Sailor Fatally Injured While Conducting Small Boat Ops in Middle East

Sailors man the rails of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) as the ship departs from Ponta Delgada, Azores. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay)
Sailors man the rails of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) as the ship departs from Ponta Delgada, Azores. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonathan Clay)

A sailor deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet has died of injuries sustained during small boat operations, the Navy announced Monday.

The sailor, who was not identified, was assigned to the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer Jason Dunham, which has been deployed from its homeport of Norfolk since the end of May. It has been operating in waters surrounding the Middle East in recent days.

The sailor had been conducting unspecified small boat operations in the Red Sea on Sunday when the injuries were sustained, officials said in news releases.

"The sailor was medically evacuated to a hospital in Aqaba, Jordan, and was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. local time," officials said in a release.

The circumstances surrounding the sailor's death are being investigated, officials said.

Defense Department policy dictates that names of deceased troops are not made public until 24 hours after next-of-kin are notified.

The Dunham, which is set to operate with the Harry S. Truman carrier strike group while deployed, conducted a passing exercise with elements of the Egyptian Navy earlier this month.

The destroyer's deployment is in support of operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the region, including three strategic choke points, according to Navy officials.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.

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