- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii now has a new name that reflects a merger of offices.

The new agency is called the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. The change involves a merger between JPAC in Hawaii, the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office in Washington, D.C., and some functions of the Air Force’s Ohio-based Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (https://is.gd/VdN3Ms) reported.

The Pentagon announced in January that the interim director of the new agency is Rear Adm. Mike Franken. Former JPAC commander, Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, is serving as interim deputy director.

The new agency will direct the troubled effort to search for America’s missing war dead, two years after an internal report found the current program was mismanaged and wasteful.

Ceremonies to reflect the change were held in Washington and Hawaii Friday.

“Today marks an important step in establishing the new agency and the continued commitment to the families of service members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and remain unaccounted for,” Christine E. Wormuth, undersecretary of defense for policy, said in a statement.

In 2009, Congress set a requirement that the Pentagon identify at least 200 sets of remains a year by 2015 - a number it has not come close to achieving in recent years. Officials have said that the 200 figure is attainable with a budget of about $100 million a year.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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