SHIPROCK, N.M. (KRQE) - A U.S. Congressman said two Army officers have been disciplined for failing to give Shiprock native Army Sergeant Kenneth Westbrook the back-up and air support his unit was desperately calling for during an insurgent attack in Afghanistan 2009.
Rep. Walter Jones, a Republican from North Carolina, informed family members of the reprimands through a letter in early February. He was able to obtain documents on the punishment that had been classified.
Westbrook and four Marines were killed in a botched 2009 military operation in Afghanistan in September 2009. Rep. Jones said that two Army officers overseeing the operation have been reprimanded, probably ending their military careers.
An Army investigation found the officers were not present in an operations center during the battle. The officers later turned down requests for air and artillery support for the group, which had come under fire from as many as 100 insurgents.
Westbrook's brother, David, said it's taken a long time, but he's glad the Congressman released the information about the reprimands.
"About the reprimand on the individuals, they've done something wrong," David Westbrook said. "It's understandable that they are reprimanded for it."
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