Will Wright, the brother of Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, one of four U.S. soldiers killed in an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4, 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. Our hope through this tragedy is to discern where, if any, mistakes were made and to fix them going forward”, Will Wright said in a statement released on Tuesday.
Wright’s statement came shortly 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’s family said it is aware of the DoD’s ongoing investigation and “anxiously anticipated the release of more information regarding the attack.”
Speaking on behalf of his family, Will Wright said: “We will wait patiently and work with our government and military, not against them, to find answers. 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.
According to the Defense Department, 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 alongside five Nigerien partner troops after their unit came under an ambush attack from a large unit of local tribal fighters believed to be associated with ISIS.
In a Monday briefing, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford 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. Did the mission change? It’s a fair question”, Dunford said.