UPDATE: Two US airmen found dead at Germany military base

AFP/The Local
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UPDATE: Two US airmen found dead at Germany military base
US soldiers gather in front of a fighter jet at an orientation at the Spangdahlem air base in February 2015. Photo: DPA

An investigation is underway after two US Air Force airmen were found dead last week in Germany at the base where they were stationed.


Xavier Leaphart, and Aziess Whitehurst, both aged 20, "were found unresponsive in a dorm room" at around 6.30pm on Thursday, January 9th.

They were part of the 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem airbase in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, north of Trier, the airbase said in a statement.

Efforts to revive them failed and medics pronounced them dead around 20 minutes after the bodies were discovered.

"It is always very difficult to lose valued members of our team," 52nd Fighter Wing commander Colonel David Epperson said, offering "sincerest and heartfelt condolences" to the soldiers' families.

The men had served in the maintenance squadron belonging to the fighter wing.

The Air Force said Leaphart, who was from Georgia, is survived by his father, Malik Muhammad, and mother, Pamela Leaphart. It said Whitehurst, from Arizona, is survived by his parents Davin and Maria Whitehurst.

The Local contacted Spangdahlem air base who told us the incident was under investigation and they could not give further details.

The spokeswoman for the Air Force said more information would be released as it became available.

The 52nd Fighter Wing is made up of an F-16 fighter squadron with more than 20 aircrafts. The base includes some 4,000 US soldiers.

Between 10,000 and 11,000 people live and work at the base including relatives. The US Air Force has been present in Spangdahlem since the mid 1950s.

READ ALSO: Where in Germany do all the Americans live?

Spangdahlem air base also made headlines in October last year, when one of the unit's F-16 fighter jets crashed in western Germany.

The pilot in that incident escaped with minor injuries.

READ ALSO: US fighter jet crashes in western Germany


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