The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency: Bringing Our Nation’s Heroes Home

Meeting Status: 
Rescheduled
Date: 
Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 2:00pm
Location: 
2247 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency: Bringing Our Nation’s Heroes Home

CHAIRMAN LYNCH'S OPENING STATEMENT

PURPOSE

The hearing will help inform the public about the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency’s (DPAA) accounting efforts and allow the Subcommittee to conduct oversight of DPAA’s performance. The hearing will also examine whether DPAA has the necessary resources to carry out its mission, as well as whether it has used these resources effectively since its formation in 2015.

BACKGROUND

  • The DPAA is the primary government agency tasked with accounting for and repatriating the remains of American servicemembers from prior conflicts.  To achieve its mission, the agency coordinates with federal agencies, foreign governments, and non-governmental organizations and conducts international negotiations. This hearing will be the first to focus on the agency since its creation.  
     
  • In fiscal year 2019, the DPAA recorded 218 identifications, the highest yearly total reached by the agency or its predecessor organizations, bringing important closure to family and loved ones. 
     
  • According to the DPAA, as of August 2019, 82,045 servicemembers remain unaccounted-for from World War II through Operation Iraqi Freedom.  DPAA estimates that 39,000 of these remains are possibly recoverable.  DPAA staff are furloughed during government shutdowns, and earlier this month, Chairman Lynch introduced H.R. 4879, the “Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Support Act,” to ensure the agency has the necessary resources to continue its mission during government shutdowns.

WITNESSES

Panel One

Kelly McKeague
Director
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

Panel Two

Mark Noah
Chief Executive Officer
History Flight

Vincent "B.J." Lawrence 
Washington Office Executive Director
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States

    Jo Anne Shirley
    Former Chair
    National League of POW/MIA Families

    116th Congress