SF Soldiers KIA in Niger

CDG

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Isn't attention to detail preached on here to the youngsters or SOF hopefuls? Lack of time isn't be a valid enough reason to not review your work.
Come on man. Do you really not understand the difference here? If the CONOP/WARNO/whatever was bad, then higher should have disapproved it.
 

Teufel

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I think we are missing the real point here; sometimes people forget that graduating from a SOF entry level course does not make you invincible. Combat is messy and things can go wrong very quickly. We mitigate that risk through training, discipline, sound tactics, and planning. Close air support helps of course. It sounds like this team may have taken some shortcuts and may have experienced some mission creep. I wasn’t there so I can’t say either way. They paid the price for the mistakes they made, whatever those mistakes were, and the survivors will have to live with that.

There is a lesson here though for some of you young warfighters out there: don’t be in a rush to die. I have met many Marines who have not experienced high intensity combat and are eager to make contact with the enemy. We risk our lives, and the lives of our men, to defeat our enemies and accomplish the missions we are assigned. Make it count. Make sure that the objective is worth dying for and do everything in your power to increase your odds of success and reduce the risk to your men. Do rehearsals and inspections before stepping off for the fight. Complacency and laziness is deadlier than any bullet. I’m not saying that is what happened here but this unfortunate incident reminds us of the price we may have to pay for skipping those pre-combat steps. Rest In Peace warriors.
 

AWP

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Level Zero Heroes had a passage about CONOPS, how if they weren't a level zero for risk, they were automatically rejected. The result is they gamed the system and rated them all as a level zero so higher would rubber stamp them for approval.

Did the team do this? Is that the command climate in Africa? I have no idea, but to think what occured in LZH was an isolated incident especially given our military's penchant for risk avoidance, is ludicrous.
 

Ooh-Rah

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They are tearing that TL to shreds. Fudged up accountability during a gunfight with multiple vehicles moving and firing, multiple casualties sustained, and both sides of your helmet blaring commanders' voices demanding SITREPs... I understand the people in the article are experiencing immense pain, but I'm not sure one can overstate the chaos of the situation. Officer Candidates lose people between the barracks and the chow hall at OCS, not because they're idiots or apathetic, but because keeping track of moving humans takes brainpower; now add incoming fire, spotty comms, and separate vehicles to the equation. I hate the way the article makes it sound like he was incompetent simply because he lost track of where his guys were WHILE GETTING ATTACKED.

Oh, and the writer can pound sand for this one: "only one combat deployment to Afghanistan." Clearly trying to make the guy sound inexperienced. That's more than 90% of the TLs I know coming through these days.
The father of one of the fallen is not blaming the Captain.

Father of soldier killed in Niger says officers cited in investigation...

The father of a U.S. soldier killed in a devastating ambush in Niger last year said his family does not blame two Army captains that the U.S. military cited for lapses in planning in an investigation summary released Thursday, saying any mistakes did not contribute directly to the death of their loved one.

Army Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, was killed Oct. 4 while maneuvering alongside a vehicle as he and his fellow soldiers faced a hail of enemy fire outside the village of Tongo Tongo in an attack that eventually sparked a political firestorm in Washington and a months-long military investigation. Black's father, Henry, said investigators told him his son repeatedly fired on the enemy with both his service rifle and a grenade launcher before he eventually fell, mortally wounded.

Moments later, two fellow soldiers who had been fighting alongside him, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, and Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, also were killed, the Pentagon said in the eight-page summary released Thursday. A fourth U.S. soldier, Sgt. La David T. Johnson, 25, was killed less than 30 minutes later and not found for another two days. All four soldiers were stripped of their equipment.
"At some point as they were moving and the vehicle was moving, Bryan was apparently ahead of the vehicle, and he was killed," Black's father said. "Dustin and Jeremiah pulled his body behind the vehicle, and they continued to engage the enemy until they were apparently [nearly] overrun. And then . . . Jeremiah was hit. Dustin returned to stay with him and fight with him, and they fought together until they died from the wounds they had."
 

Ocoka

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@Teufel warns of the perils of complacency and laziness and I couldn't agree more. I've known certain Marine units to slack off on combat patrols or to try and play it safe and spend less time in contested areas...and who have paid the price.

Complacency, relaxed vigilance, lack of aggressive patrolling is just an invitation to your enemy, giving him freedom to move, freedom to set up ambushes and IEDs, freedom to influence and intimidate civilians.

I've given my opinion on this African debacle so I won't comment further other than to repeat that a gunship overhead might have saved somebody...and to laud the incredible bravery of these men.
 

Ocoka

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An Operation in Niger Went Fatally Awry. Who Is the Army Punishing?

Pretty good article here of the fall out.....towards the end there is a video of positions and reconstruction based on helmet cam (no actual video is shown).

An Operation in Niger Went Fatally Awry. Who Is the Army Punishing?

Good article. On the face of it, it sounds unfair. But The NY Times is not privy to all the pertinent facts and they have a reputation for accentuating anything that smells of injustice.

From my POV, yes, it's important to train with your counterparts and get a handle on what kind of people they are. Are they dependable? Trustworthy? Are they going to unass the AO and leave you with your dick in your hand during the first hairy contact?
 

Diamondback 2/2

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From my POV, yes, it's important to train with your counterparts and get a handle on what kind of people they are. Are they dependable? Trustworthy? Are they going to unass the AO and leave you with your dick in your hand during the first hairy contact?
I agree, at a minimum running a few react to contact drills and getting the "I'm the commander and you are just a soldier" bullshit cleared up. I would have a hard time believing that any unit wouldn't have done that much less an ODA (just don't sound right).

I will say I have heard some absolute horrific stories about different African troops, primarily having to deal with unreliable and argumentive leaders and weapons and uniforms being dropped in the middle of firefights.
 

Ocoka

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Agreed....just posting the newest thing I have found.
Roger that.. but still some of the wrong guys might've been reprimanded here. We don't know.

I put a lot of the blame on whoever up the chain decided our ground teams there shouldn't have on-call air support. Just one attack helo could've tipped the scale.
 
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