USAF Leadership Discusses Dover Investigation

The Air Force inspector general found several cases of “gross mismanagement” on the part of mortuary officials at Dover AFB, Del., in handling the remains of fallen service personnel, said Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. The IG began an investigation in June after three mortuary employees filed complaints the month prior alleging that the mortuary mishandled body parts of an airman and a soldier killed in action, among other issues, said Schwartz during a Pentagon press conference Tuesday. The investigation found that three mortuary leaders “failed to properly perceive, and then act upon these indications that there were systemic issues with respect to accountability of remains in the mortuary,” he explained. The mortuary commander received a letter of reprimand and two civilian employees were demoted to non-supervisory roles, he said. “You have my commitment that we will continue to ensure the highest standards are met to provide dignity, honor, respect, and reverence for our fallen and care, service, and support to their families,” wrote Air Force Secretary Michael Donley in a letter to airmen on this matter Tuesday. (Includes AFPS report by Jim Garamone) (See also SAF/PA release.)