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News & Stories
News | June 14, 2017

DPAA Field Operations Summary

Summary: Keeping the families of our missing and veterans informed is a primary objective of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency's (DPAA) mission. Towards that end, this Field Operations Summary is intended to provide an overview of past and future efforts to account for our missing.

Overview: As of April 30, 2017, there were 76 personnel deployed in support of operations around the world.

The Director position closed on April 6. Please note that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy or the Secretary of Defense will announce when a selection is made.

Congress passed and the President signed a FY2017 Appropriations Bill funding DPAA to $112.681 million. We are currently assessing the operational posture for the reminder of the FY.

Although the civilian workforce hiring freeze was lifted, there are restrictions on hiring actions which DPAA is working under; however, we are proactively moving forward to fill all agency vacancies.

Recovery missions in Southeast Asia will continue to be the Agency’s main operational focus for the remainder of FY17. The recovery missions to the European region are scheduled for 3rd and 4th Quarter.

Our disinterment plan is on schedule and includes long-term projects from U.S. cemeteries in the Philippines, Hawaii and Europe.

FY 18-19 Operations Plan (OPLAN) planning and development is projected to be complete in June 2017. The OPLAN takes into account the potential for another CR through the 1st Quarter of FY18. Based on this plan, DPAA’s main effort remains field recovery operations on Vietnam War losses. However, the primary effort to achieve our goal of identifying the remains of 200 unaccounted-for personnel annually in FY18 and FY19 will be accomplished primarily through disinterment of service members buried as Unknowns.

Asia-Pacific Region: Missions are being conducted at a reduced level due to the impact of the CR. To sustain momentum for Vietnam War accounting, we will maintain the planned number of Investigation Teams (IT) and Recovery Teams (RT) to Laos. The reduced size of the JFA in Vietnam in the 3rd Quarter will be partially offset by the Vietnamese unilateral operations. The planned JFA in Vietnam in the 4th Quarter will not be reduced.

• Operations in Last 30 Days:
o Tarawa, (via History Flight Group, DPAA partner)
o Cambodia, 1xRT
o Burma, 1xRIT
o South Korea, 1xIT/1xRT
o Papua New Guinea, 1xRIT

• Upcoming Operations:
o Tarawa, Field Forensic Review
o Laos, 1xIT/3xRT
o Vietnam, reduced from 2xIT/7xRT to 1xRT, 1xVietnam Recovery Team,1x Underwater Recovery Team (URT)
o Philippines, (via University of Illinois, Chicago, DPAA partner)
o China, 1xIT

• Pending Disinterment Operations
o 12 scheduled at the American Battle Monument Commission Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines

Europe-Mediterranean Region: The majority of these missions are scheduled for 3rd and 4th Quarter. Due to continuing resolution impacts, several missions were cancelled or reduced from 45 to 30 days. In addition to ongoing operations, we are planning partner missions with History Flight, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, the University of Maryland, and the University of New Orleans in the 4th Quarter will be important to overall success in FY17.

• Operations in Last 30 Days:
o Germany/ Poland, 1xIT
o Moldova (Transnistria)/Ukraine IT

• Upcoming Operations:
o France, 2xRT (Reduced from 45 to 30 days)
o Moldova/Ukraine, 1xIT
o Netherlands, 1xUIT (via SEARCH, DPAA partner)
o Croatia, 1xURT (via Woods Hole, DPAA partner)
o Austria, 1xRT (via University of New Orleans, DPAA partner)
o Austria, 1xRT (via University of Maryland, DPAA partner)
o Bulgaria, 1xRT o Slovenia, 1xRT o Romania, 1xIT o Austria, 1xIT
o Germany, 1xIT

U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC)
o Technical Talks will occur in Washington D.C. on June 20-23 to discuss issues concerning the Vietnam War and the Cold War.

• Pending Disinterment Operations
o Seven (7) scheduled for American Battle Monuments Commission Cemeteries (5 in Ardennes, 1 in Brittany, and 1 in Cambridge)

Scientific Analysis: The incoming Medical Examiner will arrive this month. We continue to make identifications using the Medical Examiner assigned to US Air Force Pacific from the Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner. Laboratory testing is proceeding at full speed and we expect to be back on pace later this summer.

2017 FY Identifications to end of April 2017:
o Total = 54
o WWII = 43
o Korean War = 10
o Cold War = 0
o Vietnam War = 1

2017 FY Lab accessions from disinterments to end of April 2017:
o Total = 151
o World War II = 147
o Korean War = 4

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Public Affairs Contact Information

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency PAO
Washington, D.C.
2300 Defense Pentagon
Attn: Outreach and Communications
Washington, D.C. 20301-2300