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Identity Revealed: 34-Year-Old Michael Aregbesola, the Selfless Sailor Lost In The Red Sea

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The Navy sailor who passed away while on duty in the Red Sea has been identified by the Pentagon as Aviation Machinist’s Mate 2nd Class Nigerian Oriola Michael Aregbesola, aged 34, from Miramar, Florida. Aregbesola’s death on March 20 was due to a ‘non-combat related incident,’ and an investigation is underway.

According to the U.S. Navy, Aregbesola was the individual lost overboard from USS Mason (DDG 87) during operations in the Red Sea on March 20. Aregbesola enlisted in the Navy in July 2020 and joined Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 74, also known as ‘Swamp Foxes,’ in December 2020.

Commander Eric Kohut praised Aregbesola’s dedication, stating that he exemplified the selfless character and warrior spirit of a U.S. Navy Sailor. Aregbesola’s exceptional performance extended beyond aircraft maintenance, as he valued and recognized every member of the ship/air team.

Aregbesola’s squadron was deployed to the USS Mason, which has been active in the U.S. 5th Fleet in the Red Sea since November. The Pentagon recently announced the U.S. joining a 10-nation military alliance to counter terror threats in the Red Sea following several attacks on commercial vessels.

The member countries of this alliance, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain, attribute the attacks to the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel. Houthi rebels in Yemen, who claim responsibility for some of these attacks, support Palestinians and oppose Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Recent incidents include the USS Mason intercepting an anti-ship ballistic missile launched by Houthi forces towards the Gulf of Aden and a Norwegian-flagged tanker being hit by a cruise missile in the Red Sea. The USS Mason provided assistance following the attack.

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