The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) conducts periodic updates and annual government briefings for families of American servicemembers who are missing in action (MIA). These events are designed to keep family members informed of the U.S. government's worldwide mission to account for those still missing and to discuss in detail the latest information available about their specific cases.
At the annual and monthly update meetings, speakers include senior officials, experts, and scientists who work in the wide range of tasks associated with the POW/MIA mission. During the meetings, there are formal presentations, question and answer sessions, and one-one-one discussions between government officials and family members.
DoD has conducted these update programs since 1995, reaching more than 17,000 family members face-to-face.
Up to eight times a year, government officials meet with MIA family members who live within a 350-mile radius of major metropolitan areas across the country. These meetings are designed to address the individual needs of the family members while bringing information to their communities. Government officials also meet one-on-one with family members to discuss the details of each of their cases. About 150-200 family members and 30 government officials attend each meeting. Because of COVID, these meetings were held virtually during Fiscal Year 2021. We also held the meetings virtually during the first half of FY 2022, but are resuming in-person meetings with the Minneapolis event in April.
Two briefings are held annually in the Washington, D.C. area. One is for Vietnam War families and the other is for Korean and Cold War families. The location of these events makes it possible for senior government officials to attend and for families to access Washington-based offices related to POW/MIA matters. At these briefings, family members have the opportunity to meet with numerous civilian and military specialists of the government whose expertise includes: foreign government negotiation, formulation of national policy, remains recovery and identification, DNA science, archival research and intelligence analysis.
We livestream our Family Member Updates and Government Briefings to our website and Facebook page. If you would like to watch our past Family Member Updates or Government Briefings, you can go to our Livestream archive at www.dpaa.mil/livestreams/.