Ambush in Niger- Fallen Green Beret Names Released
The three fallen Green Beret names who died in the ambush in Niger on Wednesday were released by the Department of Defense. They were killed while conducting a patrol with Nigerien forces north of Niamey. Staff Sgt Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright – all three were assigned to 3rd Special Forces Group out of Fort Bragg.
Staff Sgt Bryan Black, 35, was a native of Puyallup, Washington who enlisted in the Army in 2009, and graduated from Puyallup High School in 2000. He served as an 18D- Special Forces Medical Sergeant. His awards and decorations include the Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge – Sharpshooter with Rifle.
Staff Sgt Jeremiah Johnson, 39, enlisted in the Army in 2007. He was from Springboro, Ohio. He was serving as a 74D-Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Specialist. His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Army Achievement Medal (5th Award), Army Good Conduct Medal (3rd Award), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Ribbon, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badge, and Marksmanship Qualification Badge – Expert with Pistol and Rifle.
Staff Sgt Dustin Wright, 29, was a native of Lyons, Georgia who enlisted in the Army in 2012. He was serving as an 18C, Special Forces Engineer Sergeant. His awards and decorations included the Joint Service Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Special Forces Tab, and Parachutist Badge.
Five Niger soldiers were also killed, and 8 wounded as well as two Americans as the joint force came up against 40-50 jihadists. The main suspects at this time are AQIM, an ISIS affiliate in the region. According to multiple reports, there are about 800 US personnel in Niger. Fox News reported that no drones were over the troops to provide air cover because the local government wouldn’t allow it. The wounded troops were evacuated by French Puma helicopters.
“A joint patrol of the Defense and Security Forces and American partners operating in the border area of Mali fell into an ambush set by terrorist elements aboard a dozen vehicles and about twenty motorcycles. The deaths and injuries came after intense fighting, during which elements of the joint force showed exemplary courage.” Statement by Niger’s Army chief of staff
Featured photo: Left to Right: Staff Sgt Bryan Black, Staff Sgt Jeremiah Johnson, Staff Sgt Dustin Wright – Department of Defense photos