first published on November 6, 2018 by Will
The Pentagon has handed out punishments to six troops for their roles in the Oct. 4, 2017 deadly Niger ambush, which left four American and four Nigerian soldiers dead.
The highest ranking of those punished is two-star Air Force Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks, who was the commander of all special operations troops in Africa at the time. Hicks received a reprimand for not having sufficient oversight of the officers under him.
Two of the Green Berets that were actually in the ambush received punishments as well. CPT Mike Perozeni, the Special Forces team leader of the operation, and his senior non commissioned officer received reprimands for insufficient training and a lack of mission rehearsals prior to the failed operation.
Three additional soldiers, not present at the ambush, but in the chain of command were reprimanded as well.
SFC Jeremiah Johnson, SSG Bryan Black, SGT La David Johnson and SSG Dustin Wright were killed in the ambush by Islamic State-aligned militants. According to the investigation reports, the special operations team were on a kill-or-capture mission targeting a known terror leader, although they were not authorized to take on that role.
Initially, the mission called for helicopters with combat reinforcements aboard to shadow the maneuver element, but because of inclement weather conditions, was grounded. The leadership decided to go ahead with the operation anyway, using only the ground force.
Unknown to them, they were being tracked and maneuvered on by a hostile force that had superior numbers at a three to one rate. The enemy attack was underestimated by the Green Berets, and it quickly turned deadly.
Horrific footage of the ambush hit social media after being uploaded by the attacking force’s public relations team. The footage was a combination of the soldiers’ helmet cams as well jihadist cell phone camera clips. It was heavily overplayed with Islamist propaganda and showed dead US troops as well as the violent execution of a soldier as well.