Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced on Friday, June 19th the Department of Defense Executive Service appointment of Lt. Gen. Michael S. Linnington as director of the newly formed Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). Linnington, a 33-year Army veteran, previously served as the military deputy to the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness in Washington, D.C.

Under the new plan, DPAA will consolidate three previous federal operations: the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), which was based in the D.C. area; the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), based in Hawaii where the forensic laboratories are located and where the search teams are launched for missions to recover unaccounted-for American remains; and the Air Force’s Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

On January 30, the JPAC colors were cased during a formal ceremony in Hawaii, after which the DPAA was formally activated. Rear Adm. Mike Franken is the interim commander until Linnington is sworn in Monday as the new DPAA director. Air Force Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, the former JPAC commander, remains as the interim deputy director.

Lieutenant General Michael Linnington

Through 2015, the headquarters for the new agency will be in Washington, D.C., but it will also operate from its Hawaii location, with satellite laboratories in Nebraska and Ohio. A decision on the agency’s permanent location will be made by early next year, DoD officials said.