US Service Member Killed During Somalia Operation


Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, a native of Falmouth, Maine, was 38 years old.

Milliken was a member of SEAL Team 6 for many years, according to a statement released by Rep. Chellie Pingree.

Milliken was working in support of a Somali National Army-led operation with U.S. Africa Command against al-Shabaab.

U.S. Africa Command said Milliken was killed by small arms fire on Thursday while U.S. forces were advising and assisting a Somali National Army operation in Barii about 40 miles west of the capital, Mogadishu.

The battle saw two American Black Hawk helicopters shot down, sparking a desperate rescue mission that resulted in hundreds of deaths, including many civilians and the USA personnel. "He was a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband", it said.

Two other SEALs were also injured in the firefight during a raid targeting a remote al-Shabab compound just outside Mogadishu, a defense official told Stars and Stripes Friday.

The victim, a member of the Navy SEAL was killed and two other American service members were wounded in a raid in Somalia on Friday, the first American combat fatality there since the 1993 "Black Hawk Down" battle with Somali fighters.

A Somali intelligence official said USA forces killed at least six people during the raid on a building housing the al-Shabab extremist group's Andalus radio station at a farm near Dare Salaam village.

"Although U.S. forces are not engaged in direct action [in Somalia], advise-and-assist missions are inherently risky", said Robyn Mack, a spokeswoman at the U.S. military's Africa Command.

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The US troops were part of an ongoing US military program to advise and assist Somali ground forces.

"Al-Shabaab presents a threat to Americans and American interests", the statement indicated.

USA helicopters transported Somali forces to the compound, in what Davis described as a "Somali mission".

A U.S military man has been murdered in Somalia which is the first American death for more than two decades.

Al-Shabab controls larges swaths of territory and regularly carries out attacks on the military, civilians and some 20,000 African Union peacekeeping troops in the country supporting the government and help secure the delivery of humanitarian aid.

It comes after the U.S. announced it was sending "a few dozen troops" to Somalia help train and equip Somalia troops to fight Shabaab militants.

Milliken enlisted in the Navy in 2002 and has been assigned to an East Coast-based special warfare unit since 2004.

The statement said U.S. forces were conducting an advise-and-assist mission with Somalia's military.

Former President Barack Obama had increased USA military presence in Somalia during the final months of his final term in office. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known widely by his nickname “Farmajo, ” declared war on al-Shabaab in April, in a symbolic gesture diplomats interpreted as a relaunch of efforts to defeat the group.