(Spangdahlem Air Base/Facebook)

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — The two airmen who were found dead in a base dormitory room at Spangdahlem Air Base Thursday were both airmen first class from the same squadron, base officials said in a statement Sunday.

Xavier Leaphart, 20, and Aziess Whitehurst, 20, were assigned to the 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron — one of two maintenance squadrons at Spangdahlem that service the 52nd Fighter Wing's F-16 combat jets.

The airmen were found unresponsive at about 6:30 p.m. and pronounced dead 20 minutes later by emergency responders.

Their deaths are under investigation, officials said.

“It is always difficult to lose valued members of our team,” said Col. David Epperson, 52nd Fighter Wing commander, in a statement Sunday. “Our sincerest and heartfelt condolences go out to the friends and families that have been affected by this tragedy.”

Whitehurst is survived by his father and mother, Davin and Maria Whitehurst.

Leaphart is survived by his father, Malik Muhammad, and mother Pamela Leaphart. Twitter: @stripesktown

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Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

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