On December 9, the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), in collaboration with the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) held its 139th Repatriation Ceremony at Noi Bai International Airport.
During the ceremony, Vietnam officially transferred custody of remains believed to be those of U.S. personnel missing from the Vietnam War. Joint U.S.-Vietnamese recovery teams located these remains during the 125th Joint Field Activity which took place in north and central Vietnam from October 27 to December 9.
U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius represented the U.S. Government in receiving custody of the remains. The U.S. military honor guard from DPAA then transferred the remains to a United States Air Force aircraft for repatriation to the United States.
“During the last search mission in Vietnam, 76 dedicated Americans and their Vietnamese partners excavated six sites. They worked in some of the most unforgiving terrain and weather conditions. The mission successfully recovered through excavation or received from Vietnamese citizens four sets of remains to be further examined in DPAA's Central Identification Lab in Hawaii. We are so grateful for their sacrifice and dedication to this noble cause,” said Ambassador Osius.
Since 1985, U.S.-Vietnamese joint personnel accounting cooperation - through the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency and its predecessors in coordination with the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons -- led to the accounting of 711 Americans in Vietnam and a total of 1,028 from countries associated with the Vietnam War. There are 1,261 Americans still unaccounted-for in Vietnam from the war.