(NationalUSNews.com) — In a public statement on Sunday, January 21, U.S. Central Command announced that the 10-day search to rescue two Navy SEALs has officially ended as they are now both considered deceased. Efforts will continue to be made to find and recover the bodies. Their names are not being released yet, as the families of the lost SEALs are still being contacted.
The two Navy SEALs were lost at sea during a mission off the coast of Somalia. The mission was part of an ongoing effort to stop Iranian-made weapons from being smuggled into Yemen to supply Houthi terrorists. These arms are often transported on small fishing ships called dhow, and the retrieval missions are very dangerous. In this instance, one of the Navy SEALs apparently fell overboard during the nighttime maneuver, and the second SEAL followed protocol and dove in to attempt rescue.
The search for the missing Navy SEALs covered 21,000 square miles and combined efforts using ships and aircraft from the U.S., Spain, and Japan. Assistance was provided for the search by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Atlantic Area Command Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center, and the University of California, San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. While the SEALs extensive training and experience gave search efforts reason to hope, it has now been too long to consider rescue efforts realistic.
While the mission resulted in the tragic loss of two Navy SEALs, it is not considered a failure by any means. As is standard protocol, the rest of the team continued with their objective and recovered an array of Iranian-made weaponry from the ship. Included in the haul were cruise and ballistic missile components, as well as air defense parts. They detained the 14 crew members on board and then sank the ship, which the military had deemed unsafe. In the public statement, General Michael Erik Kurilla expressed sorrow for the loss of “two Naval Special Warfare warriors,” promising to forever honor their sacrifice.
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