Welcome to the information page about the Agencies that support the official POW MIA Recovery effort. This page will be updated on an on-going basis to reflect information regarding the re-organization of the Government POW/MIA Accounting effort.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has established an Agency under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy (USD(P)) entitled the DEFENSE POW/MIA ACCOUNTING AGENCY (DPAA), established January 15, 2015. (Predecessor agencies include DPMO, JPAC, CIL-HI, CIL-Thai, JTF-FA, LSEL).
DPAA works with the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Office (AFMES), Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, The U.S.–Russia Joint Commission on POWs/MIAs (USRJC), USAF Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory (LSEL), The Service Branches (United States Army (Army), United States Air Force (Air Force or AF), United States Marine Corps (USMC), United States Navy (USN), United States Coast Guard (USCG)) Service Casualty Offices (SCOs), Past Conflicts Repatriation Branch (PCRB), The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), The State Department, Genealogists, Universities, and private entities. All of the participants in the effort to locate, recover, and identify missing service members can cause a significant amount of confusion for families of the missing. To simply explain what you should do if you have a missing family member, contact DPAA or your MIAs respective service branch casualty office (for example, if your MIA was in the Army, contact the ARMY SCO).
To read more about DPAA – please visit the web site to read the newsletters and updates:
FY 18 OPERATION PLAN:
FY 17 OPERATION PLAN:
Fiscal Year 17 Updates 1
FY 15 OPERATION PLAN:
Fiscal Year 15 Operations Plan calls for DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) to conduct 102 missions consisting of 39 Investigations Teams and 63 Recovery Teams. This number includes 3 Underwater Investigations and 1 Underwater Recovery. These missions will be conducted in 15 different countries.
The Vietnam War missions will be conducted in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The Korean War missions will be conducted in South Korea and China.
The WWII missions will be conducted in Burma, India, Germany, Papua New Guinea, Tarawa, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu,Philippines, Palau, China and France. We are also scheduled to conduct a WWII recovery mission in Hawaii.
Please understand these are planned mission; however, this could change
based on a number of factors such as access to the country, weather, etc.
1/30/2015: The New Agency merges JPAC, DPMO, and LSEL into one agency Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Agency (DPAA):
10/17/2004: Assessment of the Department of Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Community: http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/documents/DODIG-2015-001.pdf
10/10/14: Communications news from the Agency today:
“As part of the plan to consolidate the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), and USAF Life Science Equipment Laboratory (LSEL), the budget, communications, and operations functions from each organization will combine into single functions before January 2015. This month, the communication and b…udget functions are merging into single offices. While the Department of Defense does not discuss employees, because the changes to the communications offices affect you, I’m providing more detail on the individuals involved and their roles and responsibilities.
Mike Fowler is the lead for external communications, which includes media, congressional relations, family member updates, and case questions from family members. He oversees a combined staff in Virginia and Hawaii.
Johnie Webb is leading the implementation of actions related to the ways in which the new agency will communicate with families and interest groups in the future. He is addressing strategic communication, design and purpose of family advisory councils, website and social media presence, and branding issues, including the new agency logo. He will remain in Hawaii with a staff there. They and their teams will have points of intersection, but
largely Mike is dealing with the here and now, and Johnie is helping build the future. In both cases, The Clearing is providing management support and advice. Kai, working with Johnie, will continue to be involved in the future experience. These positions are designed for the transformation period, which extends into next year. As we build the agency, their roles will change.”
10/07/14: News from the Agency today:
Fact Sheet for the Past Conflict Personnel Accounting Transformation
In March 2014, the Secretary of Defense directed the creation of a new Defense agency that will consolidate all activities related to the accounting of missing personnel from past conflicts. The purpose of the consolidation is twofold:
1. To centralize Department of Defense (DoD) authority for past conflict missing personnel accounting; and
2. To resolve issues of duplication and inefficiency within the Department of Defense.
The Department, through the Personnel Accounting Consolidation Task Force (PACT), is in the process of designing the new agency. The new agency will simultaneously operate more efficiently and effectively while meeting the expectations of families of missing DoD personnel from past conflicts. These families are DoD’s primary focus, and providing them better service is the goal. Throughout this transformation, all operations and activities pertaining to existing personnel accounting missions will continue.
The Administration submitted a legislative proposal to Congress in May 2014 to establish the new agency.
• A consulting firm, The Clearing, was hired to advise on change management and process design.
• The Deputy Secretary of Defense approved implementation of the transformation plan. The transformation effort will take at least one year to complete, with some efforts focused on cultural change likely to continue after full operating capability is reached in January 2016.
• The plan begins by setting the new agency’s mission, vision, and values, followed by process design and organizational structure. Based upon several months of discussions with internal and external stakeholders, the PACT, Joint Personnel Accounting Command (JPAC), and Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) have determined the new vision and mission for the new agency.
o Vision: A world-class workforce fulfills our nation’s obligation to account for missing personnel by maximizing the number of those accounted for while ensuring timely, accurate information is provided to their families.
Mission: We provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.
Values: Compassion, integrity, teamwork, respect, and innovation.
Over the next several months, DoD will begin consolidating some activities to achieve initial operational capability (IOC) in January 2015. o October: Launch internal working groups on family products and services, collection and analysis, laboratory and forensics, and case management.
October-November: medical examiner in place to be the identification authority and oversee scientific operations for the new agency.
October: Combine DPMO and JPAC current communications and establish “family experience” lead to shape the systems and processes for family engagement.
October: Combine DPMO and JPAC financial operations.
October-December: Develop branding identity for the new agency; i.e., name and logo. Solicit and consider suggestions from family groups and veterans’ organizations.
November-December: Single process for operations functions and systems are in place to transfer field activities from U.S. Pacific Command to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
By December: Decision on headquarters location and designate an interim director.
• The new agency is projected to reach full operational capability (FOC) by January 2016.
• Families, family groups, veterans’ organizations, and others will continue to be consulted throughout the agency implementation process through a number of venues:
o Direct calls and meetings with PACT, The Clearing, and the lead for the future family experience
The Office of the Secretary for Defense’ Public Affairs outreach activities
Possible focus groups and/or surveys on products and services
The first round of internal working groups begins in fall 2014. Other working groups will be held in 2015.
• 2014 working groups are:
o Family Products and Services
Collection and Analysis Methods
Lab and Forensics
• The working groups are internal to DoD. Working group members are comprised of volunteer employees from all ranks and sections of DPMO, JPAC, AFDIL, and the Services.
• They work collaboratively to identify best practices in each of the five areas.
• They will make recommendations on functions and processes for the new agency for consideration by senior management.
• All options for functions and ways to work are open for consideration.
• A Strategy and Integration team exists to draft a strategy for the new agency and incorporate individual working group recommendations into a single process for the new agency. The Strategy and Integration team’s recommendations will go to PACT, and as required, to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Deputy Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Defense.
• All members of the workforce are invited to volunteer. Group members were selected based on functional expertise, communication skills, current workload, and diversity within working groups.
• Those not on working groups at this time will have opportunities to volunteer for future working groups and support other projects.
8/2014: Secretary of Defense Hagel announced the overhaul of the Pentagon agencies responsible for recovering and identifying the remains of America’s war dead in March of 2014. After a 90 day period the strategy/plan was adopted and work began on the re-organization of the agency.
The Personnel Accounting Consolidation Team (PACT) has established “working groups” to help develop an implementation plan. Note that the role of Personnel Recovery will be placed under the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (ASD-SOLIC) office and will not be the responsibility of the new organization. An executive search will be conducted to fill the leadership position(s). The Secretary of Defense would like to keep the families involved and has hired The Clearing to assist with outreach. Should you wish to voice your concerns you may reach the clearing via e-mail at: email@example.com. We would strongly suggest that you let your voice be heard.
The mission will encompass the elements surround the return of the missing person. This mission will provide to the families the missing person’s service information, and, where possible, the identification of the missing service member. The Agency will be honest and will take steps to provide all available information to the family regarding historical references and circumstances surrounding the loss. Need to define “fullest possible accounting” both internally and externally.
As legislation will be required, the Personnel Accounting Cosolidation Team (PACT) expects the next milestone to occur in January 2015 with the new basic structure in place which includes funding from Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) and Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory (LSEL). With the final implementation expected in January 2016, after the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is in place.
In Fall of 2014 the “practical” pieces of the agency will begin to be put in place. A headquarters announcement may be made with the new agencies motto and mission. The new agency will fall into a single budget –funds have been taken away from DPMO and JPAC and put into the new agency. Leadership appointments will take place in the Fall and Winter of 2014. External Communications and Finance will be activated by January 1, 2015.
Beginning January 1, 2015 the Armed Forces Medical Examiner (AFME, an O-6 Forensic Pathologist) will be in place. The agency as a whole will begin to merge to the Headquarters. Hawaii is a potential for the new headquarters, but the decision hasn’t been made yet. No personnel decisions, including physical moves, have been made yet.
This page was designed to help understand the official government entities involved in the POW MIA Accounting Community and the responsibility of each command in Accounting for our Missing Personnel:
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), Honolulu, Hawaii:
The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducts global search, recovery and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts. The command is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and was activated Oct. 1, 2003. In June 2013, JPAC opened a satellite laboratory at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
Employing more than 500 joint military and civilian personnel, JPAC continues its search for the fullest possible accounting of the more than 83,000 Americans still unaccounted for from past conflicts.
JPAC is connected via social media on Youtube, FlickR and Facebook:
- Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/people/jpacteams/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JPACTeams
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/jpacpao
Navy Casualty Office:
US Navy POW/MIA branch, Millington, Tennessee:
The mission of the POW/MIA branch of the US Navy is to assist the Department of Defense Missing Personnel Office in the effort to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing from our nation’s wars. This effort involves investigation, recovery and identification of missing Sailors and is mandated by the Missing Service Personnel Act (MSPA) of 1995, Title 10 U.S.C., Chapter 76 – Missing Persons, Sections 1501-1513. Navy POW-MIA Branch is responsible for over 33,000 unaccounted-for Sailors.
As the Department of Navy’s office for unaccounted-for Sailor loss incidents, Navy POW / MIA Branch serves as the advocate for over 66,000 family members of missing Sailors from past conflicts (WWII thru Persian Gulf War). Additionally, the Branch is the primary liaison between these family members and the government agencies involved in the United States Government’s full accounting effort of missing Servicemembers.
If you are a family member of an unaccounted-for Sailor from WWII, Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War or the Persian Gulf war, please contact Navy POW/MIA Activities Branch at the following:
Monday thru Friday
0730 – 1600 Central Time
TOLL FREE: 1-800-443-9298