Pentagon to reorganize work to ID MIAs soon after NBC Information series

WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is anticipated to announce Monday afternoon a reorganization of the Pentagon’;s efforts to recognize the remains of American service guys and females from the nation’;s wars, in accordance to a senior defense official.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (identified as JPAC), which has been the topic of a series of investigative reviews by NBC Information and other news organizations in the previous yr, will be consolidated and reorganized below the assistant secretary of defense for specific operations/low-intensity conflict, Michael Lumpkin. Hagel is expected to make clear that the change is intended to increase the amount of identifications of remains, and give much more information and support for the households of the deceased, stated the official, who spoke with NBC News on issue of anonymity.

NBC News reported on Oct. 10 that JPAC has been holding so-named “arrival ceremonies” for 6 years, with an honor guard carrying flag-draped coffins off of a cargo plane as however they held the remains of missing American support members returning that day from outdated battlefields. The ceremonies have been recognized among some military personnel as “The Massive Lie.”

Following NBC News raised inquiries, the Pentagon acknowledged that no honored dead were in fact arriving, and that the planes utilized in the ceremonies usually could not even fly but were “static aircraft” towed into place. The Pentagon said the coffins, or transfer situations, did incorporate actual human remains that had “recently” arrived.

Image: A joint service honor guard escorts a transfer case during an Petty Officer 1st Class Barry Hirayama / US Navy

A joint service honor guard escorts a transfer situation during an “arrival ceremony” at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu on April 27, 2012. The Defense Division has acknowledged that human remains had been not in reality arriving on that day. The ceremonies are held by the Pentagon’;s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

JPAC’;s mission is to return and recognize the 83,000 missing support guys and women from Planet War II, Korea and Vietnam.

NBC Information also reported, in August, on delays by the Pentagon in identifying the dead from prior wars, with requests for disinterments for DNA testing being denied even when a match appeared certain. Many investigations of JPAC are underneath way, in Congress and within the Pentagon. An inner report named the agency “acutely dysfunctional,” and a Government Accountability Workplace report said the effort to recognize missing and unknown support males and girls has been undermined by squabbling among agencies.

For much more details on the arrival ceremonies, and what happens behind the scenes, see the NBC Information report from Oct. 10.

YOU CAN Help: Do you have documents or information about the Pentagon’;s effort to identify MIAs? Send to bill.dedman@nbcuni.com.

1st published March 31 2014, 8:50 AM

Jim Miklaszewski

Jim Miklaszewski is the chief Pentagon correspondent for NBC Information. On 9/11, he was the 1st at the scene to report that the Pentagon had been attacked and has given that led the ne2rk’;s coverage of the war in Afghanistan.

Because joining NBC in 1985, Miklaszewski was a White Residence correspondent in the course of the Clinton and Bush administrations, covering President Clinton’;s transition from Tiny Rock, his many journeys abroad like Moscow and the Middle East and his reelection. He was also an NBC floor reporter at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 1996 and 2000.

In the Bush White Property, Miklaszewski reported on the Gulf War with Iraq, summits with Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin and the Bush reelection campaign in 1992.

Miklaszewski has logged significant foreign experience with battlefront coverage of wars in Lebanon, El Salvador and the Falkland Islands. He also covered the United States air raid on Libya, and the “tanker wars” in the Persian Gulf.

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