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Three Arizona Soldiers Evacuated After Being Wounded in Jordan

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 158th Infantry Regiment, Arizona National Guard, stand in formation as six soldiers are awarded the Expert Infantry Badge during a ceremony in 2014 at Camp Navajo.
Sgt. Adrian Borunda/U.S. Army
Soldiers of 1st Battalion, 158th Infantry Regiment, Arizona National Guard, stand in formation as six soldiers are awarded the Expert Infantry Badge during a ceremony in 2014 at Camp Navajo.

=============UPDATED AT 11:45 A.M. 1-31-24=================



JORDAN – Three Arizona National Guard troopers were evacuated Sunday, after being wounded during a drone attack in Jordan.

Several others also were injured, but not evacuated.

There have been no reported Arizona National Guard deaths.

Army officials say, all three members are expected to make full recoveries. Their identities have not been released to the public, in accordance with National Guard policy.

The three members serve with 1st Battalion, 158th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed the “Bushmasters.”

KAWC News contacted the unit, Tuesday morning, to learn if anyone wounded during the attack is a resident of La Paz or Yuma Counties.

Captain Erin Hannigan, Director of Communications for the AZ National Guard, replied via email on Tuesday afternoon, that he currently is working to answer that question, either in the affirmative or negative.

Army officials say, the attack happened January 28th – carried out by an unmanned aerial drone attack in northeast Jordan, near the Syrian border.

Pentagon officials have linked the attack to an enemy unit with ties to Iran.

White House and U.S. Central Command officials say, the attack happened at the logistics support base, referred to as Tower 22.

Military officials say, there are about 350 U.S. Army and Air Force personnel stationed at Tower 22. They are there to combat ISIS.

The Associated Press reports, three National Guard soldiers from Georgia were killed during the drone attack. They have been identified as Specialist Kennedy Sanders, Spc. Breonna Moffett, and Sergeant William Jerome Rivers. These soldiers served with the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, based at Fort Moore.

President Joe Biden has vowed a response to the attacks, the latest in a series of assaults reported by the Pentagon on U.S. bases in the Middle East, following the start of the Gaza War in Israel.

In September 2023, more than 350 Bushmasters were deployed to Syria in support of Operation Spartan Shield. They will remain in field until the end of summer.

“We can confirm that our Bushmasters are accounted for and are continuing mission,” says Lieutenant Colonel Joseph L. Mayeaux, 1-158th Battalion Commander. “The Bushmasters performed superbly, doing exactly what they were trained to do, and we can all be extremely proud.”

Governor Katie Hobbs says she is “heartbroken” to learn of the Arizona National Guardsmen wounded in action, and is coordinating with Major General Kerry L. Muehlenbeck, Arizona National Guard Adjutant General.

“We standby and are ready to offer support for the Guardsmen and their families,” Hobbs says. “I want to thank every member of the National Guard serving at home and abroad for their bravery and sacrifice, and their dedication to keeping Arizona families safe.”

Muehlenbeck says, “our priority is to the soldiers and their families. What impacts them, impacts us all. We continue to gather information, please keep them in your prayers.”

According to the National World Ward Two Museum, the 158th’s legacy stretches back to 1865, when men from the Pima and Maricopa Tribes joined with Mexicans and white men to form the 1st Arizona Volunteer Infantry.

The unit later saw action along the Mexican border during raids against Pancho Villa.

In 1917, they were re-designated as the 158th Infantry, but saw no action in World War One.

During World War Two, the unit trained in the jungles of Panama before fighting in several battles against the Japanese Empire in the Pacific Theater.

It was during their training in Panama that the unit earned the moniker, “Bushmasters” – in deference to the deadly bushmaster snake native to those jungles.

Their longtime motto is “Cuidado,” Spanish for “be careful,” and stems for the large Hispanic influence on the unit.

In Arizona, the unit is honored every December 3rd during "Bushmaster Day."

Chris McDaniel can be reached at 928-317-6077 or