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Search Underway as Two U.S. Navy Sailors Go Missing Near Somalia

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet
U.S. Naval Forces Central Command / U.S. 5th Fleet

By: Micaela Burrow, Daily Caller News Foundation

Search and rescue operations are underway to find two U.S. Navy sailors that have disappeared near the coast of Somalia, the U.S. military said Friday.

Two sailors were reported missing Thursday night while conducting operations off the coast of Somalia, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement. The military declined to provide additional details, including the sailors’ identities, in order to safeguard sensitive information until the recovery mission is complete and to respect the families involved.

“On the evening of January 11, two U.S. Navy Sailors were reported missing at sea while conducting operations off the coast of Somalia. Search and rescue operations are currently ongoing to locate the two sailors,” CENTCOM said.

“For operational security purposes, we will not release additional information until the personnel recovery operation is complete,” CENTCOM said.

The missing sailors were assigned to the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which operates in the Mideast region, “supporting a wide variety of missions,” the statement said.

The U.S. Navy has been operating at a heightened posture in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since Houthi attacks on international shipping in the region escalated. It also operated near Somalia as part of a multinational task force, Combined Task Force 151, to counter Somali piracy.

In November, U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer chased down Somali pirates attempting to hijack a commercial vessel in waters south of Yemen and took the perpetrators into custody, the U.S. military said.

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