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Release No: 311-04
April 12, 2004

U.S. POW/MIA Office Hosts Russian Archivists

The Department of Defense announced today that the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office will this week host a historic meeting between key Russian and U.S. archivists examining the issue of American POWs and MIAs at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) at 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, Md.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/Missing Personnel Affairs Jerry D. Jennings, invited the Russians in 2003 to discuss technical areas important to the effort to locate materials in the Russian archives about unaccounted-for American servicemen. He is also acting American chairman of the U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs.

The three-day conference begins Tuesday and will feature presentations by Jennings as well as by the Archivist of the United States Gov. John W. Carlin. Additionally, NARA experts in the preservation, handling, storage and release of historical materials will lead discussions with their Russian counterparts.

A delegation of ten Russians is expected to attend, including Chief of Archival Services of the General Staff, Col. Sergei A. Ilyenkov, and Col. Vladimir V. Kozin of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Other Russian attendees will represent the Ministry of Defense; the Central Archives of the Navy; the Military Medical Museum and Archives; and the Archives of the Border Guards. U.S. archivists representing governmental and private collections also are expected to attend.

The conference will examine issues of declassification of military and political documents; technical aids to improve the operation of a modern archive; Korean and Vietnam War documents held in Russian archives; and other issues of importance to the American effort to account for missing U.S. servicemen.

A small team of U.S. POW/MIA specialists working full time in Moscow recovers documents from Russian archives and conducts other research across the country to clarify the fate of Americans still missing from several conflicts, to include World War II, the Korean and Cold Wars and the Vietnam War.

Media are welcome to attend. Additional information about the schedule of the archival conference may be found under Upcoming Events on the DPMO web site at: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo .

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