ABU DHABI // Investigations are under way into the death of a 25-year-old US air force lieutenant in Abu Dhabi on Monday.
Full details of how First Lieutenant Anais Tobar died have not been released, but the US department of defence said non-combat injuries were involved.
“At this time the incident is still under investigation,” said technical sergeant Phillip Butterfield, of the 4th fighter wing public affairs.
“The US military follows certain processes and procedures to ensure everything related to the incident is found so the exact cause of the incident can be determined.”
Tobar was stationed in the UAE as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led military operation against ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Before flying out to the UAE, she was assigned to the fourth maintenance squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in North Carolina.
Tobar was born in Caracas, Venezuela, but she and her family lived in Miami on and off through the years. She went to Osceola High School in Kissimmee before attending Florida State University, according to the Miami Herald.
Col Christopher Sage, the fourth fighter wing commander, released a statement on Tuesday, offering his condolences to her family.
“The entire base joins me in sending our deepest sympathies to the Tobar family during this period of bereavement,” he said.
“The bonds that tie the air force family together are strong, both down-range and at home station. This tragedy affects us all; put your arm around those who are grieving, both personally and professionally.”
There has been an outpouring of support for the Tobar family on social media.
On Col Sage’s Facebook page, friends and colleagues offered their condolences and prayers to the family, and described Tobar as an “amazing person, officer and maintainer” and “always had a great, infectious attitude”.
According to TSgt Butterfield, Tobar’s body will be flown from the deployed location to the Department of Defence’s main mortuary affairs unit at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. From there the body will be taken to her final resting place, as per her family’s wishes.
At this time, mortuary affairs has not received the location of Tobar’s final resting place, he said.
Officials told her family a post-mortem examination will be conducted once her body is returned to the United States, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
She is survived by her mother, Ana Maria, father Angel and brother Alejandro.