The port mortuary is part of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, located at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. 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 to our fallen and prepare them to be returned to their families.
Personnel and Resources
Both military and civilian personnel work in the port mortuary including permanent party licensed mortuary specialists. Accomplishing the mission relies on personnel from various organizations and agencies. The port mortuary has support from deployed active duty and Reserve members from the Air Force. Branch of Service liaisons from the Army, Marine Corps and Navy also support the mission. The 436th Airlift Wing also provides support during operations.
The mortuary mission at Dover Air Force Base dates back to 1955. It was originially part of the 1607th Air Transport Wing at Dover Air Force Base until the wing unit designation changed to the 436th Airlift Wing in 1966. The port mortuary, historically known as Dover Port Mortuary, was a flight under the 436th Services Squadron until Dec. 15, 2008, when it became part of AFMAO, which was established as a named activity of the Headquarters Air Force, Deputy Chief of Staff, Personnel, Services and Manpower.
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.