Air Force Morgue
November 9, 2011 by staff
Air Force Morgue, Investigators have found “gross mismanagement” at the US Air Force mortuary that receives the country’s war dead, with body parts lost in two cases and remains of others mishandled, officials said.
After allegations from whistleblowers at the Dover Air Force base mortuary, an Air Force investigation found two “portions of the remains” of fallen troops were lost and other problems at the morgue, said General Norton Schwartz, the Air Force chief of staff.
New procedures have been put in place at the mortuary and the commander at the morgue — a colonel — and two civilian officials were disciplined over the episode but were not sacked, Schwartz told reporters.
While the three supervisors had failed to meet the high standard required, the mistakes were not “a deliberate act,” he said.
The mistakes at Dover echoed a scandal that erupted last year at Arlington National Cemetery, the country’s hallowed ground for war dead, with investigators finding cases of misidentified remains and mismanagement.
Following an Army probe, the bungling at Arlington is now the subject of a criminal investigation.
Schwartz said he and the civilian head of the Air Force, Michael Donley, took personal responsibility for the missteps at the Dover mortuary.
“There is nothing more sacred… than treating our fallen with reverence, dignity and respect,” said Schwartz, looking solemn and his voice cracking with emotion. “This is tough stuff.”
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