National Security

US Central Command Gives Major Update On Incident With Missing Navy SEALs

Image not from story (Photo by ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images)

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced Sunday the death of two Navy SEALs who went missing off the coast of Somalia, according to a press release.

News broke Jan. 13 that two SEALs went missing Jan. 11 after a mission to seize a sailboat — called a dhow — loaded with parts for Iranian medium-range ballistic missiles went wrong. Since the incident, officials had been searching for the two SEALs for 10 days. CENTCOM has stated in a press release, however, that while they have not located the bodies, their status has now been “changed to deceased.” (RELATED: New Details Emerge About Navy SEALs Who Went Missing Near Somalia)

“We regret to announce that after a 10-day exhaustive search, our two missing U.S. Navy SEALs have not been located and their status has been changed to deceased. The search and rescue operation for the two Navy SEALs reported missing during the boarding of an illicit dhow carrying Iranian advanced conventional weapons Jan. 11 concluded and we are now conducting recovery operations,” CENTCOM stated. 

During the attempt to board the ship from a small operations combat craft, a swell had caught one of the SEALs and pulled him underwater, with the second jumping in to attempt to save him, according to the press statement.

CENTCOM officials stated the search for the two included “airborne and naval platforms from the U.S., Japan, and Spain,” collectively covering over 21,000 square miles. CENTCOM Commander General Michael Erik Kurilla offered his condolences for the SEALs’ families, noting that they would “forever honor their sacrifice and example,” according to the press statement. (RELATED: Joe Biden Silent As Navy SEALs Go Missing Near Somalia)

“We mourn the loss of our two Naval Special Warfare warriors, and we will forever honor their sacrifice and example. Our prayers are with the SEALs’ families, friends, the U.S. Navy, and the entire Special Operations community during this time,” Kurilla stated. 

President Joe Biden had notably avoided commenting on the missing SEALs situation prior to the news of the deaths. Biden instead made one public appearance volunteering in Philadelphia. A White House national security spokesperson later told the Daily Caller that officials and the Department of Defense were “concerned” about the two and their families.

Officials noted that no further information regarding the incident will be released out of respect to the SEALs’ family members, the press release stated.