The Defense Department has a sacred obligation to recover missing service members, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters July 9 at a news conference.
An internal review conducted by the office charged with that mission – the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command – has raised concerns within DOD, Little said.
The results of the internal review are now with the office of the undersecretary of defense for policy, which has oversight over the recovery mission. Recent news reports have described organizational problems within the command.
“Sometimes media reports raise attention in … a department of 3 million people,” Little said. “It certainly sometimes helps to have press stories shed light on issues that are out there.”
The office of the undersecretary of defense for policy will begin a review of JPAC operations and the issues described in the internal review soon, he said.
“It’s the prudent thing to do, if concerns haven’t been raised to the appropriate levels, to take a second look and to ensure that we’re performing this very important mission to the best of our ability,” Little said.
“We’re going to review the concerns raised in the report to see how JPAC is or isn’t functioning well,” he said. “And if steps need to be taken to remedy what’s happening inside JPAC, then we’ll take action.”