On Saturday, the Pentagon identified the U.S. service member killed in Somalia last week as 38-year-old Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken from Falmouth, Maine.
According to WCSH 6, Milliken lived in Virginia with his family.
Milliken was killed during an operation against al-Shabaab on May 5 in Somalia in a remote area about 40 miles west of Mogadishu. He was assigned to an East Coast based special warfare unit that was assisting a Somali National Army-led operation with U.S. Africa Command.
“The Milliken family would like to extend their gratitude to the community for their interest in our beloved Kyle,” Milliken’s family said in a statement. “He was a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband. While we appreciate your interest, we ask you respect our need for privacy.”
Milliken was the first U.S. Navy SEAL to be killed in Somalia since the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu where Somali militiamen shot down two U.S. Black Hawks, killing 18 U.S. soldiers.
“Senior Chief Kyle Milliken embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs,” Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, said. “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.”
U.S. officials said two other U.S. service members were wounded during the incident.