A result of the release of the graphic video showing the helmet cam footage of US soldiers being ambushed by an overwhelming force of terrorist militants (official report: “About 50 men attacked the US and Nigerien unit with small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars” - see the video in our related coverage), is that many US politicians have been asking questions to the Pentagon and the overall military command as to, firstly, the number of operations the US has in Africa and, secondly, whether the danger pay for US army personnel shouldn’t rise in accordance to the dangers our troops face in many of these African nations which now host terrorist bases.
In response to this, the US military command added Mali and parts of northern Cameroon to the list of areas where U.S. troops receive imminent danger pay (on top of Niger which was already on the list) during deployment.
This change in attitude reflects the dangers in West Africa and is a direct result of the deaths of Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson (39), Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black (35), Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright (29) and Sgt. La David Johnson (25).
Previously, US troops deployed in Niger, Mali and northern Cameroon automatically qualified for $150 in “hazardous duty location pay.”
This has now been increased to $225 per month deployed ($7.50 per day for any partial month).
The memo was approved as Defense Secretary Jim ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and will be included in the final report on what went wrong during the October 4th ambush in Niger. The report is due at the end of this month and will include recommendations for future change.
Various governments in West Africa are currently struggling with terrorist militant groups that have re-branded themselves as Islamic State-West Africa.