Mortuary Family Call Center Opens at Dover
Air Force News Service
WASHINGTON, Nov. 30, 2011 The Air Force recently moved its mortuary affairs call center responsibilities from a temporary call center here to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center at Dover Air Force Base, Del.
Trained experts will continue to answer calls from the toll-free number 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, to meet the needs of family members.
“We established this call center to answer questions and address potential concerns for families of fallen service members," said Brig. Gen. Eden Murrie, the director of Air Force Services. "It was important that we were prepared and did this right.”
The call center was established following the announcement of results of a year-long investigation of the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center in Dover, the point of entry for the remains of U.S. service members who are killed or die overseas.
Investigators found no evidence that anyone intentionally mishandled remains, but the investigation concluded the mortuary staff failed to maintain accountability while processing portions of remains for three service members.
In setting up the Dover call center, the Air Force “ensured there were sufficient phone lines and expertly trained staff so a caller would immediately talk with a person who was able to answer any questions they had,” Murrie said.
Since the call center's establishment on Nov. 8, she said, only eight calls were received from concerned relatives of service members and others from the general public.
"We are committed to keeping this important communication channel open,” Murrie said. “And it makes sense, given the small number of calls, that we transition the function to the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations Center."
The Air Force is committed to ensuring the mission of AFMAO is carried out with reverence, dignity, honor and respect for the fallen and to providing care, service and support for the families, she said.
Families of fallen service members may contact the Air Force toll free at 1-855-637-2583 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if they have questions about the investigation or Air Force mortuary operations.
For more information, media should contact Air Force Public Affairs at 703-695-0640 or after hours at (202) 528-4929.