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Combat Story

Sep 23, 2023

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Today we hear a second round Combat Story with long-time Night Stalker from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), Steve Lapping. Steve spent 31 years in Army Aviation, including two decades in 160th at the tip of the spear flying the MH-6 and AH-6.

This second round interview is chalked full of combat scenarios that Steve found himself in across 15 combat deployments, this time focusing primarily on his time flying guns for 160th. We talk vehicle interdictions, weapon malfunctions, danger close shots near women and children, a Dukes of Hazard-like chase, weaponeering, and more! 

Steve also shares his experiences on the Saddam Hussein capture (including something I’d never heard before about the aftermath of that operation) and the somber experience covering ground forces as they recovered the remains of Americans who didn’t survive the Jessica Lynch capture.

Many will recall our first interview with Steve, which was a clear favorite for so many listeners and seen or heard by over 200K people, as we touched on Steve’s childhood, decision to join the military (that story’s a great one where the advice he receives comes from an unexpected role model), and his combat experiences in Objectives REINDEER and LEADVILLE, which included a DFC. 

One thing that impressed me so much about Steve beyond being a CW5 and the unbelievable number of years he spent “rowing the boat” as he puts it (which is a reference to being at the very tip of the spear), is his humility and how he put his family as close to first as the mission will allow, wrapping up a storied career with the same wife and his children still by his side. 

With that, please enjoy this (second) wild ride from the cockpit of one of the baddest aircraft on the planet (no bias of course!) with Steve Lapping.


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- Intro Song: Sport Rock from Audio Jungle
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Show Notes:
00:00 - Intro 
00:53 - Guest Introduction (Steve Lapping)
02:39 - Interview begins
05:12 - Connection with Pete Blaber
08:55 - Training in calmness
10:21 - Good and bad leaders
13:42 - 9/11
17:10 - The Black Swarm
20:55 - Little Birds and A-10's
26:05 -  9 Lines
27:46 - Sadam Hussein Capture
36:20 - Sadam Hussein post-mission 
38:06 - Hello Fresh Ad
39:50 - Danger close shots
54:43 - First time pulling the trigger on a live target
01:02:12 - Training to take a life
01:12:48 - Layers of Management 
01:15:24 - Jessica Lynch
01:26:18 - Ground Force and SAS mission
01:38:28 - Ticket on the airfield
01:42:49 - Jumping into trees
01:48:50 - Sentimental Items and do it all again
01:50:00 - Family relations during deployments
01:54:01 - Listener comments and shout outs