U.S. – Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs Concludes 21st Plenary Session in Moscow

By Mr. Chuck Prichard

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U.S. and Russian delegates completed the latest Plenum of the United States – Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC) on November 9, in Moscow, Russia.

The USRJC was established in 1992 as an agreement between President George H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris Yeltsin to determine the fates of Americans from World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War, who are believed to be missing on the territory of the former Soviet Union, or about whom the Russians may have information. The second goal of the Commission was to determine the fates of Russian servicemen who are still missing from various conflicts, including the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, from 1979-1989.

This is the second USRJC plenum to be held since the sessions resumed in 2016 after an 11-year hiatus. During the three-day session, which was the 21st iteration of the gathering, participants discussed continued U.S.-Russia cooperation as both sides work to account for their respective nation’s service members missing from past conflicts. Participants also conducted a wreath-laying ceremony at a Russian national cemetery.

The U.S. side declared that they will continue work to help the Russian side determine what happened to its missing citizens from past conflicts.

The U.S. Chairman of the Commission is General (retired) Robert “Doc” Foglesong. Other U.S. participants in this session included Mr. Kelly McKeague, Director of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency; Mr. Timothy C. Shea, Defense Intelligence Agency, U.S. Chairman Cold War Working Group; Dr. Timothy K. Nenninger, National Archives and Records Administration, U.S. Chairman World War II Working Group; and Dr. James G. Connell, Jr., Acting Executive Secretary, U.S. Delegation of the USRJC, among others.

The next plenary session of this presidentially-mandated commission is tentatively scheduled for fall of 2018 in Washington, D.C.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, or find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa, or call (703) 699-1420.
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