Joint Task Force--Full Accounting (JTF-FA)
Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam AFB (CILHI), Oahu, Hawaii

"Joint Task Force--Full Accounting" was created seven years ago to expand U.S. Government efforts to achieve the fullest possible accounting for Americans who did not return from the war in Southeast Asia.

Since its creation, the task force has repatriated more than 400 remains. Excavation sites relating to more than 200 additional unaccounted-for Americans have also been identified for future excavation work. Remains go to the "Central Identification Laboratory at Hickam AFB," Oahu, Hawaii, where they undergo analysis for individual, biological identification.

JTF personnel augment "CILHI" Teams. They provide CILHI with a linguist, a life-support technician, a communications specialist, and sometimes a medic. CILHI has their own but sometimes not enough. The CILHI Personnel make up the majority of the Team.

Since 1992, the CILHI has conducted extensive recovery operations in Southeast Asia under the operational control of the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA). The JTF-FA is mandated by Congress to achieve the fullest possible accounting of U.S. servicemembers whose remains were not recovered following the Vietnam War. JTF-FA does not conduct recovery operations outside of the Vietnam War. Only CILHI teams conduct worldwide recoveries.

JTF-FA consists of more than 160 investigators, analysts, linguists, and other specialists representing all four services and Department of Defense civilian employees. The Task Force's operations are supported by casualty resolution specialists and anthropoligists from CILHI, representitives of the Defense Prisoner of War / Missing Personnel Office, and augmentees from the U.S. Pacific Command component commands. JTF-FA is headquartered at Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. Detachments are located in Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Vientiane, Laos.

The CILHI currently maintains 13-standing search and recovery teams. They travel the world conducting surveys and excavation of crash and burial sites associated with the loss of U.S personnel. Forensic anthropologists from the CILHI's scientific staff supervise the archaeological techniques used to recover human remains and material evidence from excavation sites. The organization of a recovery team includes: The team leader, recovery team leader, (anthropologist) the team noncommissioned officer (NCO) in charge, mortuary affairs specialists, a medic, photographer, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) technician, linguist, and an aircraft wreckage analyst.

SouthEast Asia missions, Joint Field Activities (JFA's), to Vietnam and Laos typically take place 5 to 6 times a year and involve six teams deploying to Vietnam and three teams deploying to Laos. One team will deploy to Cambodia approximately twice each year. The teams remain in the field for 30-35 day periods.

Other worldwide recoveries are conducted as resources allow and, in the past several years, have included missions to Australia, Russia, Tibet, China, India, Germany, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, North Korea, New Guinea, and many of the islands in the South Pacific. CILHI recovery teams commonly spend in excess of 220 days a year in some of the most environmentally harsh areas of the world.

The new Commander for JTF-FA, Camp Smith, Hawaii, is General Terry Tucker.


Revised 01-02-2000 by DGSH