Fayetteville and Hope Mills voters have put to rest their governing boards’ wishes to extend their terms of office. In unofficial returns, 35,386 people voted against the question in Fayetteville while 19,377 were in favor. In Hope Mills, 2,591 people voted against the change and 1,955 voted for it.
Fayetteville City Councilman Larry Wright was the principle proponent of 4-year terms. Mayor Pro Tem Mike Mitchell raised the issue in Hope Mills. Both bodies wanted to lengthen their traditional 2-year terms, claiming that they spend half their time in office campaigning for re-election.
The Fayetteville ballot proposal would have put a favorable outcome to a vote of the people. In Hope Mills, a positive vote would have established staggered terms of office to begin following the 2019 election.
The military has reportedly punished six troops, including an Air Force two-star general, for their roles in the October 2017 Niger ambush that resulted in the deaths of four American and four Nigerien soldiers, The New York Times reported.
The punished troops include Air Force Maj. Gen. Marcus Hicks, who was the commander of all special operations troops in Africa, and two senior members of Fort Bragg’s 11-man Green Beret team that was ambushed. Three others in the team’s chain of command also were reprimanded, according to the Times report.
The Times said a letter of reprimand cited the team’s insufficient training and a lack of mission rehearsals. Hicks was reprimanded for not having appropriate oversight of the officers below him.
A 6,300-page investigation detailed by the Pentagon in May said the mistakes leading up to the ambush were widespread. An unclassified eight-page summary was released for public viewing.
“The direct cause of the enemy attack in Tongo Tongo is that the enemy achieved tactical surprise there, and our forces were outnumbered approximately three to one,” said AFRICOM’s former chief of staff, Army Maj. Gen. Roger Cloutier, who led the investigation.
The Green Beret team and 30 Nigerien troops were returning from a village near the Malian border in West Africa when they were overrun by scores of extremist fighters
Photo From left: Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio;
Sgt. La David Johnson of Miami Gardens, Florida; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia. All four were killed in the Niger ambush last year.