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Department of Defense Supporting Organizations

TEAMWORK: Though DPMO is the focal point for all POW/MIA accounting efforts, various other DoD organizations external to DPMO work as supporting agencies towards full accounting.

Service Casualty Offices

The Secretaries of the Military Departments maintain a military casualty office for each Military Service as the focal point on all casualty matters. The service casualty offices (SCOs) are the first point of contact for family members and will address all inquiries regarding their cases. The SCOs work as a liaison between the family and all the other government agencies working the POW/MIA accounting issue. They consist of the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps casualty offices and in the case of civilians, the Department of State.

Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory

AFDIL performs necessary DNA testing for human remains identification from current and prior conflicts and other authorized casework in support of the Armed Forces and civilian organizations. To date, they have performed mtDNA typing many times in support of identifying remains.

Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii

CILHI is a worldwide field-operating unit with a threefold mission:

  • Search for, recover and identify remains of Americans and certain allied personnel unaccounted for as a result of hostile action from all wars.
  • Conduct humanitarian missions as directed by higher government authority.
  • Provide technical assistance in recovering and identifying remains as requested by geographic Commander in Chiefs (CINCs).
Defense Intelligence Agency (Stony Beach)

DIA maintains a special collection team at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii, known as Stony Beach, dedicated solely to support the collection of POW/MIA intelligence through human intelligence collection operations. Most of this information is gained via interviews throughout Southeast Asia. Stony Beach also performs live sighting investigations in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia.


JTF-FA conducts operations, to include analysis, investigations, archival research, and assists CILHI in recovery of remains, to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Americans still unaccounted for as a result of the Vietnam War.

Life Science Equipment Laboratory

LSEL provides scientific analysis of aircraft and military life support equipment. Its mission is fourfold:

  • Aircraft Mishap Investigative Board Assistance;
  • Technical Training of Personnel In Aircraft Life Sciences Equipment Investigation;
  • Technical and Scientific Support On Life Sciences Equipment;
  • National Accountability Mission.

As part of the "National Accountability Mission," LSEL acts as the DoD focal point for the scientific evaluation of "life sciences equipment" recovered from aircraft and military loss sites as a result of the Vietnam War.