The port mortuary is part of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, located at Dover Air Force Base, Del. AFMAO combined the missions of both Air Force Mortuary Affairs and the Dover Port Mortuary at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs. The port mortuary is responsible for the return of all Department of Defense personnel from Overseas Contingency Operations and other overseas deaths with mortuary entitlements. Additionally when requested, it maintains response capabilities in the event of homeland mass fatalities.
The port mortuary's mission is to fulfill the nation's commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect for the fallen as they prepare fallen service members to be returned to their families.
Personnel and Resources
Approximately 60 military and civilian personnel work in the port mortuary. Accomplishing the mission relies on personnel from various organizations and agencies. The port mortuary has support from 30 deployed active duty, Guard and Reserve members from the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy and permanent party licensed mortuary specialists. The 436th Airlift Wing also provides support during operations.
The port mortuary, historically known as Dover Port Mortuary, was a flight under the 436th Services Squadron. On Dec. 15, 2008, AFMAO was established as a named activity of the Headquarters Air Force, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Services and Manpower. Shortly thereafter, the Air Force Mortuary Affairs function transferred from the Air Force Services Agency, San Antonio, Texas to join the new organization. AFMAO is comprised of the port mortuary, mortuary affairs and operations. AFMAO became a Field Operating Agency May 1, 2014.
The Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, a $30 million, 73,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, became home to the mortuary in November 2003. The port mortuary not only serves as our nation's sole port mortuary but is the largest mortuary in the DOD and the only one located in the continental United States.