The two Navy SEALs who the US Navy declared dead after they went missing while conducting an operation on January 11 off the coast of Somalia have been identified as Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher Chambers who was 37 and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram who was 27, the US Navy announced Monday.
Capt. Blake Chaney, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, said in a statement that Chambers and Ingram “were exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many.”
“Chris and Gage selflessly served their country with unwavering professionalism and exceptional capabilities,” Chaney said. “This loss is devastating for NSW, our families, the special operations community, and across the nation.”
The two were both assigned to a Naval Special Warfare unit on the West Coast of the US and were reported missing at sea while conducting a night-time seizure of lethal aid being illegally transported from Iran to Yemen. US Central Command later announced ballistic and cruise missile components were seized.
CNN previously reported that the SEALs were boarding a vessel when one fell into the water due to eight-foot swells at the time of the operation, and the second jumped in after them according to protocol. A US official previously explained that if someone falls during a boarding operation, it is to be assumed that they are incapacitated, and a teammate needs to save them.
According to biographies provided by Naval Special Warfare Command, Chambers, from Maryland, enlisted in the Navy in May 2012 and had served with SEAL units on the West Coast since 2014. His awards and decorations included four Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one with the Combat Action Ribbon, the Army Achievement Medal and more.
Ingram, from Texas, enlisted in September 2019, immediately going into pre-special warfare training after completing boot camp at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, Illinois. He completed SEAL qualification training in 2021. His awards and decorations included the Navy “E” Ribbon, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Service Medal, and National Defense Service Medal.
CENTCOM announced Sunday that after 10 days of an “exhaustive search” for the two SEALs, their status was being changed to deceased, concluding the search and rescue and transitioning instead to search and recovery.
“During this expansive search operation, airborne and naval platforms from the US, Japan, and Spain continuously searched more than 21,000 square miles to locate our missing teammates. Search assistance was also provided by Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, the U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area Command, University of San Diego – Scripts Institute of Oceanography, and the Office of Naval Research – Oceanographic Support,” the CENTCOM release said. “Out of respect for the families, no further information will be released at this time.”
CNN’s Natasha Bertrand contributed reporting.
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