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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

The Armed Forces Medical Examiner System (AFMES) is committed to being the Department of Defense’s (DoD's) leader in providing medical-legal services and emerging technologies essential for the readiness, sustainability and survivability of our service members. AFMES provides the DoD and other federal agencies comprehensive forensic investigative services, to include forensic pathology, DNA Forensics, forensic toxicology, and medical mortality surveillance. AFMES is not only the single worldwide medical examiner system, but it also supports the entire U.S. federal government.

Official seal of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner SystemMission 

Investigate deaths, Identify the fallen, Improve readiness

Vision 

Be the global leader in comprehensive and innovative medicolegal services enhancing the readiness, sustainability, and survivability of those we serve.

AFMES Fact Sheets

Description File
This Fact Sheet describes the purpose of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System's Department of Defense DNA Operations AFMES DoD DNA Operations Fact Sheet 2018
This Fact Sheet describes the purpose of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System's Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. AFMES DNA FAQs 2018
This Fact Sheet describes the purpose of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System. AFMES Fact Sheet 2018

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AFMES participates in 'Safe and Sound' week

Article
8/27/2018
Air Force Tech Sgt. Aisuluu Alford (left) and Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Tutt, both Armed Forces Medical Examiner System forensic toxicology laboratory technicians, grab supplies out of the Shelter-In-Place Kit during a Shelter-In-Place exercise. The exercise was part of Safe and Sound week where AFMES personnel were able to engage in different safety activities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

Safe and Sound Week is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and understanding of safety and health programs within the workplace

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner

AFMES DoD DNA Lab receives perfect score

Article
8/6/2018
Sean Patterson, quality management section DNA analyst, checks expiration dates on reagents in the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System – Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory. AFDIL recently underwent a quality assessment where they received zero findings of nonconformance for the first time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

This was the first time AFDIL has received zero findings during a quality assessment

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

AFMES embraces resiliency

Article
7/9/2018
Col. Louis Finelli, the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System director, talks with AFMES personnel during a resiliency day at Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del., May 24, 2018. Finelli talked about the importance of coming together as a family to be able to destress and be more resilient. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Nicole Leidholm)

AFMES town hall focused on workplace and summer safety, security awareness and resiliency

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner

AFMES DNA lab helps identify the fallen of past conflicts

Article
5/30/2018
Gina Parada, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System DNA analyst, collects a DNA sample during a POW/MIA Accounting Agency Family Member Update in Louisville, Kentucky. DNA can be used to support anthropology of recovered skeletal remains or be used as primary means of identification. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo)

DNA can be used to support anthropology of recovered skeletal remains or be used as primary means of identification

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Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner | Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

AFMES participates in Operation Joint Recovery, introduces MACRMS

Article
3/20/2018
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bryan Platt (right), Armed Forces Medical Examiner System forensic pathologist, demonstrates an examination at a simulated Mortuary Affairs Contaminated Remains Mitigation Site during Operation Joint Recovery exercise at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., Mar. 10, 2018. Platt familiarized participants in recovery and processing of contaminated remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert M. Trujillo)

AFMES primary role in the exercise was to familiarize participants in contaminated remains recovery

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Earthquake shakes Dover Air Force Base

Article
12/1/2017
A map of Delaware and the surrounding areas where a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred Nov. 30, 2017, six miles northeast of Dover is shown. (Courtesy photo)

On November 30, 2017, a magnitude 4.1 earthquake occurred six miles northeast of Dover, Delaware

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

Commentary: Medicolegal death investigations from a federal viewpoint

Article
11/24/2017
A view of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System facility is shown July 21, 2017, on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Pursuant to a Base Relocation and Closure, the new AFMES facility was constructed adjoined with the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs. Prior to the BRAC, AFMES called Rockville, Maryland, home. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

Investigators at AFMES face unique challenges inherent to the military structure and area of responsibility

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | Medical-Legal Examinations

DPAA accounts for 183 missing service members in fiscal year 2017

Article
10/27/2017
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency conducts a ceremony for POW/MIA Recognition Day at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii, Sept. 15, 2017. POW/MIA Recognition Day, first established in 1979 through a proclamation from President Jimmy Carter, is an observance to honor and recognize the sacrifices of those Americans who have been prisoners of war and to remind the Nation of those who are still missing in action. Today, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is conducting worldwide operations to provide the fullest possible accounting for those classified as still missing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Matthew J. Bruch)

DPAA works closely with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, part of the Research and Development Directorate of the Military Health System

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AFMES, helping bring loved ones home one FRS at a time

Article
4/7/2017
Personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Department of Defense DNA Registry Family Reference Sample-Laboratory Automation group pose for a photo, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The FRS-LA group’s primary mission is to process family reference samples for the past accounting community as well as current day operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

The Family Reference Sample-Laboratory Automation group was established in October 2016

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AFMES participates in AAFS

Article
2/21/2017
Personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System pose for a photo Feb. 14, 2017, at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’69th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 12 personnel from AFMES participated in the AAFS meeting. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

More than 12 personnel from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, participated in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’ 69th Annual Scientific Meeting February 13-18

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The Department of Defense's watchdog

Article
2/7/2017
U.S. Army Maj. Lynn Wagner, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System Division of Forensic Toxicology Special Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Facility chief (left), and Dr. Jeffrey Walterscheid, AFMES Division of Forensic Toxicology chief toxicologist, pose for a photo. Wagner and Walterscheid want to let service members know they are watching and making sure they do not get away with doing synthetic cannabinoids. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

The Special Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory is one of three DoD laboratories certified to test for synthetic cannabinoids, or Spice drugs

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Science, Ancestry and Identity: What I learned from following my DNA

Article
1/6/2017
Air Force Senior Airman Ashlin Federick, Armed Forces Medical Examiner System photojournalist, has her cheek swabbed with a Bode buccal swab by Jennie McMahon, AFMES Department of Defense DNA Registry supervisory DNA analyst, at AFMES on Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Buccal swabs are used to retrieve DNA samples from family references to identify human remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ashlin Federick)

DNA can be used to provide closure to families of the missing

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USS Oklahoma 75 Years later: DNA is not just science, it's personal

Article
12/2/2016
Todd Weiler, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, and Ronald Keohane, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy; listen to Deborah Skillman, Director, Casualty, Mortuary Affairs and Military Funeral Honors from the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, explain the display board of confirmed USS Oklahoma remains identified by the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory Nov. 4, 2016, at Armed Forces Medical Examiner System on Dover Air Force Base, Del. Weiler and Keohane received briefings and met with personnel at the Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, AFMES and the Joint Personal Effects Depot. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik)

Display board created by DoD DNA Registry analyst dedicated to the history of the USS Oklahoma

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Armed Forces Medical Examiner System | DoD DNA Operations | Military Medical History

Mexican-American War remains arrive in U.S. for dignified transfer

Article
9/30/2016
The skeletal remains of the possible U.S. soldiers were solemnly carried to an awaiting vehicle by the U.S. Army Old Guard ceremonial team, under the watchful gaze of senior military, university and government leaders. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The skeletal remains of the possible U.S. soldiers were transferred for examination to the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System

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