The Navy on Monday identified two SEALs who were declared dead after they were lost at sea during a nighttime raid near Somalia.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Christopher J. Chambers, 37, and Special Warfare Operator 2nd Class Nathan Gage Ingram, 27, were out on the waters on the night of Jan. 11, seizing “a vessel illegally transporting advanced lethal aid from Iran to resupply Houthi forces in Yemen,” according to a Navy statement.

“Jill and I are mourning the tragic deaths of two of America’s finest—Navy SEALs who were lost at sea while executing a mission off the coast of East Africa last week,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. 

“Over ten days, the United States military conducted an extensive search and rescue mission. Recovery efforts are still continuing as we grieve this profound loss for our country.”

The president continued: “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. Our entire country stands with you. We will never fail to honor their service, their legacy, and their sacrifice.” 

The search-and-rescue effort was formally declared a recovery mission Sunday as Chambers and Ingram were declared dead, officials said.

Nathan Gage Ingram U.S. Navy

“We extend our condolences to Chris and Gage’s families, friends, and teammates during this incredibly challenging time,” Capt. Blake L. Chaney, commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1, said in statement.

“They were exceptional warriors, cherished teammates, and dear friends to many within the Naval Special Warfare community.”

The mission that cost Chambers and Ingram their lives netted further proof of Iran’s support for Houthi militants who have been stepping up regional attacks since the outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas, U.S. officials have said.

Items seized allegedly included Iranian-made ballistic missiles and cruise missile components. The weapons and parts are some of the same used by the Houthis to threaten and attack merchant ships in the Red Sea, U.S. officials have said.

Both men completed boot camp at the Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, just outside Chicago, before graduating from SEAL qualification training in Coronado, California.

Chris Chambers.
Chris Chambers.U.S. Navy

They were assigned to a Naval Special Warfare (NSW) unit on the West Coast.

“Chris and Gage selflessly served their country with unwavering professionalism and exceptional capabilities,” Chaney said.

“This loss is devastating for NSW, our families, the special operations community, and across the nation.

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