January 15, 2020
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) and HJF are dedicated to repatriating the remains of the heroes who answered the call to duty and tragically have yet to return home to their families. Numbering over 81,000, these unaccounted-for personnel served in conflicts from World War II through Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In Fiscal Year 2020, DPAA and HJF team prepared for 23 new partner missions that are ready to execute as soon as COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted. Currently, the Directorate has existing missions or future missions throughout 32 different countries. To successfully execute and manage so many simultaneous missions, DPAA authorized an increase in HJF support personnel by 65 percent from seven to 20 personnel. Funding to the HJF Cooperative Agreement increased by more than $27 million dollars from $12,709,967 in 2019 to $40,096,064 in 2020.
Restrictions imposed by COVID-19 prevented DPAA from conducting the number of planned field activities, but because DPAA has been working closely with HJF to implement a well-planned roadmap that provides a way forward for increased simultaneous field missions as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
Despite the COVID-19 travel restrictions imposed in March 2020, DPAA remains extremely productive. Throughout the COVIID-19 stand down, the DPAA’s Partnerships and Innovation Directorate continued to work to expand the number and variety of DPAA’s external partners. In addition, they continue to direct the planning for both future terrestrial and underwater missions, while simultaneously supporting new scientific research methods, such as the DPAA Isoscape effforts.
The HJF team supports DPAA investigation and recovery efforts worldwide, to include Cambodia, Kiribati, Philippines, Palau, Papua New Guinea, India, China, Austria, Germany, Poland, France, and Croatia.