ATLANTA - Three American soldiers killed during a drone strike at a U.S. military base in Jordan have been identified as residents of Georgia.
The U.S. Department of Defense on Monday identified the three Army Reserve soldiers as Sgt. William Jerome Rivers, 46, of Carrollton; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders, 24, of Waycross; and Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett, 23, of Savannah.
Rivers, Sanders and Moffett were assigned to the 718th Engineer Company, 926th Engineer Battalion, 926th Engineer Brigade, Fort Moore and were supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
The three were killed on Jan. 28, in Jordan, "when a one-way unmanned aerial system (OWUAS) impacted their container housing units near the Syrian border," known as Tower 22. Dozens of others were injured in the strike, which remains under investigation.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a statement, calling the attack "inexcusable" and asking "Georgians everywhere" to keep the families in their "thoughts and prayers."
"Marty, the girls, and I are saddened to learn of the deaths of three service members based out of Georgia. These Soldiers gave the last full measure of devotion in service to this country. This inexcusable loss of life and the attack from terrorists that resulted in these casualties is a reminder of why we stand with the friends of liberty," the statement reads. "The entire Kemp family asks that Georgians everywhere join us in keeping the loved ones of those lost in this attack in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead."
What we know about the Georgia soldiers killed in Jordan drone attack
Kennedy Ladon Sanders
The City of Waycross will mourn Sanders' sacrifice by flying official flags around the city at half-mast.
Writing on Facebook, Sanders' family thanked the community for their support during this time.
"Munchkin will be missed by many," they wrote.
(Courtesy of the family)
Breonna Alexsondria Moffett
"This is one of the saddest days of my life. With a heavy heart, I have to say that my Angel, my first born, has [gone] on to be with GOD today," Moffett's mother posted to Facebook. "Just know that a piece of my heart and soul will always be missing. Love you Baby Girl. Rest Easy."
Breonna Alexsondria Moffett (Photo submitted by family)
The Windsor Forest Mighty Marching Band also posted on Facebook in her honor, addressing Moffett as a former drum major of the high school band.
"We will remember her time as a Knight and a service woman in the U.S Army. We ask that you keep her family lifted up in prayer," a spokesperson for the Mighty Marching Knights said.
William Jerome Rivers
"Thank you for your sacrifice," and other tributes from people around Carrollton poured in from Facebook for Sgt. Rivers.
American Legion Post 143 said their honor guard stands ready to honor him.
William Jerome Rivers
Drone attack on Tower 22
The brazen attack, which the Biden administration has blamed on Iranian-based proxies, adds another layer of complexity to an already tense Mideast situation as the Biden administration tries to keep the Israel-Hamas war from expanding into a broader regional conflict.
Speaking in South Carolina on Sunday President Joe Biden asked for a moment of silence.
"We had a tough day last night in the Middle East. We lost three brave souls in an attack on one of our bases," he said. After the moment of silence, Biden added, "and we shall respond."
Biden said in a written statement that the United States "will hold all those responsible to account at a time and in a manner (of) our choosing." Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. "We will take all necessary actions to defend the United States, our troops, and our interests."
U.S. Central Command said at least 34 troops were injured by the one-way attack drone, with eight flown out of Jordan for follow-up care. It described the eight as being in stable condition.
The small installation, which Jordan does not publicly disclose, includes U.S. engineering, aviation, logistics and security troops. Austin said the troops were deployed there "to work for the lasting defeat of ISIS." Three officials said the drone struck near the troops’ sleeping quarters, which they said explained the high casualty count.
U.S. troops have long used Jordan, a kingdom bordering Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian territory of the West Bank, Saudi Arabia and Syria, as a basing point. Some 3,000 American troops typically are stationed across Jordan.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.