May 6, 2014, DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) – Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations became a Field Operating Agency, May 1, at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs, Dover Air Force Base, Del., aligning it directly under Headquarters Air Force leadership.
The organization, created as a named activity of the Directorate of Services, Manpower and Personnel, Headquarters United States Air Force, was originally activated Jan. 6, 2009.
The change was approved Feb. 14, 2014, by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, under the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which authorized the stand-up of the FOA.
“Aligning AFMAO directly under Headquarters Air Force reinforces the operational value of our mission in supporting all our nation’s fallen including active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines as well as guardsmen, reservists and civilians,” said Col. John Devillier, AFMAO commander.
The new construct combines operational and personnel decisions under one command with mission execution authority by the secretary and chief of staff of the Air Force. Transition to a FOA allows for Air Force leaders’ direct control when contingency situations warrant immediate action.
“This permanent command relationship allows for a direct chain of command to the most senior Air Force leadership, further underlying the success of our no-fail mission,” added Devillier.
The change shows the value this organization brings to the entire DOD taking care of families of the fallen, said the commander.
“We not only support the Air Force, we support the entire Department of Defense,” said Devillier.
“The Air Force got this right by highlighting the importance of this organization and mission,” said Brig. Gen. Patrick Doherty, Air Force Services director.
“You only get one chance to get it right when we deal with families,” said Doherty. “The level of performance that you guys do on a daily basis is just extraordinary.”
AFMAO is the Air Force’s 21st Field Operating Agency.