Tags: air | force | lost | remains

Ex-Cmdr.: Fire Air Force Officials Over Lost Remains

Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011 04:56 PM

A former U.S. Marine commander believes that senior Air Force officials "should be fired" after the mishandling of remains at Dover Air Force Base.

“On our turf, in a secure environment with no bullets flying, that these people could not do their job for those who died in the service of our country is unconscionable," retired Brig. Gen. Mike Neil told NBC San Diego.

Dover AFB, the gateway for fallen U.S. service members who died in war zones all over the world, is the place where remains are brought in for processing in preparation for funerals. It is also the place where some remains were mishandled, according to military officials.

After an 18-month investigation into the mortuary at Dover, investigators discovered that remains were lost, including body parts of fallen service members. Three Air Force officials were reprimanded for the "inadequate" handling of the remains.

Neil, a former commander at Camp Pendleton, told NBC San Diego that it is crucial that every piece of a fallen service member be brought home to the family.

"They must be secure in knowing that the remains of their loved one are in that coffin, and have not been violated in anyway," Neil said.

Dover Air Force Base has handled the remains of more than 6,000 U.S. service members from Iraq and Afghanistan.




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