Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan’s most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban.
The film follows the 2nd Platoon of Battle Company on a 15-month deployment in the Korengal Valley of northeast Afghanistan. It chronicles the lives of the men from their deployment to the time of their return home.
The Korengal Valley was at the time regarded as the deadliest place on Earth (as stated in the documentary itself, trailers, and television commercials on the National Geographic Channel).
The goal of the deployment is to clear the Korengal Valley of insurgency and continue to gain the trust of the local populace. They begin their deployment at OP Korengal, and early in the campaign PFC Restrepo is killed, as well as another team member.
The film portrays the construction of an advanced outpost, OP Restrepo, as well as the challenges and intermittent firefights they faced while they managed to build the outpost from nothing in only one night. In the latter portion of the film, the extremely dangerous mission Operation Rock Avalanche is shown along with some of its tragic consequences, such as dead civilians and soldiers, as well as the emotional distress that the soldiers are left with in its aftermath.