Air Force captain, 30, dies in car crash at base in the United Arab Emirates

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Air Force captain, 30, dies in car crash at base in the United Arab Emirates

  • Capt. (Dr.) Kelliann Leli, 30, of Parlin, New Jersey, died on Friday in a non-combat related vehicle incident at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates
  • Leli was assigned to the 60th Healthcare Operations Squadron, Travis Air Force Base in California and was a family medicine physician at Travis
  • While deployed at the Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE she was assigned to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing
  • The cause of the accident that resulted in her death is under investigation 

The Department of Defense has identified the airman who died in the United Arab Emirates on Friday.

Captain (Dr.) Kelliann Leli, 30, of Parlin, New Jersey died in a ‘non-combat related vehicle incident’ at Al Dhafra Air Base. 

No further details are being released by the Air Force while her death is under investigation, authorities said on Saturday. 

Leli was a doctor and assigned to the 60th Healthcare Operations Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California and had been supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. 

Capt. (Dr.) Kelliann Leli, 30, of Parlin, New Jersey, died on Friday in a non-combat related vehicle incident at Al Dhafra Air Base, United Arab Emirates

‘Our entire Travis family is beyond heartbroken over the tragic loss of our teammate, Kelliann,’ said Col. Corey Simmons, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander in a press release. ‘We are thinking of and praying for all her loved ones during this unfathomable time.’ 

‘Our Al Dhafra family is grieving the tragic loss of Capt. Kelliann Leli. She was an exceptional medic, officer, and teammate here, and her incredible presence will be deeply missed,’ said Brig. Gen. Larry Broadwell, 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Commander.

‘I ask our deployed community to look after each other during this difficult time, to warmly remember the positive impact that Capt. Leli had on our team, and to keep her loved ones in your thoughts and prayers,’ Broadwell continued.

Tributes were paid to Leli online. 

‘My heart is filled with sadness today at the loss of an amazing and brilliant friend. I had the privilege of knowing Kelliann Leli as a fellow medical student, a co-resident, and as my attending physician. Kelli’s outstanding clinical skill was outshined only by her compassion, positive attitude, and strong faith,’ wrote Mike Noble on Facebook.

Leli was assigned to the 60th Healthcare Operations Squadron, Travis Air Force Base in California and was a family medicine physician at Travis. Pictured, the David Grant USAF Medical Center, where Leli worked

Leli was assigned to the 60th Healthcare Operations Squadron, Travis Air Force Base in California and was a family medicine physician at Travis. Pictured, the David Grant USAF Medical Center, where Leli worked

Leli was assigned to the 60th Healthcare Operations Squadron, Travis Air Force Base in California and was a family medicine physician at Travis. Pictured, the David Grant USAF Medical Center, where Leli worked

‘It was an honor to know her, I will always look up to her strong leadership. I pray for her family, and take comfort knowing that she is in a better place.’

‘She was an amazing person. Always a smile on her face and willingness to help. She will be missed,’ said Manny Johal. 

‘So very sad. She was an amazing person to work with,’ added Mary Eberle.  

Currently there are 3,500 American military personnel stationed in the United Arab Emirates.

The country is a key strategic ally to the United States in dealing with Iran. The UAE was also one of the first nations in the Gulf region to normalize relations with Israel earlier this year.

The cause of the accident that resulted in her death is under investigation. Pictured, a fighter jet pilot and crew prepare for a mission at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates

The cause of the accident that resulted in her death is under investigation. Pictured, a fighter jet pilot and crew prepare for a mission at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates

The cause of the accident that resulted in her death is under investigation. Pictured, a fighter jet pilot and crew prepare for a mission at Al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates

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