Airborne and naval platforms from the U.S., Japan, and Spain searched more than 21,000 square miles before the search concluded on Sunday
Two missing U.S. Navy SEALS have been pronounced dead after an extensive 10-day search for their whereabouts.
The search began after Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers and Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram were reported missing on Jan. 11. According to a press release, the men were helping conduct a nighttime raid of a ship illegally transporting advanced lethal aid from Iran to resupply Houthi forces in Yemen.
Airborne and naval platforms from the U.S., Japan, and Spain searched more than 21,000 square miles before the search concluded on Sunday.
While the incident remains under investigation, the New York Times reported that one of the two men fell into the ocean while climbing a rope boarding ladder, and the other jumped into the water to save him.
Chambers, 37, and Ingram, 27, "were quickly lost in the waves," according to the outlet. The rest of the SEALS continued with the mission and were able to seize "Iranian-made ballistic and cruise missile parts and warheads," according to ABC News.
Chambers and Ingram were assigned to SEAL Team 3, based in Coronado, California. They were remembered for being "exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many within the Naval Special Warfare community" by Capt. Blake L. Chaney, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, in a statement after their identities were released on Monday.
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) January 22, 2024
"We extend our condolences to Chris and Gage's families, friends, and teammates during this incredibly challenging time," he added.
Chaney said Chambers and Ingram "selflessly served their country with unwavering professionalism and exceptional capabilities."
Chambers enlisted in the Navy on May 17, 2012. Throughout his service, he acquired awards and decorations that include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "C," three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon. Like Chambers, Ingram acquired many personal and unit awards after enlisting in the Navy on Sept. 25, 2019.
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"These SEALS represented the very best of our country, pledging their lives to protect their fellow Americans. Our hearts go out to the family members, loved ones, friends, and shipmates who are grieving for these two brave Americans. Our entire country stands with you. We will never fail to honor their service, their legacy, and their sacrifice," said President Joe Biden in a statement.
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