Home / National News / Family of soldier killed in Niger wants to know if 'mistakes were made'


(WASHINGTON) — The brother of Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month, said he wants to know if the military may have made mistakes that ultimately led to his brother’s death.

“Even with adequate resources, a fully manned team and armored vehicles, these brave men would have been lucky to exit this situation with their lives,” Will Wright said in a statement released on Tuesday. “Our hope through this tragedy is to discern where, if any, mistakes were made and to fix them going forward.”

The statement came just hours after the Defense Department, which is investigating the Oct. 4 attack, provided the first official timeline of the events that led up to the ambush.

Wright, 29, and three other U.S. soldiers, Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35 and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson 39, were killed after their unit came in contact with a larger unit of local tribal fighters associated with ISIS, according the department.

Five Nigerien partner troops were also killed in the confrontation, the department said.

In a Monday briefing, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he still had major questions about the “tough firefight,” such as whether the unit’s mission changed at the last minute and if the troops had adequate intelligence, equipment and training.

“We owe you more information, more importantly, we owe the families of the fallen more information, and that’s what the investigation is designed to identify,” Dunford said. “Did the mission change? It’s a fair question.”

Wright’s family said it is aware of the Department of Defense’s ongoing investigation and “anxiously anticipated the release of more information regarding the attack.”

“We will wait patiently and work with our government and military, not against them, to find answers,” Will Wright said, speaking on behalf of his family. “In short, nothing that comes from this report will bring our Warriors back, but it can help to educate and prepare future Operators to better combat our enemies.”

“We do not blame the Army or the President; war is hell, and even the best laid plans go to the wayside when the first bullet flies,” he added.

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