Navy SEAL Killed in Somalia Was 15-Year Vet, Track Star
Kyle Milliken was killed during a firefight Thursday in Somalia
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 6, 2017 3:53 PM CDT
Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken was killed Thursday, becoming the first American battlefield casualty in Somalia in 14 years.   (Defense Department)

(Newser) – The Department of Defense has identified the Navy SEAL killed Thursday in Somalia as 38-year-old Kyle Milliken, a senior chief special warfare operator from Maine, CBS News reports. According to NBC News, Milliken joined the Navy in 2002 and was a member of SEAL Team Six. He earned four Bronze Stars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The commander of Naval Special Warfare Command says Milliken "embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALs." Milliken's family remembers the former high-school track star as a "devoted father and son ... and a wonderful husband," the Portland Press Herald reports.

Milliken was one of the Navy SEALs advising Somali troops during Thursday's raid targeting a leader of al-Shabab, an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group. The team got into a firefight with al-Shabab fighters outside a village 40 miles west of Mogadishu. Two other Americans were wounded in the fighting. Milliken is the first American battlefield casualty in Somalia since the infamous "Black Hawk Down" mission in 1993 that resulted in the deaths of 18 US service members in Mogadishu. The al-Shabab fighters were "neutralized" and the Somali government declared Thursday's mission a victory, though it's unclear if the mission's target was among the fighters killed.

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