Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teams to Search Cambodia for Vietnam War MIAs

From a Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command News Release

WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2011 - Two archeological teams from the U.S. Joint
Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command are scheduled to
arrive in Cambodia soon to search for Americans unaccounted-for from
the Vietnam War, and physicians and nurses from military commands in
Hawaii will accompany them to participate in a health engagement
mission.

As part of the recovery portion of this dual-purpose deployment, more
than 40 recovery team members will excavate a burial site and an
underwater aircraft crash site in search of four missing Americans in
Cambodia's Kampong Cham and Kracheh provinces.

The deployment, expected to last about 40 days, marks the command's
44th joint field activity in Cambodia, officials said.

Recovery teams search for human remains, life-support items and other
material evidence that may further the identification of Americans
missing from past conflicts.

In addition to recovery efforts, U.S. and Cambodian personnel will
participate in a medical engagement outreach event, treating 4,000 to
8,000 people in rural and highly underserved communities, officials
said. The specialized 12-member team of experts in various medical
specialties will provide basic health assistance, laboratory services
and optometry examinations.

The U.S. medical team members are from Tripler Army Medical Center,
the 18th Medical Command and the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
U.S. and Cambodian physicians will reinforce medical capabilities by
participating in an information exchange, benefitting both countries
educationally and socio-culturally, officials added.

"[Tripler] is sending physician residents from OB/GYN and family
medicine to conduct expert exchanges with local physicians, and will
be invited to work alongside the Khmer physicians and treat their
patients," said Army Capt. Drew Webb, a Joint POW/MIA Accounting
Command physician assistant.

This will be the first time a Tripler resident program has deployed to
a foreign country on a humanitarian outreach mission, Webb added.

"The big takeaway for all of this is that the [Tripler] residents will
get training and experience in such a unique environment," he said.

Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is a jointly manned U.S. Pacific
Command organization of more than 400 military and civilian
specialists that has investigated and recovered missing Americans
since the 1970s, officials said, noting that 1,702 Americans still are
listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War.

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