Two Navy SEALs reported missing after ‘dangerous’ night mission off coast of Somalia

Two U.S. Navy SEALs have reportedly been missing for days following a night mission off the coast of Somalia considered one “of the most dangerous things” they do.

(Video: ABC News)

Yet another disaster unfolded under President Joe Biden’s watch amid the scandal surrounding the Defense Department’s secrecy over Secretary Lloyd Austin’s hospitalization. As protesters responded to strikes from the United States and United Kingdom against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden two SEALs went missing in the waters of the coast of Somalia.

As confirmed to the press by multiple U.S. officials, the special operators were conducting a boarding mission at night when one of the frogmen had fallen into the water. The Associated Press reported, “The SEALs were on an interdiction mission, climbing up a vessel when one got knocked off by high waves. Under their protocol, when one SEAL is overtaken the next jumps in after them.”

“Doing boarding operations in the open ocean at night are some of the most dangerous things that you can do,” retired U.S. Navy SEAL Eric Oehlerich told ABC News. “For seasoned operators, they’ll tell you it’s the most dangerous thing that we do.”

Though details of the specific mission conducted by the team were not reported, the AP indicated that it “was not related to Operation Prosperity Guardian, the ongoing U.S. and international mission to provide protection to commercial vessels in the Red Sea,” the strikes in Yemen or Iranian seizure of an oil tanker.

Thus far, U.S. Central Command issued one statement on the missing SEALs reporting that search and rescue operations were underway and that “For operational security purposes, we will not release additional information until the personnel recovery operation is complete.”

They also made clear that details on the missing personnel would remain confidential for the time-being “Out of respect for the families affected.”

Meanwhile, the DoD has remained on damage control since it became known that Austin had been in the ICU for days without informing the president. Biden had downplayed concerns over the chain of command and the secretary turning over some of his responsibilities to his vacationing deputy with basic responses to the media.

“I do,” said the president when asked, “Do you have confidence in Secretary Austin?” Biden further added, “Yes,” when questioned, “Was it a lapse in judgment for him not to tell you earlier?”

While families of the servicemembers no doubt worried about the well-being of their loved ones, the tone-deaf Department of Defense took to X Saturday with a puff post on nighttime exercises being conducted by operators far from the conflict in the Middle East.

“Night falls, and the elite Naval Special Warfare operators sharpen their skills in a direct action raid at Fort Irwin, Calif,” the department captioned a training image.

Kevin Haggerty

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