From that moment, manning the mortars was impossible for Bravo Troop.
For years, the Taliban had been testing COP Keating's defenses, one attack at a time.
They studied the base's perimeters from various positions on the mountain, high above the base.
It was clear, almost immediately, that this was a well-coordinated attack and it had been launched by more than just a handful of insurgents.
What the soldiers didn't know was that the Taliban had hidden mortars, rockets and heavy machine guns in the mountains around the base. The soldiers couldn't see the hundreds of militants who had taken up positions around them.
Among them were Taliban snipers who picked off soldiers in the base below.
Sgt. Joshua Kirk was killed while returning fire; Spec. Michael Scusa was gunned down as he ran to deliver ammunition.
Amid the explosions and gunfire, Romesha was trying to organize and rally his soldiers.
"The shots just kept coming in and coming in and coming in," Jones said. "I could barely hear myself think. I mean everywhere around me was being hit."
It was then the radio crackled with more bad news: Five men were pinned down inside a Humvee. Among them were Romesha's close friends in the platoon: Sgts. Justin Gallegos and Brad Larson.
They were taking heavy fire. They were running out of ammunition. They were unable to hold out much longer.
As the gunfire and mortars rained down on the Humvee, Romesha spotted several areas where militants were firing from.
His plan, Romesha radioed to Gallegos, was that he and another soldier would lay down cover fire so the five could escape the Humvee.
Romesha and Spec. Justin Gregory scrambled atop a generator and opened fire, focusing on the Taliban fighters firing at the Humvee.
By doing that, Romesha made a mistake, he would later say.
The staff sergeant had always taught his troops not to fixate on a target. "Keep your head on a swivel," looking to the left and right, he told them.
As Romesha was focused on trying to help the men in the Humvee, the "enemy had snuck up on my right side and fired an RPG right at the generator I was on."
The RPG knocked Romesha onto Gregory, who was wounded by shrapnel.