Locklear Addresses MIA Recovery Operations

US Pacific Command boss Adm. Samuel Locklear said Thursday he wouldn’t necessarily call the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command dysfunctional, but he does support the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s “deeper review” of the command’s operations. “I do think that there are areas where we need to take harder looks at how it is organized and how . . . the mission sets are prioritized,” he told reporters in the Pentagon on July 11 during his official visit to Washington, D.C. Recent news reports have shed light on an internal review of JPAC that slammed the organization for duplication, waste, and mismanagement. Locklear said the command—a direct reporting unit to the PACOM commander—has a unique and sacred mission, but it also has a set number of experts to deal with the task of locating and recovering the remains of US military personnel missing in action from past conflicts, often in countries that lack the “political will” to provide the right access and support, such as North Korea. Locklear said there have been a number of examinations of the organization over time and after the Fiscal 2010 defense policy act required JPAC to increase the number of remains that it identifies—200 identifications a year by 2015. (Locklear transcript)