The mortuary is a $30 million, 78,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility which opened November 2003. The programs are streamlined into a unit that provides a single voice to the U.S. Air Force and the joint community on mortuary matters.
The new facility replaced the 48-year-old Dover Port Mortuary facility that had been in use since 1955. Prior to January 2009, the Port Mortuary was a flight under the 436th Services Squadron. The port has played a crucial role in the respectful handling of America’s fallen throughout history, to include helping after the 1978 Jonestown mass suicide and caring for the remains of the crew members from both Space Shuttle Challenger and Space Shuttle Columbia. The port was also key in caring for those who died in the Pentagon during 9/11.
In addition to the operational facility, AFMAO manages the Campus for the Families of the Fallen, which consists of three main areas: the Center for Families of the Fallen; the Fisher House for Families of the Fallen; and the Meditation Pavilion and surrounding gardens. The facilities are designed to provide families with an area of privacy, comfort and support while they are at Dover Air Force Base to witness the dignified transfer of their loved one.
Additional information on the Campus for the Families of the Fallen is available here.