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Navy SEALs killed in Red Sea named by Pentagon

The men disappeared off the coast of Somalia during a nighttime operation

Graig Graziosi
Tuesday 23 January 2024 18:39 GMT
2 Navy SEALs presumed dead in mission to stop Iranian-made weapons transfer

The US Navy has identified the two SEALs who were declared dead after they went missing in the Red Sea off the coast of Somalia during an operation.

The US Navy SEALs were identified as Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers, 37, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram, 27.

The men disappeared during an operation on 11 January near the coast of Somalia, according to CNN.

Captain Blake Chaney, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, said that the men were "exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many".

“Chris and Gage selflessly served their country with unwavering professionalism and exceptional capabilities,” Mr Chaney said. “This loss is devastating for NSW, our families, the special operations community, and across the nation.”

On the night of the operation, the men were reported as missing at sea while they conducted a night-time seizure of lethal aid being transported illegally from Iran to Yemen. That aid was later reported to be components for ballistic and cruise missiles, according to the US Central Command.

The incident reportedly occurred when one of the SEALs was boarding a vessel and fell into the ocean due to eight-foot sea swells. The second SEAL leaped into the water to rescue the first.

Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Chris Chambers and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Gage Ingram (Naval Special Warfare Command)

Mr Chambers was from Maryland, and enlisted in the US Navy in 2021. He had served with the SEALs on the US West Coast since 2014. Mr Chambers previously was awarded four NavyMarine Corps Achievement Medals, including one with a Combat Action Ribbon. He also received the Army Achievement Medal as well as other accolades.

Mr Ingram enlisted in 2019 and moved into special warfare pre-training immediately after he completed boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois. He completed his SEAL training in 2021. Mr Ingram previously was awarded the Navy "E" Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Medal, and the National Defence Service Medal.

US forces spent 10 days searching for the SEALs, after which the men's condition wad changed to deceased. The search and rescue operation was then suspended and a recovery operation began.

“During this expansive search operation, airborne and naval platforms from the US, Japan, and Spain continuously searched more than 21,000 square miles to locate our missing teammates. Search assistance was also provided by Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, University of San Diego – Scripts Institute of Oceanography, and the Office of Naval Research – Oceanographic Support,” CENTCOM said in a statement. “Out of respect for the families, no further information will be released at this time.”

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