During his three weeks as the first director of the newly formed Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), recently retired LTG Michael S. Linnington has hit the ground running, bringing new energy and a renewed commitment to the federal government’s efforts to research, locate and return to the United States the 25,000 – 30,000 recoverable remains.

Under the new plan triggered by former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, DPAA consolidated three previous federal operations: the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) 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, the DPMO colors were cased and the DPAA was formally activated. On July 27 the new DPAA building and facility in Hawaii will be dedicated – it’ll be one of three DPAA offices in the country. This will bring staff from 16 separate buildings into one efficient headquarters and a state-of-the-art laboratory with a family viewing area for visitations. The building will be named after Hawaii Senator and Medal of Honor recipient Daniel Inouye. Insiders note that it has taken 14 years to get this building up and running.

Linnington’s initial appearance before the 46th annual National League of POW/MIA Families meeting drew positive reviews from league officials, veterans and family members.