Navy identifies SEAL killed in raid in Somalia
- Author: Adam Floyd May 09, 2017,
May 09, 2017, 7:42
The Navy SEAL killed in Somalia last Thursday has been identified as Senior Chief Petty Officer Kyle Milliken of Falmouth, Maine. Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, was a distinguished 15-year veteran who had had been awarded the Bronze star for heroism in combat four times. The elite special operations unit, which led the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, was on a scheduled deployment to East Africa for training and carrying out counterterrorism missions.
USA forces in helicopters raided an al-Shabaab hideout near the Somali capital on Thursday night and engaged with fighters, according to a Somali intelligence official who confirmed the United States military operation.
Davis said the USA has been working with the Somali National Army to counter al-Shabab since 2013 with the goal of "degrading this al-Qaida affiliate's ability to recruit, train and plot external terror attacks throughout the region and the United States".
According to the United States army, the fatality appears to be the first death of a USA serviceman in combat in Somalia in more than two decades.
Milliken's family says he was "a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband".
Two other U.S. service members were also wounded.
In the Black Hawk Down incident, which was depicted in a movie of that name, 18 USA soldiers were killed after Somali militia shot down two US helicopters in the capital of Mogadishu.More news: National Day of Prayer today
As part of an operation against the extremist group al-Shabaab, US special operators have joined forces with Somali troops in the renewed fight against the al-Qaeda-linked organization.
"This was an operation targeting an al Shabaab group that had been associated with attacks on US, Somali and AMISOM forces", US Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Friday, referring to the African Union mission there.
Africa Command commander Gen. Thomas Waldhauser met with Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo last month to discuss the U.S.
Milliken's enlisted in the Navy in 2002 and quickly entered the SEALs. It was the first US military combat death in Somalia since the infamous 1993 Black Hawk Down mission.
The episode comes as the USA military expands operations against Shabab, which is allied with al-Qaida.
There are now 50 American special forces members working in Somalia as part of the African Union mission.
"We have been conducting this particular mission to partner with and counter al-Shabaab in Somalia since 2013", Davis said. "It is a victory for the Somali forces and peacemaking".