Fourth soldier killed in Niger identified

Sgt. La David Johnson, 25,

On Friday, the Department of Defense confirmed that the three soldiers that were killed Wednesday in southwest Niger were stationed at Fort Bragg.

Officials have identified the victims as Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia .

All three were assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg.

On Saturday another soldier, 25-year-old Sgt. La David Johnson was identified to also be among those dead.

US Army Special Operations Command released a statement identifying Johnson.

Johnson was from Miami Garden, Florida and was assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group on Fort Bragg.

On Wednesday, U.S. officials said three U.S. Army special operations commandos and two others were wounded when they came under fire in southwest Niger.

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On Friday, the Department of Defense confirmed that the three U.S. Army special operations commandos that were killed Wednesday in southwest Niger were stationed at Fort Bragg.



The officials said the two wounded were taken to Niamey, the capital, and are described as stable. The officials were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We have updated information related to the attack on US and Nigerian forces that occurred on October 4 in southwest Niger," said Pentagon spokesperson Rob Manning in a news release. "The body of another U.S. service member has been recovered from the area of the attack, bringing the number of U.S. service members killed in this attack to four. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the deceased. We will share more information as it becomes available related to this attack."

The officials said the commandos, who were Green Berets, were likely attacked by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb militants.

After the soldiers were identified, two senators issued statements:

"The deaths of Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright are a tragic reminder of the dangers facing our brave servicemembers as they combat terrorism across the globe to keep our country safe. Their sacrifices will not be forgotten, and Susan and I send our deepest condolences to their family, friends, and the Fort Bragg community," said Senator Thom Tillis.

Senator Richard Burr also did the same stating:

"I'm terribly saddened by the loss of four of Fort Bragg's finest in Niger this week. This tragic news comes as a reminder that the United States has service members in 177 countries across the globe, serving alongside our allies to ensure America remains safe and free. Staff Sergeants Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson, Dustin Wright and La David Johnson were courageous warriors who gave the last full measure of devotion, and I join an indebted nation in sending my condolences to their families and fellow service members."

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Each of the men's commanders spoke on behalf of their service to the country.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with this soldier's family as we mourn the loss of this dedicated Green Beret. Staff Sgt. Black is loved by so many in our Battalion, and his life was spent in service to his family, his friends, his team, and his country," said Lt. Col. David Painter, Commander, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. "Staff Sgt. Wright was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate, and devoted soldier. Dustin's service to 3rd Special Forces Group speaks to his level of dedication, courage, and commitment to something greater than himself. We are focused on caring for the Wright family during this difficult period."

"Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson was an exceptional soldier in all regards," added Lt. Col. Megan Brogden, commander of Group Support Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group. "We, as a nation, are fortunate to have men like Jeremiah. He not only represented what we should all aspire to be, but he lived it. His loss is a great blow and he will be missed and mourned by this unit."

In a statement, U.S. Africa Command said the forces were with a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol north of Niamey, near the Mali border, when they came under hostile fire.

Africa Command said the U.S. forces are in Niger to provide training and security assistance to the Nigerien Armed Forces in their efforts against violent extremists.

The White House said President Donald Trump was notified about the attack Wednesday night as he flew aboard Air Force One from Las Vegas to Washington. Trump was in Las Vegas meeting with victims of Sunday night's shooting massacre, along with first responders and doctors.

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