Our soldiers are operating in Nigeria to build a capacity of local forces to defeat violent extremism in West Africa. On the 3rd of October 12 members of a U.S. special operations task force accompanied 30 Nigerian forces on a civil military reconnaissance mission. On the 4th of October U.S. and Nigerian forces began moving back south, and en route to their operating base the patrol came under attack from approximately 50 enemy using small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and technical vehicles.
Approximately one hour after taking fire the team requested support and within minutes a remotely piloted aircraft arrived overhead. During the firefight two U.S soldiers were wounded and evacuated by French air to Nairobi. Three U.S. soldiers who were killed in action were evacuated on the evening of 4 October, and at that time Sergeant La David Johnson was still missing.
On the evening of 6 October, Sergeant Johnson's body was found and subsequently evacuated.>> We've reported that Sergeant Johnson's body was found some one mile away from the initial site of contact, is that consistent with the information you have and is there any assessment at this point as to why that was the case?
>> There's been a lot of speculation, a lot of reports, and that's what I wanna baseline today, what we know and what we don't know. And what you're asking is a fair question, but we don't know that definitively right now, I can't answer it definitively. And with regard to being transparent I think we do owe the families and the American people transparency in incidents like this and we intend to deliver just that.