Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Day in Naval History - Oct. 27

From the Navy News Service

1864 - Lt. William Cushing sinks Confederate ram Albemarle with a spar torpedo attached to the bow of his launch.
1922 - Navy League of the United States sponsors first annual celebration of Navy Day to focus public attention on the importance of the U.S. Navy. That date was selected because it was Theodore Roosevelt's birthday.
1943 - First women Marines report for duty on the West Coast, Camp Pendleton, Calif.
1944 - Fast Carrier Task Forces attack Japanese shipping and installations in Visayas and northern Luzon.
1967 - Operation Coronado VIII begins in Rung Sat Zone.

Today in the Department of Defense, Thursday, October 28, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates has no public or media events on his schedule.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn is traveling.

British Army Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, commanding general for Regional Command South, will brief the media live from Afghanistan at in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973) to provide an update on current operations.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 45 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building.

The Department of Defense announced today that the premiere of the HBO documentary WARTORN 1861-2010 will take place from to in the Pentagon Auditorium.

Ward: Guard, Reserve Make Vital Contributions in Africa

By Army Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill
National Guard Bureau

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2010 – The National Guard and Reserves are making a vital contribution in Africa, the commander of U.S. Africa Command said here yesterday.

On any given day, 3,500 U.S. servicemembers serve on the continent, and 90 percent of those are Guard and Reserve members, Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward said at the 2010 Association of the U.S. Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Ward highlighted the almost 20-year-old, 62-nation, National Guard State Partnership Program that pairs Guard states with foreign countries. And he challenged Guard and Reserve leaders attending the exposition to sustain transformation of the Guard and Reserve.

“Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what you have to make sure we do not lose” -- momentum in transformation of the reserve component force, Ward said, noting today’s active and reserve components work in tandem with active-duty forces in operations around the world.

“In today’s environment, the Army does not do what it does without the full, comprehensive and complete participation of our Guard and Reserve force,” Ward said.

The reserve components’ work in Africa, including participation in major exercises and other operations, he said, benefits the United States by promoting stability, assists African nations and enriches the professional and personal lives of the servicemembers involved.

By land area, Africa could swallow the continental United States three and a half times, Ward said. One billion people live in Africa, he added, a population that’s predicted to double in 50 years. Some raw materials used to make parts found in every cell phone are only available in Africa, Ward said. The continent’s 53 nations offer growing economic markets.

U.S. awareness of Africa’s importance and significance in the world will increase, Ward predicted. “We have not paid the type of attention [to Africa] that we ought to,” he said.

In his former role as deputy commander of U.S. European Command and in other capacities, Ward witnessed the important role played by the National Guard’s State Partnership Program after the collapse of the former Soviet Union.

“I saw [SPP] work so well in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Iron Curtain,” he said. “That model also works in Africa: sustained security engagement being conducted by young men and women who are combat-tested, proven veterans with energy, enthusiasm, wanting to contribute, making a difference and doing it on a continent where those who are the recipients of that association are thankful for it.”

Ward highlighted the work performed by National Guard members from California, New York, North Dakota and Vermont in Africa. Meanwhile, he said, a 900-strong Kansas Guard battalion based in Djibouti is “working in a brilliant and magnificent way.”

Ward said Kansas’ citizen-soldiers tell him they feel appreciated and express their personal satisfaction with a 97-percent reenlistment rate.

“We appreciate what our National Guard and Reserves do,” Ward said. “What you are doing … is important and it matters.”

Guard members and Reservists are integrated into Africom’s staff and are part of a seamless total force, Ward said. “I am proud to serve with them,” he added.

And, when African troops meet and train with U.S. troops “they just see the best in America, and the role that the National Guard and Reserves play … is absolutely critical,” Ward said.

“They see first and foremost an American that’s helping,” he said.

Face of Defense: Airman Conquers Sahara Race

By Air Force Senior Airman Steve Bauer
30th Space Wing

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., Oct. 27, 2010 – A 533rd Training Squadron instructor here completed the 2010 Sahara Race in Egypt this month.

Air Force Capt. Carrie Zederkof, a space-based infrared system mission instructor, competed against more than 150 competitors from 36 countries Oct. 9 in a race Time magazine named as one of the top 10 endurance competitions in the world.

Zederkof's brother, Matt Lowe, found out about the competition online and suggested that she compete.

"He mentioned that he wanted to do it last year, three weeks before the start of the competition," Zederkof said. "My dad and I tried to talk him out of it, because it was a little insane to do something like that without training for it, but we told him that we might do it with him if he waited a year -- and the idea just went on from there."

A year later, on Oct. 3, Zederkof found herself hauling a 20-pound backpack filled with just enough gear, food and clothing to last seven days through a six-stage, 155-mile footrace over sand and sand dunes in the world's hottest desert. The only assistance provided was water and tents, which she didn't have to tote.

"The hardest part for me was the heat," Zederkof said. "I had trained, but hadn't been able to train in heat, because it is not very warm here. It got up to about 118 degrees Fahrenheit nearly every day there. That was the hardest part."

To overcome the heat of the desert, the captain said, she continuously consumed water and electrolytes. But that posed its own difficulty, she noted.

"It is hard to run on that much water," Zederkof explained. "I definitely drank more water than I would normally drink on a run, and I ending up crashing, or 'bonked' as they say, towards the end of the first day. I had to walk the last three kilometers very slowly, because my body couldn't handle it anymore."

At the close of the first day, Zederkof said, she was exhausted and began to doubt her ability to finish the race. But those thoughts didn't last long, she said.

"It is all about the people who help you get through the race," she said. "That is what's neat about this. Although it is a competitive race, people are not out to get each other. We all want to finish, we all want to do well, and we all are in pain. It doesn't matter how good of shape you're in. Everyone hurts, but the people were really supportive."

Veterans of the race mentored Zederkof, showing her how to balance electrolytes with water and passing along helpful tips, such as the need to snack often to make it through the day.

"I told a couple people about this race, and I didn't want to disappoint them," she said. "I don't like quitting."

There was no quit in Zederkof as she pushed through the remainder of the race, ambitiously crossing the Valley of Whales, where 40-million-year-old whale fossils protrude in what once was an ancient shallow sea, and then on to the finish line at the Great Pyramids of Giza.

Zederkof not only completed the seven-day race, but also placed well in the competition. Out of 156 competitors, 75 percent of whom were men, only 107 people finished the race. Zederkof was the seventh woman and the 39th person overall to cross the finish line.

The captain's father, Ted Lowe, and her brother were waiting for her at the finish line and shared in the celebration of the accomplishment of her two goals: to finish the race and to finish the race without injury.

"It felt awesome that I had finished, and I was relieved that I made it," Zederkof said.

Zederkof said she now is contemplating taking part in another part of a series of endurance events called 4 Deserts that includes The Last Desert in Antarctica, the Gobi March in China, and the Atacama Crossing in Chile.

U.S.-South Korea Exercises Will Resume, Commander Says

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26, 2010 – The top U.S. commander in South Korea yesterday expressed confidence that the next in a series of U.S.-South Korean military exercises designed to improve readiness and send a deterrent message to North Korea will proceed soon.

Army Gen. Walter L. “Skip” Sharp said he expects the next exercise, which was temporarily postponed due to scheduling problems, will be rescheduled in the not-too-distant future.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and South Korean National Defense Minister Kim Tae-young agreed this summer to conduct the “Invincible Spirit” exercise series after North Korea sank the South Korean navy ship Cheonan in March, killing 47 South Korean sailors.

“Over the remainder of this year and into the future, we are going to continue with a series of exercises that looks very directly at how we can strengthen the alliance based on what we see going on in North Korea,” Sharp told a Pentagon Channel reporter yesterday.

So far, two Invincible Spirit exercises have been conducted. The first, in July, focused on naval and air readiness. Earlier this month, the U.S. and South Korean navies wrapped up five days of anti-submarine warfare exercises in the Korean peninsula.

The third exercise, which tentatively had been slated for late October, was to include the USS George Washington aircraft carrier in operations in international waters off the western coast of Korea.

As the United States and South Korea chart the alliance’s way ahead for the next several years through a plan called the “Strategic Alliance 2015,” Sharp said big emphasis is going into making the exercise program more realistic and reflective of the North Korean threat.

Gates and Kim discussed these plans and other aspects of the far-ranging Strategic Alliance 2015 agreement earlier this month during the 42nd annual Security Consultative Meeting here.

“All countries of the region are concerned with what is going on in North Korea,” Sharp said, citing ballistic missile shoots, nuclear tests and other threatening acts such as the Cheonan sinking.

The United States and South Korea are “constantly watching what North Korea is doing,” Sharp said.

Meanwhile, the general said it’s not too late for North Korea to make amends.

“As we go into the future, North Korea has an opportunity here to be able to change their ways and to become much more responsible -- to denuclearize, to [address]… human rights within the country and to stop the provocations that they have been doing,” he said.

Sharp said North Korea also has the opportunity to officially apologize for sinking the Cheonan -- an act it continues to deny.

In response to a North Korean apology, the general said, the world community could help impoverished North Korea improve conditions for its people.

“Whether North Korea takes advantage of that opportunity is yet to be seen,” he said. “But I think all the countries of the region are clearly saying, ‘This is the time to do it.’”

Meanwhile, Sharp said the Strategic Alliance 2015 plan will be instrumental in taking the U.S.-South Korea alliance to the next level in preparation for 2015, when South Korea is to assume wartime operational control of its forces. The timeline was delayed from 2012, at South Korea’s request.

While posturing both countries’ militaries for operational control, or “opcon,” transfer in five years and bolstering their existing exercise program, the plan also covers a broad range of other initiatives, including developing new war plans, reviewing military organizational structures and timing the movement of U.S. forces south of Seoul.

Strategic Alliance 2015 will allow these initiatives to proceed in a synchronized way that will further strengthen an already-robust alliance, Sharp said.

“The Republic of Korea military is very, very strong and very capable and has great leaders,” he said. “But this move to do ‘opcon’ transfer in 2015 will allow us, not only to continue to work to strengthen militarily the Republic of Korea and U.S. [forces], but also to be able to strengthen our posture and organizations and units we have.”

When the transition takes place in 2015, “we will be even stronger than what we would have been if we had changed it in 2012,” Sharp said.

A hero's welcome for a wounded Afghanistan veteran

A hero's welcome for a wounded Afghanistan veteran

In the Coast Guard, Mentoring Begins Right out of the Gate

Written by: CDR Glynn Smith

The Coast Guard’s future is being honed today at Training Center Cape May, NJ, where new recruits are molded into apprentice Coast Guard men and women.  Their training is focused on military orientation, seamanship, firefighting, first aid, and marksmanship; subjects that will prepare them to serve on the water.

But it also includes interactive discussion on how to succeed in the Service and steer clear of problems – friendly advice – from operationally tested and seasoned mentor volunteers.  And for Recruit Company Delta 184, one of their co-mentors is none other than Vice Adm. Sally Brice-O’Hara, vice commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.  The other co-mentor is Senior Chief Petty Officer Tracy Ripkey.

Vice Adm. Brice-O’Hara and Senior Chief Ripkey visited Delta 184 on Saturday, Oct. 23, after the company completed its first two weeks of basic training, the toughest part of the instruction.  They spent about two hours answering questions and providing insights on Coast Guard service.

“I can’t emphasize enough that the Coast Guard needs you,” said Vice Adm. Brice-O’Hara to the recruits, adding, “We need your talent, we need your energy, and we need your enthusiasm.”

The Coast Guard operates a variety of ships, boats, aircraft and electronic systems around the world.  It uses these assets to perform a number of duties like saving lives at sea and protecting our coasts, assisting other government agencies like the Navy with patrols in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and responding to disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  However, none of these assets or duties would be effective without the men and women who perform, conduct and support the operations.  They are the common element that ensures the Coast Guard accomplishes its mission.

The Recruit Mentoring Program allows the Coast Guard to begin shaping its most important resource, people, early in their careers.  By helping them find the road to success more quickly, the Service is improving its ability to serve the Nation.

“The Coast Guard is renowned for its professionalism, as well as its competence as a maritime, multi-mission, military organization, and that now includes you,” said Brice-O’Hara to the recruits.  “You are becoming men and women of character.”

This first mentoring session focused on meeting the recruits and developing a rapport.  Most of the recruit’s questions focused on assignments, duties and promotion opportunities.

For Vice Adm. Brice-O’Hara and Senior Chief Ripkey, however, it was important to help the recruits make sense of their first impression of military service and help them piece together the larger picture of how they contribute to the organization.  Basic Training is designed to rapidly transform and prepare recruits for Coast Guard service.  For many, it is quite a personal adjustment.

“Following orders is a habit that you need to develop right now, because when you go out and perform your Coast Guard missions, we are going to put you in some very trying circumstances,” said Brice-O’Hara to the recruits.  “There is not a single doubt in my mind that each of you will prevail and succeed.”

Vice Adm. Brice-O’Hara and Senior Chief Ripkey will visit Delta 184 after the fifth week of training and then again at graduation.

Coast Guard Heroes

Written by: LTJG Stephanie Young

“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” –Alexander Hamilton

The Coast Guard’s history shines with such acts of bravery that the “father” of the Coast Guard Alexander Hamilton speaks of and these acts will forever be remembered as the Coast Guard’s new Sentinel-class cutters take the namesake of Coast Guard heroes and their valiant deeds.

These acts performed by men and women in the course of their everyday duties displayed devotion to duty and responsibility to the citizens of the nation for which they served. For some, their life-saving actions and heroic efforts resulted in the ultimate sacrifice of their life.

From the 19-year old, just one year out of boot camp, who remained aboard his sinking vessel so his crew could escape, to the lighthouse keeper who rowed two hours in a squall as she searched for a naval aviator whose plane went down, these heroes evinced astounding, and enormously humbling acts of bravery.

For many of these heroes, their powerful stories have long gone untold. But, with the arrival of the new Fast Response Cutter (FRC), their names and legends will enter the collective conscious of our service as all 58 planned FRCs will be named for the service’s heroes. We are proud to unveil the names of the first 14 FRCs here on Compass.

Bernard C. Webber
Richard Etheridge
William Flores
Robert Yered
Margaret Norvell
Paul Clark
Charles David
Charles Sexton
Kathleen Moore
Joseph Napier
William Trump
Isaac Mayo
Richard Dixon
Heriberto Hernandez

As individuals these valiant men and women earned a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Gold Lifesaving Medal, Silver Star, Navy Cross and Marine Corps Medal. These medals represent their personal bravery and sacrifice, but their legacy and the service’s legacy will carry on in the form of the Coast Guard’s newest patrol boats. Their names will continue to stand for freedom and the country for which they so loved.

“There is no better embodiment of the Commandant’s vision of the Coast Guard being defined by its missions, people and heritage than the naming of the new FRC’s after Coast Guard heroes,” said Master Chief Michael P. Leavitt, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. “We honor these heroes who have given so much and inspire future Coast Guard men and women.”

Naval Air Station Jacksonville Air Show Draws Record Crowds

By Clark Pierce, Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Fla., held its 27th air show Oct. 23-24, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the station.

More than 277,000 people attended the air show, which featured the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels.

"This was an outstanding and memorable week for military and civilian aviation enthusiasts in Northeast Florida," said NAS Jacksonville Commanding Officer Capt. Jeffrey Maclay. "From everyone who worked diligently to organize the event to the roster of exhilarating of performers and interesting static displays – the commands of NAS Jacksonville teamed up to stage another first class air show starring the Blue Angels. There's no doubt in my mind that this was a huge crowd pleaser."

The air show's guest of honor was 91-year-old Alfred 'Al' Taddeo, the last living member of the original Blue Angels team that was established at NAS Jacksonville in 1946. Taddeo and his wife, Joan Taddeo, flew from their home in California to be guests of NAS Jacksonville and the Blue Angels.

In addition to speaking at air show receptions, Taddeo was front and center for each Blue Angels performance. After the final Blue Angels performance Oct. 24, Taddeo said he really felt a kinship with the Blue Angels in the air show.

"They perform their close diamond formations just the same as our 1946 Blue Angels team. But when you add the two solo pilots to the mix, today's team is just spectacular," said Taddeo. "This week has been an exciting blur of activity. Swapping stories with the Blue Angels pilots and crew, as well as talking with Air Force aviators, military parachute teams and talented civilian pilots was truly a special pleasure for me."

"The people here have been fantastic – especially Capt. Maclay, XO (Executive Officer) [Capt. Bob] Sanders and our tour guide, Ron Williamson. I think this was the most thrilling day of my life, because I'm getting to the age where an event like this makes me a little emotional. Joan and I sincerely thank everyone in Jacksonville who showed us such hospitality," said Taddeo.

Maclay gave special recognition to the NAS Jacksonville air show team, led by 2010 Air Show Coordinator Cmdr. Rob Surgeoner.

"Celebrating the sights and sounds of freedom is our way of giving back to the city of Jacksonville and surrounding communities that are so supportive of our military men and women," said Maclay. "And I couldn't be more proud of our 2010 NAS Jax Air Show team – from those who scheduled the performers to those who set up exhibits and those who cleaned up after each day's events. Teamwork and preparation were key to a successful air show."

"I salute everyone for their outstanding execution of an event that has thousands of moving parts. It's a great opportunity for the public to understand why America's Navy is a global force for good," said Maclay.

More than 4,000 public school students and Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) cadets visited the air station Oct. 22 for the air show dress rehearsal.

"For many of our students, this may be their first trip to an air show and their first experience seeing the Blue Angels perform their thrilling aerial demonstrations over NAS Jacksonville," said Ed Pratt-Dannals, superintendent of Duval County Public Schools. "We appreciate the commitment of the Navy and NAS Jax Air Show organizers to providing our students with this exciting opportunity."

Retired Master Chief Steve Waddell attended the event with 50 Navy JROTC students from Mandarin High School.

"This is a great time to get up close to aviation legends like the Blue Angels. There's so much for our kids to see and do – this is a not-to-be-missed opportunity," said Waddell.

Gregg Rutter, a Fleming Island resident, has attended every air show since 1999.

"It's a spectacular event that never fails to stir my sense of patriotism. We're lucky to have this free event that showcases the people and technology of America's military. I particularly enjoyed the Fat Albert C-130 demonstration that begins each Blue Angels flight," said Rutter.

U.S., Cambodian Navies Participate in Final CARAT 2010 Exercise

By Lt. Cmdr. Mike Morley, Commander, Task Force 73 Public Affairs

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia (NNS) -- Approximately 600 U.S. Navy Sailors are joining hundreds of Royal Cambodian navy sailors for six days of maritime safety and security exercises for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Cambodia 2010.

The exercise kicked off Oct. 25th during a ceremony aboard USS Crommelin (FFG 37). Other Navy units participating in CARAT 2010 include the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50), and units conducting training ashore, including Patrol Squadron Nine using the P-3C aircraft (in Phnom Penh), including Expeditionary Maritime Security Squadron Seven, and more.

Rear Adm. Richard Landolt, commander, Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet, was the senior U.S. Navy representative at the ceremony.

"We have an ambitious schedule planned," said Landolt.

Listing out several training events planned throughout the week, Landolt said that while this was the Royal Cambodian navy's first year with CARAT, "we're already seeing advancements in our interoperability and in the friendships we're building."

CARAT Cambodia 2010 marks the last CARAT exercise of the year, and it is occurring in two phases; the first finished in June, and saw U.S. and Cambodian Marines conducting jungle training near Sihanoukville, along with Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams training near Phnom Penh.

The highlight of this year's exercise will be a series of underway events, during which U.S. and Cambodian navy ships will get underway for the first-ever at-sea maneuvers between the two countries for this exercise.

The training will focus on communications drills and surface gunnery events, marking the first time the two navies have operated at sea as part of a dedicated exercise in more than 40 years.

Other CARAT training will focus on a wide variety of maritime security areas, including diving and salvage operations; port security; small boat handling and maintenance; maritime interdiction; visit, board, search, and seizure operations; maritime aircraft operations; and engineering and medical civic action programs.

Sailors will participate in a series of community service projects, while the U.S. 7th Fleet band "Orient Express" will perform at several schools and community service projects in the Sihanoukville area.

Cambodia became the seventh Southeast Asian country to join CARAT, and the first new country to join the exercise series since it started in 1994.

Other participants include Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines. Indonesia participates in the series, but refers to the exercise as "Naval Engagement Activity." Bangladesh also joined the series in late 2010.

Today in the Department of Defense, Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates hosts an honor cordon to welcome Norwegian Minister of Defense Grete Faremo to the Pentagon at .  The cordon will be held on the steps of the Pentagon River Entrance.  Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the Pentagon River Parking Entrance only.  Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event; have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification.  Please call 703-697-5131 for escort to the cordon.

Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn is traveling.

Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen speaks at the Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting at in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, D.C.  Media interested in attending should contact Gaye Hudson, or 703-841-4300 ext. 313.

Airmen Missing in Action from WWII Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of two U.S. servicemen, missing in action from World War II, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial with full military honors.

Army Air Forces Staff Sgts. Claude A. Ray, 24, Coffeyville, Kan., and Claude G. Tyler, 24, Landover, Md., will both be buried today -- Ray in Fallbrook, Calif., and Tyler in Arlington National Cemetery.  These two airmen, along with 10 other crew members, were ordered to carry out a reconnaissance mission in their B-24D Liberator, taking off from an airfield near Port Moresby, New Guinea, on Oct. 27, 1943. Allied plans were being formulated to mount an attack on the Japanese redoubt at Rabaul, New Britain.  American strategists considered it critical to take Rabaul in order to support the eventual invasion of the Philippines.  The crew’s assigned area of reconnaissance was the nearby shipping lanes in the Bismarck Sea.  But during their mission, they were radioed to land at a friendly air strip nearby due to poor weather conditions.  The last radio transmission from the crew did not indicate their location, and searchers that day and the following weeks were unable to locate the aircraft in spite of multiple searches over land and sea areas.

Following World War II, the Army Graves Registration Service conducted investigations and searches for 43 missing airmen, including Ray and Tyler, in the area but concluded in June 1949 that they were unrecoverable.

In August 2003 a team from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) received information on a crash site from a citizen in Papua New Guinea while they were investigating another case.  He also turned over an identification card from one of the crew members and reported that there were possible human remains at the site of the crash.  Twice in 2004 other JPAC teams attempted to visit the site but were unable to do so due to poor weather and hazardous conditions at the helicopter landing site.  Another team was able to successfully excavate the site from January to March 2007 where they found several identification tags from the B-24D crew as well as human remains.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory used mitochondrial DNA -- which matched that of relatives of Ray and Tyler -- in the identification of their remains

Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died.  At the end of the war, the U.S. government was unable to recover and identify approximately 79,000 Americans.  Today, more than 74,000 are unaccounted-for from the conflict.

For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for missing Americans, visit the DPMO website at or call 703-699-1169.