HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — A locally-based Navy SEAL died after a firefight with militants from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s branch in Yemen.
Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, of Peoria, Illinois, died Saturday. He was assigned to a Special Warfare unit based in the Hampton Roads area.
Owens enlisted in 1998 and was highly decorated (see a list below for his awards and decorations).
Three service members were also wounded Sunday during the raid, which killed three alleged senior leaders of Yemen’s al-Qaida branch
A fourth U.S. service member was injured when a military aircraft assisting in the mission had a “hard landing” nearby, according to U.S. Central Command.
The raid left nearly 30 others dead, including an estimated 14 militants.
Owens received several awards and decorations including:
- Enlisted Special Warfare Specialist
- Basic Parachutist
- Navy/Marine Corps Medal
- Bronze Star w/Combat “V” (2)
- Bronze Star
- Joint Service Commendation Medal w/Combat “V” (2)
- Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2)
- Joint Service Achievement Medal
- Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3)
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Joint Meritorious Unit Award (2)
- Good Conduct Medal (6)
- Presidential Unit Citation (3)
- National Defense Service Medal
- Afghanistan Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (8)
The Associated Press contributed to this report.