Obama, Military Leaders Pay Respects at Dover Air Force Base

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.

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. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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