Obama, Military Leaders Pay Respects at Dover Air Force Base
By Cheryl Pellerin
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2011 President Barack Obama and military leaders paid their respects today at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware during the dignified transfer of remains of service members killed in an Aug. 6 helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama begins a salute as he participates in a ceremony at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Del., Aug. 9, 2011, for the dignified transfer of U.S. and Afghan personnel who died in the Aug. 6 helicopter crash in Afghanistan's Wardak province. White House photo by Pete Souza
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Two Air Force C-17 transport aircraft carrying the remains arrived at Dover this morning.
An investigation is under way to determine the facts surrounding the deaths of 30 U.S. service members and eight Afghans when their CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down in Afghanistan’s Wardak province. Five of the U.S. casualties were aircrew members, and 25 were members of the U.S. Special Operations Command.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta was in attendance at Dover today, along with Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his wife, Deborah; and Michael G. Vickers, undersecretary of defense for intelligence.
Representing the services were Navy Secretary Ray E. Mabus, Navy Adm. Gary Roughead, chief of naval operations, and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West; Army Secretary John M. McHugh and Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, Army vice chief of staff; and Air Force Undersecretary Erin C. Conaton, Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, Air Force vice chief of staff, and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Roy.