U.S. troops in Niger to receive hostile fire pay

U.S. troops in Niger to receive hostile fire pay”

The Pentagon said on Wednesday that American troops in Niger had been authorized to receive imminent-danger pay the day before the commander who oversees military missions in Africa told House lawmakers that the White House had still not approved that request.

It was unclear Thursday why troops in Niger and Mali, countries where terrorist groups have active insurgencies, were not getting the extra pay already.

AFRICOM recently completed an investigation into the ambush, which is now being reviewed by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. The final report is expected to be released this month, detailing what went wrong and recommendations for change.

Killed in the October ambush in Niger were Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson and Sgt. La David Johnson, 25. US troops deployed in Algeria, Burundi, Chad, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Tunisia and Uganda already qualified, according to Pentagon pay guidelines.

The issue of the danger pay was one of the few Niger-related questions Waldhauser would answer on Tuesday.

Troops in Niger, Mali and northern Cameroon previously qualified for $150 in "hazardous duty location pay".

The Pentagon memo on IDP, first reported by Task & Purpose, was issued a day before Marine Gen. Thomas Waldhauser, commander of U.S. Africa Command, told the House Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that he had submitted a request for danger pay months ago for service members in Niger and other areas of Africa.

Imminent danger pay, according to NBC, is included in soldiers' salaries if they are serving in an area where the potential for hostile fire and/or mine explosions exists.

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