The Navy SEAL killed in Somalia Friday was Kyle Milliken, a 38-year-old from Falmouth, Maine, the Pentagon announced Saturday.
Milliken was killed in an attack Friday in a remote area about 40 miles west of Mogadishu, the Pentagon said in a statement. He was in the area as a part of an American deployment supporting the Somali army in its fight against al-Shabab extremists.
Milliken was a senior chief special warfare operator. He was based on the East Coast in a special warfare unit.
Two other American service memberswere wounded in the attack. No information has been released about their condition.
A Pentagon spokesman said Friday the U.S. troops were providing helicopter transport and other logistical support for a mission that was being conducted by Somali troops against an al-Shabab compound.
“This particular compound had been associated with attacks on facilities that we use, and that our Somali partners use nearby,” said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis.
“First and foremost this was a Somali mission, this was their mission,” Davis said. “We helped bring them in with our aircraft, and we were there maintaining a distance back supporting the operation. That’s when our forces came under fire.”
In early April, a few dozen American troops from the 101st Airborne Division were deployed to Somalia to advise that country in its fight against al-Shabab extremists. While the U.S. usually has a small group of military advisers in Somalia, last month’s deployment was the largest arrival of American troops since 1994.
The U.S. had a much larger presence as part of a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the early 1990s. That presence began coming to an end when two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in Mogadishu during a military operation, leading to the death of 18 Americans in a 15-hour battle in the streets.