WASHINGTON, D.C. –
A Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) delegation participated with their Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) counterparts in the Annual U.S.-Vietnam Technical Talks in Washington D.C., Sept. 13, 2023.
Conducted for the first time in the U.S. capital, the technical talks allowed representatives from DPAA and the VNOSMP to discuss increased joint field operations throughout Vietnam for the upcoming year; policy and operational initiatives; and exploring how to increase mission effectiveness and efficiency to account for U.S. personnel who are still missing from the Vietnam War.
“Building upon a 35-year record of cooperation on accounting for Americans missing from the Vietnam War, these talks reinforced DPAA’s operational priority of field activities in Vietnam and the VNOSMP’s critical support to those,” said Kelly McKeague, DPAA director. “
During President Biden’s recent visit to Vietnam, the partnership relationship between the Vietnam and the U.S. was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the foundation of which was the MIA accounting mission that began in the early 1980s. The President committed to Vietnamese government leaders the resolve and unwavering cooperation in the collective pursuit of both nations to continue addressing war legacy issues, according to a White House statement.
This year’s talks also aligned with several milestone anniversaries including the 50th Anniversary of the VNOSMP and the 35th Anniversary of sustained joint field activities between the two nations for the recovery of missing Americans.
Acidic soil conditions, aging witnesses, and urban development at potential recovery sites can hinder the success of the accounting mission in Vietnam. “Vietnam’s Vice Foreign Minister Ngoc described the challenges perfectly when he stated the next 3-5 years provides a ‘golden window’ with which to pursue efforts to search for and recover remains”, McKeague added.
For more information on DPAA’s efforts to account for the missing around the world, visit the Agency’s website at www.dpaa.mil and view the “Our Missing” section.