Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers, left, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram.

Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers, left, and Navy Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram. (U.S. Navy)

This story has been corrected.

Christopher Chambers and Nathan Gage Ingram were the Navy SEALs who went missing in rough seas during a nighttime ship-boarding mission in the Arabian Sea, the service said Monday.

“Chris and Gage selflessly served their country with unwavering professionalism and exceptional capabilities,” Capt. Blake L. Chaney, commander of the Naval Special Warfare Group 1, said in a statement. “This loss is devastating for NSW, our families, the special operations community, and across the nation.”

During the Jan. 11 mission off the coast of Somalia that resulted in the seizure of Iranian-made missile parts bound for militants in Yemen, the two sailors went missing overboard.

Commandos launched from the USS Lewis B. Puller, a mobile sea base, backed up by drones and helicopters. They loaded onto small special operations combat craft driven by naval special warfare crew to get to the boat. It was the type of boarding for which SEALs train routinely, The Associated Press reported.

Rescue crews searched for 10 days before U.S. Central Command announced Sunday that they were now declared dead. The Navy on Monday identified Chambers and Ingram as the two SEALs.

Chambers, 37, was a Navy special warfare operator first class from Maryland who enlisted in the Navy in 2012 and graduated from SEAL training in 2014. His awards include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal with Combat “C” and three Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Ingram, 27, was a Navy special warfare operator second class from Texas who enlisted in 2019 and graduated from SEAL training in 2021.

The Navy’s 5th Fleet is investigating the incident. That probe is expected to examine whether the SEALs were properly equipped and trained for the mission, whether procedures were followed, and any decisions regarding the timing and approval of the raid, including the weather and the state of the seas.

The seizure came as the interdiction of weapons to Yemen takes on new urgency. The Yemen-based Houthi rebels have been conducting a campaign of missile and drone attacks against commercial and Navy ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden over Israel’s war on Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. U.S. retaliatory strikes have so far not deterred their assaults.

President Joe Biden released a statement mourning the loss of Chambers and Ingram.

“These SEALs represented the very best of our country, pledging their lives to protect their fellow Americans. Our hearts go out to the family members, loved ones, friends, and shipmates who are grieving for these two brave Americans,” Biden said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


This story has been corrected to reflect revised accounts of the incident.
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Matthew Adams covers the Defense Department at the Pentagon. His past reporting experience includes covering politics for The Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle and The News and Observer. He is based in Washington, D.C.

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