On Saturday, the Department of Defense announced the death of Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken. The SEAL Team Six member was killed on Friday in Somalia during a firefight against Al-Shabaab, an organization linked to Al-Qaeda, and is the first US combat death in the country since 1993.
According to the US Africa Command, and as reported by WCSH 6, Milliken, 38, was killed when he was attacked while on a mission. Two others were also wounded during the incident, which occurred on Thursday west of Mogadishu.
The US service members were in Somalia as part of an ongoing military program designed to advise and assist local ground troops.
Milliken grew up in Falmouth, Maine. He later attended Cheverus High School where he was recognized for his track skills.
Enlisting in the Navy in 2002, Milliken quickly became a member of the Navy SEALs and was based predominately on the East Coast since 2004. He was living with his family in Virginia prior to being sent to Somalia.
During his military career, Milliken received awards including the Bronze Star with Combat “V” (4), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and the Joint Service Commendation Medal (2).
Governor LePage expressed his condolences, saying, “There are no words that may provide comfort during this difficult time, but know he is a man we are forever indebted for his service, sacrifice, and protection of the freedoms we hold dear.”
In a statement released by Rear Admiral Timothy Szymanski, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Command, he said, “Senior Chief Kyle Milliken embodied the warrior spirit and toughness infused in our very best Navy SEALS,” continuing, “This sacrifice is a stark reminder that Naval Special Operators are forward doing their job, confronting terrorism overseas to prevent evil from reaching our shores.”
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree also expressed her sadness regarding Milliken’s death, stating, “Today out hearts are heavy with the loss of US Navy SEAL Kyle Milliken – a local hero who died yesterday in the line of duty.” She continued, “Those who knew Senior Chief Kyle Milliken remember him as an amazing athlete who could do flips on skis and run for miles…may we never forget his extraordinary bravery and incredible sacrifice.”
In a released statement, Milliken’s family said, “The Milliken family would like to extend their gratitude to the community for their interest in our beloved Kyle. He was a devoted father and son, a true professional and a wonderful husband. While we appreciate your interest, we ask you to respect our need for privacy.”