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Congresswoman Frederica Wilson Speaks in Support of the Niger Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act

Prior to the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act this week, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson spoke in support of an amendment she sponsored to require reporting on Department of Defense missions, operations, and activities in Niger and the broader region to relevant committees. It also requires DOD to specify its objectives in Niger and justify their relevance to U.S. national security.

The measure makes necessary improvements to U.S. Armed Forces' tactical, operational, and strategic efforts in the region by requiring DOD to take steps to mitigate operational risk, increase preparedness, and assess key command and support relationships.

"As evidenced by the tragic deaths of the four soldiers who were ambushed in Niger last October, improvements throughout the chain of command and military services are necessary, and DOD must provide greater transparency and communication with Congress regarding legal, operational, and funding authorities for military operations in Africa," Congresswoman Wilson said on the House floor.

Army Sgt. La David Johnson, who was one of the four service members tragically killed in action during the ambush last October, grew up and lived in District 24.

"I am hopeful that with actions currently being taken by DOD, along with the prescriptive elements of this amendment, our nation will not have to suffer another tragic loss like we did in October."

The National Defense Authorization Act overwhelmingly passed in the House by a vote of 356 to 70.