The United States will host the eleventh United States-Russia Joint Commission
on POW/MIAs (USRJC) plenary in Washington, DC from December 7-9, 1994.
Washington meeting is the second to be held in the United States.
The USRJC was established in March 1992 by agreement between Presidents Bush
and Yeltsin to determine the fates of American servicemen from World War II,
the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, who may still be missing on
the territory of the former Soviet Union or about whom the Russians may have
The Commission also has an objective to assist the Russians in
learning about the fates of Russian servicemen in Afghanistan.
The U.S. side
of the Commission is headed by Ambassador Malcolm Toon.
Other members include
Senators Bob Smith and John Kerry; Congressmen Sam Johnson and Pete Peterson
-- both former POWs in Vietnam; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
POW/MIA James Wold; President Joint Military Intelligence College Denis Clift;
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific
Affairs Ambassador Pete Tomsen; Department of State Director for Independent
States and Commonwealth Affairs John Herbst; and Acting National Archivist Dr.
The Russian side, headed by General Volkogonov, includes
parliamentarians, the heads of the major archives, and the officials of the
Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, the Interior, and security services.
To date the Joint Commission has met nine times in Moscow, commencing in March
1992, and most recently in August/September 1994.
The Commission has also
traveled to the Baltic States, the Ukraine, Armenia, Czech Republic,
Kazakhstan, Belarus, and to eastern Russian in an effort to expand interview
efforts and archival searches.
While here, the USRJC will visit the United States Naval Academy and the
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland.
The USRJC has been actively involved in
locating the remains of Captain John Dunham, USAF, who graduated from the Naval
Academy in 1950.
The visit is designed to continue to stimulate initiatives
with our Russian counterparts that are expected to produce more witnesses,
documents, and leads to additional information regarding our POW/MIAs.
The visit to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds is an attempt to show the Russian
delegation some of our equipment holdings and, in turn, to encourage them to
examine their holdings of U.S. material, which may enhance our chances to
resolve POW/MIA issues.
It is hoped that such an activity will challenge the
Russians to look at serial numbers, markings, and other data that can possible
provide clues to the origin of equipment and its users.
One other objective is
to request of the Russian side of the USRJC that American investigators be
granted access to Russian museums, technical institutes, and test facilities
which may hold American equipment taken for technical exploitation or as
trophies from World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, or Vietnam.
This plenary is intended to promote the work already undertaken in previous
commission meeting held over the past two and one half years.
involve working group sessions for World War II, Korean, Vietnam, and the Cold
War, permit Russian delegates to examine our archival holdings, meet with
senior American military and civilian officials, and provide a forum for family
members to directly ask Russian Commission members questions pertaining to