Casket Photo Sparks Air Force Investigation, Outrage - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Casket Photo Sparks Air Force Investigation, Outrage

Photo courtesy MSNBC.Com Photo courtesy MSNBC.Com

MSNBC.COM - Air Force commanders are investigating the origins of a photo of airmen posing around an open casket with another airman inside pretending to be dead.

In the photo, which has elicited disbelief and outrage from military commanders, military wives and widows, and others, 15 airmen are seen kneeling or standing around a metallic casket, similar to those used to carry war dead home. In the open casket is another airman, looking lifeless, with what appears to be a noose around his neck and chains across his body.

"Da Dumpt, Da Dumpt … Sucks 2 Be U" is scribbled at the bottom of the photo, which apparently was taken in August but didn't come to light publicly until it was emailed to Air Force Times on Monday.

On Tuesday, Air Force Times published an article on the photo and the controversy it is generating.

The airmen in the photo are apparently from the 345th Training Squadron in Fort Lee, Va., military officials said Wednesday. Their unit is a detachment from a command at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Air Force Times said an investigation was launched after it forwarded the photo to Air Education and Training Command, the overall training command for the Air Force, for comment. Lackland is one of the bases assigned to the command.

David E. Smith, spokesman for the training command, told Air Force Times that the commander of the 37th Training Group at Lackland, Col. Gregory Reese, was "obviously displeased."

Smith told msnbc.com on Wednesday: "I don't know whether any rules have been violated. What I do know is the photo apparently was taken in August, and the folks involved in it are under investigation by an Air Force officer." He said he expects the investigation to be completed "in a week or two." click here to read more

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