DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- A new chapter in history for the Joint Personal Effects Depot was ushered in today when their new permanent building opened for operations with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The ribbon cutting featured:

-Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, U.S. Army deputy chief of staff

-Maj. Gen. Merdith Temple, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deputy commanding general

-Col. Mark Camerer, 436th Airlift Wing commander

-Lt. Col. Kelly Kyburz, JPED commander

-1st Sgt. Alfred Venham, JPED first sergeant.

"It is monumental for the JPED to be at Dover AFB and co-located with Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations, Fisher House and the Center for Families of the Fallen," said Sergeant Venham. "The new move will ensure synchronization between all of these services and let us serve the families of servicemembers who made the ultimate sacrifice."

JPED has a story dating back to September 11, 2001. Directly after the attacks on that day, a small reserve mortuary affairs specialist detachment was mobilized to Ft. Myer, Va., to recover personal effects at the Pentagon. Since that day, the unit has transformed into a permanent organization, which is now located at Dover AFB.

The mortuary affairs specialists of the JPED receive, safeguard, inventory, store, process and determine disposition of personal effects of killed, injured or missing DoD personnel in support of the current overseas contingency operations.

"The JPED team performs this mission with dignity, integrity and respect because the loved ones' items mean so much to the families," said Lt. Col. Kelly Kyburz, JPED commander. "The new building at Dover AFB represents an ongoing commitment from the branches of service to take care of our fallen servicemembers and their families."