Navy identifies SEAL killed in Afghanistan rescue - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Navy identifies SEAL killed in Afghanistan rescue

Posted: Updated:
Nicolas D. Checque/CNN Courtesy photo Nicolas D. Checque/CNN Courtesy photo

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The U.S. Defense Department on Monday identified the SEAL killed during a successful raid to free a captive doctor in Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, died Saturday during the effort to free Dr. Dilip Joseph, the Navy said. NATO commanders believed Joseph was in imminent danger from his captors when the raid took place.

While the Defense Department announcement said only that Checque belonged to an "East Coast-based Special Warfare Unit," a U.S. official said the man was a member of the Navy's Special Warfare Development Group, more commonly known as SEAL Team Six. The elite unit is the same one that took part in the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

The official didn't know if the SEAL who died was involved in that operation.

"He gave his life for his fellow Americans, and he and his teammates remind us once more of the selfless service that allows our nation to stay strong, safe and free," President Barack Obama said of the slain SEAL before his identity was made public.

Armed men kidnapped Joseph and two other staff members for the international aid group Morning Star on Wednesday as they returned from a rural medical clinic in eastern Kabul province.

Tribal leader Malik Samad and district chief Muhammad Haqbeen told CNN that Joseph and an Afghan doctor were abducted near the village of Jegdalek in the Sarobi district, just outside Kabul.

The International Security Assistance Force said Taliban insurgents kidnapped the men. Samad and Haqbeen identified the kidnappers as smugglers.

Morning Star said negotiations began "almost immediately" with the captors and went on sporadically into Saturday night, when two of the three were released.

The Afghan doctor's family paid $12,000 to the smugglers, Haqbeen and Samad said. Morning Star denied paying any "ransom, money or other consideration" to win the release of its staffers, and the raid to free Joseph came 11 hours later after the other two were released.

U.S. officials provided few details about the rescue effort, but Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the SEALs "knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy's grip."

Checque joined the Navy in 2002, according to a brief service record provided by the Defense Department. After attending recruit training in Illinois and advanced training in Virginia, he entered the seal program in April 2003.

He was assigned to his first SEAL unit in August 2004, and transferred to a second unit, presumably SEAL Team Six, in September 2008.

He received the Bronze Star and several other awards during his 10-year Naval career.

The rescued doctor, Joseph, has worked with Morning Star for three years. He serves as its medical adviser, and travels frequently to Afghanistan, the agency said.

Morning Star did not release the identities of the other two men, citing safety concerns.

Joseph is expected to return home to Colorado Springs, Colorado, within a few days, after medical examinations and debriefings, the agency sad.

On Sunday, his family extended condolences to the slain sailor's family.

"We are incredibly grateful for the multiple agencies of the U.S. government that have supported us in this difficult time, and especially the quick response by our military and partner allies to rescue Dilip," the family said. "They showed great heroism and professionalism."

Despite the kidnappings of Joseph and its two other staffers, Morning Star reiterated its "commitment to continue its work" in Afghanistan.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Capital Murder defendant Calvert wheeled, unwilling, into district courtroom

    Capital Murder defendant Calvert wheeled, unwilling, into district courtroom

    Thursday, August 21 2014 6:38 PM EDT2014-08-21 22:38:39 GMT
    James Calvert was wheeled into Judge Jack Skeen Junior's courtroom Thursday afternoon in what appeared to be a catatonic state and seemingly restrained as deputies balanced him on a wheelchair while supporting his legs.More >>
    James Calvert was wheeled into Judge Jack Skeen Junior's courtroom Thursday afternoon in what appeared to be a catatonic state and seemingly restrained as deputies balanced him on a wheelchair while supporting his legs.More >>
  • Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Officer Involved Shooting Suspect's Mom Speaks Out

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:13 PM EDT2014-08-21 03:13:22 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) - Hope Fountain says the shadow of recent events has covered up who her son really was."You'll never replace those hugs and those smiles. He would always be there for you no matter what." - Hope Fountain, Wagner's MotherGregg County Jail Records show that Wagner has a violent past but Fountain says he has regretted his crimes since the day they were committed. In 2013, Wagner plead guilty to terroristic threats of a public servant. Fountain says Wagner was going through a roug...More >>
  • Longview Man Vows to Run Across Texas

    Longview Man Vows to Run Across Texas

    Friday, August 22 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-08-22 05:00:29 GMT
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) -A man from Longview will be making a 762-mile journey across Texas.Oleus Lilly is lacing up and currently training to run across Texas. He will be running 26 miles a day for the enitire month of October. Lilly will be teaming up with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and raise money for the organization. He says in '07 he lost his grandmother to breast cancer and she is his inspiration. "She would always come to my house to visit and I would never be there. She s...More >>
    LONGVIEW (KYTX) -A man from Longview will be making a 762-mile journey across Texas.Oleus Lilly is lacing up and currently training to run across Texas. He will be running 26 miles a day for the enitire month of October. Lilly will be teaming up with the American Cancer Society to raise awareness and raise money for the organization. He says in '07 he lost his grandmother to breast cancer and she is his inspiration. "She would always come to my house to visit and I would never be there. She s...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.