In Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) accounted for 203 formerly missing persons from past conflicts, the highest yearly total reached by the agency or its predecessor organizations. Also, the agency individually identified the remains of three additional personnel, who were previously accounted for as part of group burials.
“Providing the families of the missing those long-sought answers with which they can at least achieve some solace is a profound manifestation of our nation's steadfast commitment to them and their loved ones. Because it’s a sacred obligation, if not moral imperative, our over 600 military and civilian professionals earnestly contribute their talents, dedication, and passion to the noble mission with which we are entrusted,” said DPAA Director Kelly McKeague.
Broken down by conflict, 10 were accounted for from the Vietnam War, 37 from the Korean War, and 156 were from World War II.
“Science and technology have expanded exponentially in recent years, enabling identifications that even five years ago seemed impossible. We also attribute the increasing yearly trend to DPAA’s expanded use of partnerships, a more precise management of disinterments, and improvements in our robust field operations,’ said Rear Admiral Jon Kreitz, DPAA’s Deputy Director for Operations.
DPAA’s partnerships are strong and extensive. First, the government officials and people in each of the countries the agency operates in provide invaluable assistance and respect to the mission. Collaborative support from the four Service Casualty Offices; the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory; U.S. Indo Pacific Command, the U.S. European Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency – Stony Beach; the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Battle Monuments Commission cemeteries are also vital. DPAA’s partnering with non-Federal entities continues to expand agency capacity and capabilities. Additionally, agency efforts benefit from partnerships with Family Groups and Veterans Service Organizations.
Today, the DPAA is focused on the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of the approximately 34,000 (out of approximately 83,000 missing DoD personnel) believed to be recoverable, who were lost in conflicts from World War II to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for DoD personnel still missing and unaccounted-for while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil
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