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Immediate Release

Independent Review into Jan 5, 2020 al-Shabaab Attack at Manda Bay, Kenya

The Department of Defense announced today the findings of U.S. Africa Command's Army Regulation 15-6 investigation and the Secretary of Defense-directed independent review of events from the Jan. 5, 2020 al-Shabaab attack at the Cooperative Security Location in Manda Bay, Kenya.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin directed the independent review to provide added insight, perspective, and the ability to assess the totality of this event involving multiple military services and Department of Defense Components.  

The four-star general-led independent review concurred with all of the recommendations from the AR 15-6 investigation conducted by U.S. Africa Command. Secretary Austin accepted the findings and recommendations of the independent review.

Both the AR 15-6 investigation and the independent review found the proximate cause of the loss of life and damage to property was the attack by a massed force of 30 to 40 determined, disciplined, and well-resourced al-Shabaab fighters. 

The investigation and independent review further found that no single point of failure resulted in the loss of life and damage to property, and no single act or omission would have avoided the attack. However, several causal factors contributed to the attack, including inadequate force protection focus, inadequate understanding of the threat, inadequate security force preparation, and problems with mission command. 

Following the attack, U.S. Africa Command directed a series of measures to improve force protection at all locations on the continent, and continues to implement improvements to force protection, intelligence sharing, security force preparation, and mission command as identified by the 15-6 and independent review. 

The attack killed one U.S. Army Soldier, Specialist Henry J. Mayfield, and two U.S. contract personnel, Bruce Triplett and Dustin Harrison. The attack also wounded three additional U.S. personnel and one Kenyan soldier, and destroyed $71.5 million of U.S. government resources.

U.S. forces use CSL Manda Bay to provide training to African partners, respond to crises and protect U.S. interests. U.S. Africa Command assigns responsibility to U.S. Air Forces-Africa for the integration of base support including force protection at CSL Manda Bay.

The Executive Summary and Action on Findings, Army Regulation (AR) 15-6 Investigation and Report of Independent Review can be found here:

Executive Summary and Actions on Findings, Army Regulation (AR) 15-6 Investigation into the Attack on Cooperative Security Location (CSL) Manda Bay, Kenya on 5 January 2020

Executive Summary of Report of Independent Review of the USAFRICOM15-6 Investigation re:  Attack on CSL Manda Bay