The three American soldiers killed in a drone attack at a U.S. base in Jordan this weekend were Army Reservists from a Georgia-based engineer unit.
Sgt. William Rivers, Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett were killed in the Jan. 28 attack when an unmanned aerial system crashed into the container units they were using for housing on the base.
At least 40 additional U.S. troops were injured, Pentagon officials said.
All three soldiers were assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, which is based at Fort Moore, Ga. Rivers and Sanders had deployed to Iraq and Djibouti previously, while Moffett was on her first deployment, according to brief biographies the Army Reserve released on all three soldiers.
A Pentagon spokesperson said the late hour of the attack meant many troops were asleep when the drone struck. The Pentagon spokesperson, however, could not explain why the soldiers were in their housing unit rather than in a shelter. U.S. troops in the region have been attacked 165 times in the last three months; enduring enemy fire in bomb shelters is a standard response.
The attack came at a U.S. installation known as Tower 22, which has been a base for U.S. helicopters in the past. Tower 22 sits in the farthest northeastern corner of Jordan, just a few hundred yards from the Syrian border and minutes from the border with Iraq. The Associated Press reported that air defense troops on the base might have mistaken the incoming drone for a friendly aircraft.
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Sabrina Singh, deputy Pentagon press secretary, told reporters Monday that the attack “has the footprints of Kata’ib Hezbollah.”
U.S. officials have blamed Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed group, for deadly attacks on American forces in the Middle East. In turn, the U.S. military has launched airstrikes against the group. In January 2020, an American drone strike in Baghdad killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of Kata’ib Hezbollah, along with Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps at the time.
Reservists from Georgia
Rivers, 46, was originally from Willingboro, N.J. Sanders, 24, was from Waycross, Ga. Moffett, 23, was from Savannah, Ga.
“I would like to give my condolences to the families, loved ones, and teammates of these incredible soldiers,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Lazaroski, Commanding General, 412th Theater Engineer Command.
“We are reminded that the brave men and women who defend our great nation put their lives on the line each and every day to keep our country safe. They represent the best of America. We will remember their service and their sacrifice.”
Rivers enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2011 as an Interior Electrician, the Pentagon said. He was first assigned to the 990th Engineer Company at Fort McGuire-Dix in N.J. and in 2018 was deployed to Iraq for nine months. In 2023, Rivers joined the 926th Engineer Brigade at Fort Moore.
River’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal and National Defense Service Medal.
Sanders enlisted in the Army Reserve in 2019 as a horizontal construction engineer. She joined the 381st Engineer Company in Tifton, Ga. and in 2021 deployed to Djibouti for eight months. She joined the 926th in 2023.
Sander’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal.
Moffett was also a horizontal construction engineer, joining in 2019, also with the Tifton-based 381st. She also joined the 926th in In 2023.
Moffett’s awards include the National Defense Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
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