What We Do at JPAC

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducts global search, recovery and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts.

The command is located on the island of Oahu in Hawaii and was activated Oct. 1, 2003. In June 2013 JPAC opened a satellite labratory at Offutt AFB, Neb. Employing more than 500 joint military and civilian personnel, JPAC continues its search for the fullest possible accounting of the more than 83,000 Americans still unaccounted for from past conflicts.

The laboratory portion of JPAC, referred to as the Central Identification Laboratory, is the largest and most diverse forensic skeletal laboratory in the world. The command maintains three permanent detachments to assist with command and control, logistics and in-country support during investigation and recovery operations. Detachment One is located in Bangkok, Thailand; Detachment Two in Hanoi, Vietnam and Detachment Three in Vientiane, Laos. JPAC also maintains a liasion officer on Miesau Army Depot, Germany to help planning, execution, logistical and administrative support for JPAC operations in Europe.  

In order to facilitate logistical support to teams, JPAC maintains eight storage facilities througout Southeast Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Having these facilities strategically placed around the world minimizes costs and provides quick access to supplies.

The core of JPAC’s day-to-day operations involves researching case files, investigating leads, excavating sites and identifying Americans who were killed in action, but were never brought home.
This process involves close coordination with U.S. agencies involved in the POW/MIA issue, including the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office, the Armed Forces mortuary affairs offices, U. S. Pacific Command, Department of State, the Joint Staff, Defense Intelligence Agency, the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory and the U.S. Air Force’s Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory.
In order to ensure mission success and the return of unaccounted- for Americans, JPAC routinely engages in technical negotiations and talks with representatives of foreign governments to promote and maintain positive in-country conditions wherever JPAC teams deploy.


1973: Central Identification Laboratory, Thailand (CIL-THAI) established; focused on the Americans still missing in Southeast Asia.

1976: Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI) established to search for, recover, and identify missing Americans from all previous conflicts.

1992: Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA) established to focus on achieving the fullest possible accounting of Americans missing as a result of the Vietnam War.

2002: Department of Defense (DoD) determined that POW/MIA accounting efforts would be best served by combining JTF-FA and CILHI.

Oct. 1, 2003: JTF-FA and CILHI joined together to form the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.

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