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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 0220-08
March 19, 2008

U.S. and Indian Officials Discuss WWII Recovery Missions

            Officials of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) met today with representatives of the Indian government in New Delhi to lay the groundwork for future U.S.-Indian humanitarian operations in Arunachal Pradesh State.
 
            During the meeting, the officials discussed a tentative timeline for future investigations and recoveries of aircraft crash sites associated with missing U.S. servicemen from World War II. In addition, they discussed cooperation in the areas of team security, medical support, logistical requirements and transportation.
 
            JPAC officials will return to the region in the spring to discuss details of future operations with Ministry of Defense and Arunachal Pradesh officials. This will be followed by site visits in early fall to determine the scope of debris fields and evaluate unique logistical requirements associated with each site. This process sets the groundwork for future recovery teams by clearly defining the work that will be required to properly and efficiently excavate known aircraft crash locations.
 
            The first full excavation mission should begin shortly after these site visits and is scheduled to be finished by the end of the year.
 
            “This meeting is a significant step in a partnership that will enable our teams to go into areas where we hope to find remains of missing American service members,” said Rear Adm. Donna Crisp, JPAC commander.
 
            “We look forward to developing closer ties and stronger working relationships with our Indian counterparts as we work together to accomplish this humanitarian mission.”
 
            There are more than 1,300 individuals missing from loss incidents - primarily aircraft crashes - in the region known as “the Hump” or the “China-Burma-India” theatre of operations in WWII. While it is impossible to say with certainty in which country a specific plane was lost, JPAC analysts estimate more than 400 Americans are unaccounted-for in this region.
 
            For additional information on this mission in India, call JPAC at (808) 448-1938, or the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office at (703) 699-1420.