sheikh’s Hajj send-off party when a shot rang out. McGovern had been hit. He shares the story of that encounter with the sniper and subsequent recovery in this episode.
Mosul Gets Hot, Part 2
11/10/21 • 34 min
On December 21, a suicide bomber detonated inside the dining facility on Forward Operating Base Marez outside of Mosul. Twenty-two people were killed in the blast, including Captain William Jacobsen, Matt Sacra’s company commander. Not long after, Sacra was wounded for the first time while serving as an advisor to the Iraqi Army. Following a lengthy recovery, Matt was wounded on his first mission outside the wire.
Matt recently finished writing and editing The Armor of God in Iraq: An Armor Officer’s Faith, Growth, and Protection in Combat for upcoming publication by The Second Mission Foundation. Listen to the full story below, and be sure to subscribe to The Spear so you don’t miss the second part. Find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, or your favorite podcast app.
Armor in Ramadi, Part 2
03/17/22 • 28 min
In the second episode in a two-part series, Dan Gade joins The Spear to tell the story of his 2004 deployment to Ramadi, Iraq. After his unit suffered the deaths of two soldiers—the difficulty of which he discussed in the previous episode—his company continued to engage in frequent and heavy action with insurgents. But as coalition forces began to adopt a population-centric approach to providing security, Dan and his company found themselves increasingly conducting missions without the protective armor of their M1A2 Abrams tanks. On one mission, in January 2005, the lack of armor proved almost deadly to him. He shares the story in this episode.
How many episodes does The Spear have?
The Spear currently has 153 episodes available.
What topics does The Spear cover?
The podcast is about News, Podcasts and Government.
What is the most popular episode on The Spear?
The episode title 'Armor in Ramadi, Part 1' is the most popular.
What is the average episode length on The Spear?
The average episode length on The Spear is 43 minutes.
How often are episodes of The Spear released?
Episodes of The Spear are typically released every 14 days.
When was the first episode of The Spear?
The first episode of The Spear was released on Jul 5, 2017.
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