Over the past few years, changes have been made to the operational management of this issue. Case files are being digitalized so that families and other agencies involved in this issue will be able to access all the information on any given case. This is a massive project that will take years to complete.
The Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii has built a new multistory structure that gives them more room to continue their identification process. There have been changes to the staff which enhances the potential for more identifications. In the past couple of years, another form of DNA has been discovered. With three forms of DNA, we now have a better chance of identifying remains. Of course, this is only possible if relatives come forward and give samples of their DNA. In September 2017, we once again had a change of leadership over this entire issue. Retired General Kelly McKeague is now serving as the Director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. We are blessed that he has been involved in this issue during his active duty assignment to JPAC. This means that families won't have a period of time while a new commander gets acquainted this issue. The budgetary needs for this issue have been inadequate. Congress continues to withhold funding which compromises the ability of each of the departments involved. This delays any kind of resolution for family members who have been waiting for years to bring their loved ones home. Pressure from the private sector to get these fundings is greatly appreciated.
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