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DPAA Impacted by COVID-19
March 23, 2020
WASHINGTON— Like much of the world, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a significant impact on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), and in particular, its operations.
Ultimately, the Agency’s highest priority is the health, safety, and physical well-being of the assigned service members, civilians, and contractors, as well as the personnel of our partner organizations, all of whom contribute to the accomplishment of its worldwide mission. To this, DPAA is adhering to the Department of Defense (DoD) mandate of limiting all travel of personnel.
All field missions this month have completed or terminated earlier than planned, and personnel have returned home. Future missions are currently postponed or canceled, at least through early June.
"COVID-19 dynamics have forced us to radically alter our operations, but keeping our team safe, here at home and abroad, is paramount," said Kelly McKeague, DPAA Director. "At the same time, we are continuing to take actions with which our personnel can remain productive in their duties while maintaining the required distancing."
Both the Miami, Florida, and Little Rock, Arkansas, Family Member Updates (FMU), scheduled for March 21 and April 18, respectively, have been canceled. Family members will still receive their respective loss briefings provided by their service casualty officers and DPAA historians and analysts by telephone. This is the first time DPAA has ever canceled an FMU, and did so to protect attending families and other FMU participants.
The agency terminated several missions earlier than planned: DPAA's four recovery teams (RT) and two investigation teams (IT) and partners' two RTs and two ITs, affecting missions in Kiribati, the Philippines, Poland, and Vietnam. All personnel are home and in 14-day self-isolation. Other than a privately-funded underwater investigation off the coast of Latvia, there are no other field missions across the globe.
DPAA had to cancel six RTs and one IT affecting missions in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Laos, and the United Kingdom.
The agency postponed nine RTs and five ITs and partners' five RTs and nine ITs affecting missions in Austria, Cambodia, Germany, Guam, Italy, Kuwait, Laos, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Poland, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sweden, and Vietnam.
The main purpose of this blog is to bring awareness to America's missing from past wars and conflicts either as a Prisoner of War, or Missing in Action. We also include Contractors, Law Enforcement Officers and civilians being held in known terrorist countries.
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