As reported Friday, a member of the U.S. military was killed during an operation in Somalia, fighting the extremist group, al-Shabab. The Defense Department has released new information about the soldier. He was 38-year-old Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken of Falmouth, Maine.
Milliken died fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia in a remote area west of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to US Africa Command.
Dozens of troops went into Somalia last month in the largest deployment of its kind in around 20 years. Milliken, a chief special warfare officer, had been assigned to an East Coast-based special warfare unit. Friday’s mission targeted a local leader of al-Shabaab, a terrorist group linked to al Qaeda. The Navy SEALs were serving as advisers on the mission, supporting Somali Army-led operations.
According to a spokesman for the Pentagon, U.S. special operations troops came under fire after a U.S. aircraft dropped Somali forces in the area.
The Pentagon did not provide additional details about Milliken’s assignment that day.
The Special Warfare Operator rating requires a six year enlistment obligation. Their skills and duties include combat diving, paradrop and air operations, land warfare, small unit tactics, small arms and crew served weapons, explosives, mission planning, intelligence gathering, joint and combined operations, and defense measures in all environments.
Milliken was the first U.S. soldier to die in Somalia since 18 U.S. servicemen were killed in 1993. That incident, which inspired the book and film “Black Hawk Down,” occurred after two helicopters flying over Mogadishu were shot down.
Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, addressed Milliken’s death. “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.” Szymanski said Milliken “embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs.”
Two additional American soldiers were also wounded in the firefight that killed Milliken.
H/T: The New York Post
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U.S. troop killed by Somalian radicals