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Mortuary Affairs Facility Improvements at LSA Anaconda

Since the early 1800s, the Quartermaster Corps has provided critical mortuary affairs support to military operations. The mortuary affairs mission is to find, recover, identify, and repatriate our fallen comrades, ensuring that the deceased are properly cared for and returned to their families in a timely manner. The 311th Mortuary Affairs Team, 400th Quartermaster Company, Logistics Task Force (LTF) 548, in Balad, Iraq, continued the legacy of the Quartermaster Corps’ mortuary affairs mission during their deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom 05–07. The team members operating the Logistics Support Area (LSA) Anaconda Mortuary Affairs Collection Point (MACP) took great pride in their service to their fellow service members and their country.

The MACP at LSA Anaconda has been in place since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The original site consisted of a processing tent, refrigerated trailers for storage, and trailers for quarters located close to the flight line and the LSA Anaconda hospital. Over the years, several improvements were made to the site.

In January 2006, LTF 548 began planning to relocate and expand the team’s operational area. The LFT 548 and Air Force engineers worked together to complete this project. The Air Force began construction of a new mortuary affairs processing building in February, and the new MACP site became fully mission capable on 13 April. The new location offers the following advantages to the team—

  • Close proximity to the flight line and hospital.
  • Increased force protection and a secure entrance.
  • Improved sanitation resulting from permanent plumbing.
  • Increased space for operational and living areas.
  • Concrete floors and sidewalks.

Additional improvements to the site to enhance operational capabilities and the infrastructure completed by the 400th Quartermaster Company included the addition of a housing area for escorts and a recreational area for the team since its personnel rarely leave the site because of the demands of the mission. The mortuary affairs team also implemented a new system for tracking remains and personal effects from the theater to their final destination, using a barcode system and in-transit visibility.
During its tenure, the 311th Mortuary Affairs Team provided care of their fallen comrades on the frontlines with world-class honor, dignity, and respect.

First Lieutenant Tracia Pichotta, USAR, served asthe officer in charge of the Mortuary Affairs Collection Point while deployed with Logistics Task Force 548 to Iraq. She has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in corrections and juvenile justice from Eastern Kentucky University.

Captain DaVonne L. Bivins is a student in the Combined Logistics Captains Career Course. She was the Supply and Service officer in charge for Logistics Task Force 548 during its deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom. She holds a B.S. degree in biology from the University of West Georgia and is a graduate of the Quartermaster Officer Basic Course.