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Navy identifies 2 US Navy SEALs declared dead off coast of Somalia

Two U.S. Navy SEALs lost during a raid on a small boat off Somalia 10 days ago were declared dead on Sunday, authorities said.

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SEALS identified

Update 9:21 p.m. EST Jan. 21: The U.S. Navy on Monday identified the two Navy SEALs who were declared dead after a 10-day search after they were lost during a raid on a small boat off the coast of Somalia coast.

Special Operator First Class Christopher J. Chambers, 37, and Special Operator Second Class Nathan Gage Ingram, 27, were lost on Jan. 11 when SEALs in two combat speedboats, boarded a small wooden cargo ship in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Somalia, The New York Times reported.

They were assigned to SEAL Team 3, based in Coronado, California, according to the newspaper.

“We extend our condolences to Chris and Gage’s families, friends and teammates during this incredibly challenging time,” Capt. Blake L. Chaney, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, said in a statement on Monday. “They were exceptional warriors, cherished teammates and dear friends to many within the Naval Special Warfare community.”

Ingram is originally from Trophy Club, Texas, in Denton County, KXAS-TV reported. He became a SEAL in 2021 and was on his first deployment, according to the Times.

Chambers, from Maryland, had deployed several times since becoming a SEAL in 2013, according to the newspaper. He had been in combat against Islamic State militants.

Original report: In a news release, U.S. Central Command said that the two SEALs’ status was changed from missing “to deceased.”

“We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing U.S. Navy SEALs have not been located and their status has been changed to deceased,” the statement read. “The search and rescue operation for the two Navy SEALs reported missing during the boarding of an illicit dhow carrying Iranian advanced conventional weapons Jan. 11 concluded and we are now conducting recovery operations.”

The two missing SEALs were not identified, NBC News reported. Central Command said that no further information would be made immediately “out of respect” for their families.

Officials said that search parties from the U.S., Japan and Spain searched across 21,000 square miles to locate the missing SEALs, CNN reported.

“We mourn the loss of our two Naval Special Warfare warriors, and we will forever honor their sacrifice and example,” Gen. Erik Kurilla, head of U.S. Central Command, said in a statement. “Our prayers are with the SEALs’ families, friends, the U.S. Navy and the entire Special Operations community during this time.”

Officials said the Jan. 11 raid targeted an unflagged ship that was carrying Iranian-made weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen, The Associated Press reported. They added that as the team was boarding the vessel, one of the SEALs was swept into the heavy seas. A second SEAL went into the water in an attempt to save his colleague, according to the news organization.

The remaining SEALs continued their mission, ABC News reported.

Christopher Chambers grew up in Maryland but moved to Massachusetts where he graduated from Westfield High School and UMass Amherst.

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