Defense Secretary James N. Mattis concluded his review of the U.S. Africa Command investigative report on the enemy ambush in Tongo Tongo, Niger on October 4, 2017, that resulted in the tragic loss of four U.S. service members and four Nigerien partners.
The investigation spanned three continents and took three months to complete. USAFRICOM conducted a thorough investigation of the events and circumstances relevant to the ambush to provide the answers the Nation and the families deserve. However, no amount of investigation or corrective action will ease the agonizing grief that the families of our fallen must feel. The Department hopes that the families will take pride and comfort in knowing – as this investigation makes clear – that their loved ones fought and died bravely in defense of our Nation, its people, and the values we hold dear. It is also important to thank our Nigerien partners and French allies who aided and supported the entire team.
The secretary examined the investigation report in great detail and concurs with recommendations contained in the report. The secretary directed implementation of the recommendations without delay and directed a status report be provided to him within 120 days.