Air Force mishandled remains of war dead at DAFB
Federal investigators said Tuesday they uncovered “gross mismanagement” at the Dover Air Force Base mortuary that cares for America’s war dead after whistleblowers reported horror stories of lost body parts, shoddy inventory controls and lax supervision.
The former mortuary commander and two other senior officials have been disciplined – but not fired -- in response to separate investigations conducted by the Air Force Inspector General, the Secretary of the Air Force and the Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal agency that also received the whistleblower complaints.
Dysfunctional management, misplaced remains and contracting problems have been found in investigations into Arlington Cemetery.
Tech firms' probe of Arlington Cemetery blames paper records, lack of oversightAir Force mishandled remains of war dead, probe finds
.The grisly findings at Dover echo a similar scandal at another hallowed repository for the military’s dead, Arlington National Cemetery. An Army investigation last year documented cases of misidentified remains at Arlington, dug-up urns that had been dumped in a dirt pile and botched contracts worth millions of dollars. The Army Criminal Investigation Command and the FBI are now conducting a criminal probe there.
The sloppy handling of troops’ remains at Dover and Arlington painfully undercuts what the military has long borne as a sacred obligation: to treat its fallen members and their families with utmost levels of dignity and honor.
“The ultimate requirement here is to fulfill our professional and moral obligation to ensure that our fallen are treated with the reverence and respect they deserve,” said Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Air Force Chief of staff.
Three civilian whistleblowers who work in the mortuary filed complaints last year alleging 14 specific instances of wrongdoing by their supervisors, from endangering public health to losing a dead soldier’s ankle to sawing off a deceased Marine’s arm bone without informing his family.
Read More Air Force mishandled remains of war dead - The Washington Post
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