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The U.S. identifies the 2 Navy SEALs who went missing off the coast of Somalia

Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers, left, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram are the two Navy SEALs who are presumed dead.
U.S. Navy
Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers, left, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram are the two Navy SEALs who are presumed dead.

Updated January 22, 2024 at 6:56 PM ET

The U.S. Navy has released the names of the two Navy SEALs who went missing at sea and are now presumed dead.

The Naval Special Warfare Command on Monday identified the men as Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers, 37, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram, 27.

The SEALs were reported missing after a nighttime raid of a boat off the coast of Somalia on Jan. 11. U.S. officials said they found parts of ballistic missiles and cruise missiles Iran was supplying to Houthi fighters in Yemen.

"We extend our condolences to Chris and Gage's families, friends, and teammates during this incredibly challenging time. They were exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many within the Naval Special Warfare community," Capt. Blake Chaney, the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, said in a statement.

Chambers and Ingram were both assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit. Chambers, from Maryland, enlisted in the Navy in 2012. His awards and decorations included a Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat "C," three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, an Army Achievement Medal, a Combat Action Ribbon, and other awards, the Navy said.

This undated photograph released by the U.S. military's Central Command shows what it described as the vessel that carried Iranian-made missile components bound for Yemen's Houthi in the Arabian Sea.
U.S. Central Command / AP
/
AP
This undated photograph released by the U.S. military's Central Command shows what it described as the vessel that carried Iranian-made missile components bound for Yemen's Houthi in the Arabian Sea.

Ingram, from Texas, enlisted in the Navy in 2019 and his awards and decorations include various personal and unit awards, the Navy said.

During the operation, one of the men fell into the rough waters and a second followed in attempt to rescue him, as NPR previously reported.

Search and rescue operations concluded on Sunday, U.S. Central Command said, with the two SEALs presumed dead. It came after a 10-day search of more than 21,000 square miles, with assistance from Spain and Japan. Efforts have now switched to recovery, CENTCOM said.

The Navy said the incident is still under investigation.

U.S. Army Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla, who heads Central Command, said in a statement on Sunday: "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."

The Houthis have attacked commercial and military ships off the coast of Yemen in the Red Sea for weeks, saying their attacks are a show of support for Palestinians facing Israeli attacks in Gaza. The U.S. has responded with airstrikes on Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Emma Bowman
James Doubek
James Doubek is an associate editor and reporter for NPR. He frequently covers breaking news for NPR.org and NPR's hourly newscast. In 2018, he reported feature stories for NPR's business desk on topics including electric scooters, cryptocurrency, and small business owners who lost out when Amazon made a deal with Apple.