Bill is joined by Stu Velasco and Zach Popp of The Boardwalk Podcast (also hosted by Kyle Reynolds who couldn’t make it, shoutout Kyle Reynolds) to discuss the trials and tribulations of their time in service to the U.S. during the long war.
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About the guests
Stu, Zach, and Kyle met in 2016 while working in the Kandahar Intelligence Fusion Cell (KIFC) at TAAC-S. Stu was the Uruzgan Provincial Analyst, Zach the Kandahar Provincial Analyst, and Kyle the Political-Military (Green and White) Analyst. They created The Boardwalk Podcast in May 2021.
Stu joined the Army as an All Source Intelligence Analyst in 2011 and upon completion of Airborne school was assigned to 1st BN, 3rd SFG at Fort Bragg (now Fort Liberty), North Carolina. Stu deployed to Afghanistan 3 times, supporting SOTF-E, SOTF-NE, and SOTF-A operations in Afghanistan. After leaving the Army in 2016, returned to Afghanistan as a contractor, providing intelligence support to conventional operations at Kandahar Airfield and FOB Lightning in Paktiya. He switched contracts in late 2017 to a Forward Supporting Engineer role providing training and upkeep with intelligence systems (mainly Palantir) with Special Forces, Rangers, and conventional forces throughout Afghanistan until March 2020.
Zach joined the Army as an All Source Intelligence Analyst in 2008 and was assigned to XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Zach deployed to Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq with XVIII Airborne Corps in 2010 in support of Operation New Dawn. Upon redeployment, he was assigned to I Corps at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Zach left the Army in 2015 and went to Afghanistan in 2016 as a contractor, providing intelligence support to Train, Advise, Assist Command-South and TF Warhawk at Kandahar Airfield.