A young Air Force lieutenant from Miami died Monday in the United Arab Emirates, an Arabian Peninsula nation.
First Lt. Anais A. Tobar, 25, was found dead in her room, according to a U.S. Air Force spokesperson. The Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations is still investigating the circumstances of her death.
According to the Department of Defense, she was in the UAE supporting Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led operation against the Islamic State.
She was assigned to the Fourth Maintenance Squadron, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina. She was deployed in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, when she died.
Tobar was born in Caracas, Venezuela. She and her family lived in Miami on and off through the years. She went to Osceola High in Kissimmee before attending Florida State University.
Longtime family friend Mercy McGee told the Miami Herald that six Air Force airmen notified Tobar’s family on Monday. She spoke fondly of the young woman.
“There are not enough words to tell you what a loving and wonderful girl she was,” McGee said. “She was God-fearing, deeply devoted to serving others and her country.”
McGee said Tobar’s mother, Ana Maria Tobar, was very close with Anais. They spoke almost daily, and Ana Maria even moved to North Carolina for a time to be near her daughter.
Col. Christopher Sage, Fourth Fighter Wing commander at Seymour Johnson in North Carolina, offered condolences to the Tobar family in a statement.
“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.”
Tobar is survived by her mother, Ana Maria; her father, Angel; and her brother, Alejandro.