Work is underway at the Fort Huachuca cemetery to update the Army’s accountability for all fallen service members. The process involves both government representatives and contractors to assist in the collection, data refinement and GPS data collection of all cemetery-related features. The on-site field collection started Jan. 10.
“Field collection consists of gathering Global Position System locations of headstones, as well as attribution of headstone information, such as first and last name and grave number,” stated Jennifer Lynch, public affairs officer, Arlington National Cemetery.
The work is being done in support of the Secretary of the Army’s objectives; for all Army cemeteries to enact the same accountability, operational and management standards achieved at Arlington National Cemetery, across all military cemeteries for which the Army is responsible.
“No matter where a veteran is buried in a cemetery under the Army’s oversight, the exact same accounting that was accomplished at Arlington National Cemetery will be replicated,” said Kathryn Condon, executive director for Army National Military Cemeteries.
“The cemetery at Fort Huachuca will have the same accounting process as Arlington, including a database of records matched with a headstone photo that is geospatially mapped,” she said.
The accountability process ensures consistency across available records, taking and making publicly available photos of headstones or niche covers, as well as geospatially-linked gravesite locations that are accurate to 10 centimeters or better. Collectively, these three components are being examined at Fort Huachuca and all other Army post cemeteries to ensure the same rigorous analysis and standards applied at Arlington National Cemetery are consistently applied across the Army.
“The effort is intended to ensure all military veterans and their families that are buried or interred in an Army post cemetery under the Army’s purview have searchable gravesite photos and basic information available in a Web-based public application,” Lynch explained.
On-site data collection at all Army post cemeteries is expected to be complete in late May.
“The information gathered during the field collection at the Army post cemeteries will assist in the [completion of] the Army’s accountability process at Fort Huachuca and the other post cemeteries,” added Lynch.