FALMOUTH (AP) (WGME) — The Department of Defense announced Saturday morning the death of a U.S. Navy sailor who was in support of a Somali National Army-led operation with U.S. Africa Command.
Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, of Falmouth, Maine, was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab on May 5 in a remote area approximately 40 miles west of Mogadishu.
He was assigned to an East Coast based special warfare unit.
In a statement released through the US Navy Seal Command, “The Milliken family would like to extend their gratitude to the community for their interest in our beloved Kyle. He was a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband.”
Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski said, “Senior Chief Kyle Milliken embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs. We grieve his death, but we celebrate his life and many accomplishments. He is irreplaceable as a husband, father, son, friend and teammate – and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and teammates. 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 was a member of SEAL Team Six, a defense official confirmed to CNN. The elite special operations unit, which led the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, was on a scheduled deployment to East Africa for training and carrying out counterterrorism missions. The target in Somalia was a local al-Shabaab leader who had been involved in planning attacks against facilities used by US and African forces in Somalia.
Milliken was on a mission advising Somali National Army forces.
He was the first U.S. combat death in Somalia since 1993.
Milliken enlisted July 22, 2002.
He was an Enlisted Special Warfare Specialist, Enlisted Freefall Parachutist, and Military Freefall Jumpmaster.
His awards and decorations are listed below:
- Bronze Star w/Combat “V” (4)
- Joint Service Commendation Medal (2)
- Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/Combat “V”
- Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3)
- Joint Service Achievement Medal
- Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2)
- Combat Action Ribbon (2)
- Presidential Unit Citation
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award
- Navy Unit Commendation
- Good Conduct Medal (3)
- National Defense Service Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal (3)
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8)
- NATO Medal