Air Force Investigating Deaths of 2 Servicemen at Base in Germany

The U.S. Air Force said it’s investigating the cause of death of two servicemen at a German base last week.

Airman 1st Class Xavier Leaphart and Airman 1st Class Aziess Whitehurst were found unresponsive in a dormatory room at Spangdahlem Air Base in western Germany on Jan. 9, the Air Force said in a statement. They were pronounced dead shortly afterward.

They were assigned to the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, under the 52nd Fighter Wing.

“It is always very difficult to lose valued members of our team,” said Col. David Epperson, 52nd Fighter Wing commander. “Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and families that have been affected by this tragedy.”

“The cause of the death is still under investigation,” said Valerie Seeley, an Air Force spokeswoman, CBS News reported. “More information will be released as it becomes available.”

Seeley said no other base members were in the dormitory, and neither had roommates. Other details about their deaths weren’t disclosed.

Leaphart is survived by his father, Malik Muhammad, and mother Pamela Leaphart, the Air Force said. Whitehurst is survived by his father and mother, Davin and Maria Whitehurst.

The Spangdahlem Air Base is a NATO airbase, with the Air Force as a tenant, constructed between 1951 and 1953 and located near the town of Spangdahlem.

“This base/wing is an installation of U.S. Air Forces in Europe, a major command of the U.S. Air Force and also the air component of the U.S. European Command, a Department of Defense unified command,” the website says.

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