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Sailor Killed aboard USS Vella Gulf Identified

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Imran Khan, from New York, New York, looks out of the hangar bay window to view an MH-60R helicopter approaching for a landing on the flight deck aboard the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72). US Navy Photo

A sailor aboard guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72) died on Tuesday while the ship was operating in the Mediterranean Sea, according to U.S. 6th Fleet.

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Imran Khan, originally from New York, died after a medical evacuation from the cruiser following an unspecified incident aboard the ship. Khan was taken from Vella Gulf to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, before being transferred to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, according to a statement from 6th Fleet.

“The entire Vella Gulf team is saddened and grieving the tragic passing of our shipmate and friend, BM2 Imran Khan,” said cruiser commanding officer Capt. Andrew Fitzpatrick in a statement. “A beloved and steadfast member of our team, his passing has been felt deeply throughout the command. Our hearts are with the entire Khan Family as we extend our deepest sympathy for their loss.”

Navy Times reported Khan suffered a skull fracture after falling down a ladder well aboard the cruiser.

A Navy spokesman did not provide any additional information on the incident citing an ongoing investigation.

Khan joined the Navy in 2007 and had served aboard Vella Gulf since November. Previous to joining the crew of the cruiser, Khan had served board cruiser USS San Jacinto (CG-52), guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG-73) and Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 at Submarine Base New London, Conn.

His awards include Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, according to the statement from U.S. 6th Fleet.

Vella Gulf is assigned the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group based out of Naval Station Norfolk, Va.

A convoy complied of the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG-72), front, MV Resolve, center, and USNS Benavidez (T-AKR-306) steam in formation on Feb. 28, 2020. US Navy Photo

The following is the complete statement from U.S. 6th Fleet.

Death aboard USS Vella Gulf
MEDITERRANEAN SEA —

Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Imran Khan, a Sailor assigned to the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72), died, March 10.

Kahn was medically evacuated by the ship’s helicopter to Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, and then transferred to a local hospital, Iasis, in Chania, Greece, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The cause of death is pending investigation.

“The entire Vella Gulf team is saddened and grieving the tragic passing of our Shipmate and Friend, BM2 Imran Khan,” said Capt. Andrew Fitzpatrick, commanding officer, USS Vella Gulf. “A beloved and steadfast member of our Team, his passing has been felt deeply throughout the command. Our hearts are with the entire Khan Family as we extend our deepest sympathy for their loss.”

Kahn enlisted in the Navy in May 2007 and had been assigned to Vella Gulf since Nov. 11, 2019. Khan had previously served on USS San Jacinto (CG 52), Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2, Submarine Base New London, and USS Decatur (DDG 73).

Khan’s military awards include Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal (2), National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

USS Vella Gulf is on deployment operating in the Mediterranean Sea as part of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.