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4 Soldiers Fought To Their Deaths In Niger Ambush, Pentagon Now Says
Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, and Sgt. La David T. Johnson died after their convoy was ambushed by a large force of ISIS fighters, which “began to envelop” the U.S. and Nigerien troops near the village of Tongo, according to a new unclassified Pentagon summary of the investigation into the Oct. 4, 2017, ambush in Niger.
When the team leader ordered the combined force of U.S. and Nigerien troops to withdraw, the convoy lost sight of a vehicle with Wright, Black and Jeremiah Johnson, which stayed at the ambush site, the summary says:
Staff Sgt. White entered the third vehicle and began driving it slowly to the south while Staff Sgt. J. Johnson and Staff Sgt. Black moved next to the vehicle using it as cover while providing suppressive fire. During the movement, enemy small arms fire hit Staff Sgt. Black killing him instantly. Staff Sgt. Wright halted the vehicle and dismounted.
Despite increasing enemy fire, both Staff Sgt. White and Staff Sgt. J. Johnson remained with Staff Sgt. Black and attempted to provide cover and assess his wounds. Overrun by enemy fighters, Staff Sgt. Wright and Staff Sgt. J. Johnson were forced to evade on foot.
At approximately 85 meters from the vehicle, enemy small arms fire hit Staff Sgt. J. Johnson, severely wounding him. Staff Sgt. Wright stopped and returned to Staff Sgt. J. Johnson, and continued to engage the enemy until each was shot and killed by small arms fire.
Staff Sgt. Black, Staff Sgt. Wright and Staff Sgt. J. Johnson were never captured alive by the enemy. As enemy fighters advanced through the ambush site, they fired several additional bursts into the bodies of the three soldiers.
The rest of the team stopped about 700 meters away and then sent U.S. and Nigerien troops to find the missing soldiers, but the convoy was forced to move again to avoid being overrun, the summary says. Heavy enemy fire prevented La David Johnson and Nigerien troops from getting inside their vehicle as the rest of the team drove away.
“Unable to reach the vehicle and with enemy forces rapidly closing on their position, they were forced to evade on foot,” the summary says:
Running in a westerly direction, the first Nigerien soldier was shot and killed approximately 460 meters from Position Two. The second Nigerien soldier was shot and killed approximately 110 meters further to the west.
Sgt. L. Johnson continued to return fire against the pursuing enemy. The enemy suppressed Sgt. L. Johnson with a vehicle-mounted heavy machine gun. Dismounted enemy then maneuvered on Sgt. L. Johnson killing him with small arms fire.
The enemy did not capture Sgt. L. Johnson alive. Sgt. L. Johnson’s hands were not bound and he was not executed but was killed in action while actively engaging the enemy.
The 38 remaining members of the team were saved by French and Nigerien forces, the summary says. Sgt. La David Johnson’s body was recovered two days after the ambush.
In March, some media outlets showed video released by the Islamic State, showing the American soldiers being killed during the Oct. 4 ambush. The video included footage of the soldiers’ helmet cameras and showed a soldier falling after getting hit and then being shot again. (Task & Purpose has chosen not to post or share the footage.)
The investigation found several problems in how the mission was planned and executed: The U.S. special operations forces did not conduct pre-deployment training as a collective team; the mission’s concept of operations was not approved at the proper level of command; a captain was the highest ranking commander who knew about the mission’s purpose; and the team did not conduct pre-mission rehearsals before the Oct. 4 mission.
Still, the unclassified investigation summary emphasized there was “no single failure or deficiency” that led to the deaths of the four soldiers.
In the aftermath of the deadly ambush, the commander of U.S. Africa Command is implementing changes to how missions are approved and planned, according to the summary — which does not specify what exactly these changes involve.
“Personnel actions relevant to this incident, including recognition for acts of valor and appropriate administrative or disciplinary action, if warranted, will be addressed by the military commands with administrative authority over personnel at issue,” the summary states.
The wait is over: the Marine Corps's brand new sniper is officially ready for action.
The Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle reached full operational capacity earlier this year after extensive testing, Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday. Now, the new rifle is finally available in both scout snipers and recon Marine arsenals.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran announced on Monday it had captured 17 spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and sentenced some of them to death, deepening a crisis between the Islamic Republic and the West.
Iranian state television published images that it said showed the CIA officers who had been in touch with the suspected spies.
In a statement read on state television, the Ministry of Intelligence said 17 spies had been arrested in the 12 months to March 2019. Some have been sentenced to death, according to another report.
One of the few things that aggravates your friend and humble narrator more than hazelnut flavored coffee is Soviet apologists.
Case in point: A recent opinion piece in the New York Times claims the Soviet space program was a model for equality, noting the Soviets put a woman into space 20 years before NASA when Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova orbited the Earth in 1963.
"Cosmonaut diversity was key for the Soviet message to the rest of the globe: Under socialism, a person of even the humblest origins could make it all the way up," wrote Sophie Pinkham just in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
This 100-year-old vet escaped a Nazi prison camp. Now he's at the center of a lawsuit over a Bible at his local VA
Herman "Herk" Streitburger was on his final bombing mission and due to go home when his plane was hit by German fighters over Hungary in 1944. He was captured and held as a prisoner of war, enduring starvation, forced marches and a harrowing escape.
Streitburger just turned 100 years old. That makes him a national treasure as well as a Granite State hero.
Streitburger, who lives in Bedford, gets around using a cane and remains active in POW groups and events. It was he who donated his family Bible to a POW "missing man" display at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, which prompted a federal First Amendment lawsuit.
And every year, he tells his World War II story to Manchester schoolchildren. It's a story worth retelling.
A new Marine Corps anti-drone system that attaches to all-terrain vehicles and can scan the skies for enemy aircraft from aboard Navy ships was responsible for destroying an Iranian drone, Military.com has learned.