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News & Stories
News | Sept. 25, 2017

DPAA Update and Field Operations Summary

Items of Note:
− Mr. Kelly McKeague was selected and sworn in as the Director of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency on September 5.
− The Deputy Director, Brigadier General Mark Spindler, will be retiring at the end of September. His replacement, Rear Admiral Jon Kreitz arrived September 18 and will officially assume duties as the Deputy Director on October 3.
− The new Agency Chief of Staff, Mr. Scott Ebell, was selected and arrived September 18 as well.
− DPAA, along with the Department of Defense and other Federal agencies will begin Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 on October 1, 2017 under a continuing resolution (CR). The CR will expire on December 8, 2017. The DPAA budget request of $131.268M has not received any Congressional marks (reductions) from authorization or appropriation committees, and have yet to address sequestration requirements which could have an impact on our budget.
*The DPAA FY18 first quarter operations were planned in consideration of the CR.
− Every year, on the third Friday in September, National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies are now held throughout the nation and at U.S. Embassies. This year’s Pentagon Ceremony at the River Terrace Parade Field, honored all returned POWs and renewed our national commitment to accounting for those still missing. The event was hosted by Deputy Secretary of Defense, Patrick Shanahan. For photos of the Pentagon Ceremony, please see
− DPAA also hosted a National POW/MIA Recognition Day at the National Cemetery of the Pacific, in Hawaii. BG Spindler, DPAA Deputy Director, was the host and Edward Cruickshank, Director, Office of Veterans' Services, State of Hawaii was the keynote speaker.
− On September 9, 2017, the Agency hosted a Family Member Update in Detroit, Michigan for family members of missing personnel. Of the 228 attending, 166 (72%) were first-time attendees. The below is a breakdown of the family members and their missing loved ones by conflict:

• 29 Vietnam War representing 13 missing personnel
• 108 Korean War representing 58 missing personnel
• 91 World War II representing 47 missing personnel

− DPAA held the Korean/Cold War Annual Government Briefings from August 10-11 at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View. The meeting included formal briefings to the audience, individual briefings for the families, a dinner hosted by the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs (South Korea) and entertainment at the Twilight Tattoo on the evening of the 9th. A total of 398 family members attended the meeting, of which 142 were first-time attendees.

• Korean War: 192 losses / 375 family members
• Cold War: 10 losses / 19 family members
• Family members by service: Army 225, Marine Corps 56, Navy 28, Air Force 89

Profiles of Unaccounted For Personnel:
Over the past year, we have been developing individual profiles that describe the individual circumstances under which these brave individuals served their country.
We invite you to browse our collection of profiles for those who served and remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam War, Cold War, Korean War, and World War II. Available profiles are searchable and sortable, and our list will be actively updated as new profiles are written. For more information, please visit

Overview: There were 126 personnel deployed in support of operations around the world in August.

Asia-Pacific Region: The Deputy Director recently completed a trip to Southeast Asia which helped set the conditions for the upcoming field activities and the September18-21 Vietnam Technical talks.
• Operations in Last 30 Days:
o Tarawa, (via HistoryFlight Group, DPAA partner)
o Solomon Islands, 1x Investigation Team (IT)
o Vietnam, 2xIT/4xRT, 2xVietnamese Recovery Teams (RT)/1x Vietnamese Underwater Recovery Team (URT)
o Papua New Guinea, 1x Research Investigation Team (RIT)
• Upcoming Operations:
o Vietnam, 3xIT/4xRT, 1xVietnamese Underwater Recovery Team (URT)
o Laos, 1xIT/3xRT
o South Korea, 1xIT/Joint Forensic Review
o Japan, 1xIT
• Pending Disinterment Operations:
o Punchbowl (Hawaii): 16 scheduled per month

Europe-Mediterranean Region: During the 4th Quarter, DPAA scheduled two organic field recoveries and four organic investigations in the Eur-Med Region. Partners in this region have proven to be invaluable and have positively affected operational successes for the Agency.
• Operations in Last 30 Days:
o Austria, 1xRT (via University of New Orleans, DPAA partner)
o Austria, 1xRT (via University of Maryland, DPAA partner)
o Italy, 1xRT (via Archaeological & Historical Conservancy, DPAA partner)
o Italy, 1xIT (via Coastal Research Vessel Leonardo, DPAA partner)
o Bulgaria, 1xRT
o Slovenia, 1xRT
o France, 1xRT (via University ofWisconsin, DPAA partner)
o Italy, 1xIT (via East Carolina University, DPAA partner)
o Austria, 1xIT
o Germany, 1xIT
• Upcoming Operations:
o Germany, 1xIT (underwater shore based)
o France, 2xRT (via History Flight Group, DPAA partner)
o France, 1xIT
• U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs (USRJC)
o On September 13-14, Gen (Ret.) Foglesong traveled to Moscow to meet with both the U.S. Ambassador and Russian Side counterparts to ensure the work of the Commission continues following the loss of the JCSD detachment in Moscow. Intent of the visit was to also set conditions in preparation for the 21st USRJC Plenum currently scheduled for November 7-9 in Moscow.
o Given the closure of the JCSD Moscow Detachment, EM is actively pursuing courses of action that will allow continuing research efforts in Russia.
• Pending Disinterment Operations
o 12 scheduled for American Battle Monuments Commission Cemetery at Ardennes (Two on each of the following days in September: 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, and 13).

Scientific Analysis: In this, the final quarter of FY 2017, the lab staff is on track to accomplish Agency goals.
FY 2017 Identifications, as of August 31, 2017:
o Total = 166 (149 identifications of unaccounted-for personnel and 17 identifications of additional remains for individuals previously accounted-for)
o WWII = 116 (105 identifications of unaccounted-for personnel and 11 identifications of additional remains for individuals previously accounted-for)
o KoreanWar = 34 (34 identifications of unaccounted-for personnel)
o ColdWar = 0
o VietnamWar = 16 (10 identifications of unaccounted-for personnel and 6 identifications of additional remains for individuals previously accounted-for)

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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