The Pentagon has identified the Navy SEAL who was killed this week in Somalia as part of a mission to assist government forces in their fight against al-Shabaab, according to a Saturday statement.
Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, was killed Thursday in support of Somali forces that were operating about 40 miles west of the capital of Mogadishu, Pentagon officials told USNI News.
“He was assigned to an East Coast-based special warfare unit,” read a Saturday statement provided to USNI News.
Thursday’s advise and assist mission placed the U.S. special operators in a support role to Somali forces.
“We helped bring them in with our aircraft,” Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement.
“We were there maintaining a distance back while they were conducting the operation. That’s when our forces came under fire, which unfortunately resulted in the death.”
Davis said the opposition forces were, “quickly neutralized,” according to a report in The New York Times but he did not offer any additional details on the operation.
Press reports indicate two other U.S. military personnel were wounded but Pentagon officials did not confirm the injuries.
According to Milliken’s bio, he enlisted in 2002 and quickly entered the SEALs and was based on the East Coast since 2004.
His awards include Bronze Star with Combat “V” (4), Joint Service Commendation Medal (2) and Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V.”
“Senior Chief Kyle Milliken embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs,” Rear Adm. Timothy Szymanski, commander, Naval Special Warfare Command said in a Saturday statement.
“His sacrifice is a stark reminder that Naval Special Operators are forward doing their job, confronting terrorism overseas to prevent evil from reaching our shores.”
Milliken is the second SEAL to be killed in action this year. In January, Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Ill. Was killed in a raid in Yemen against al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).