HANOI, July 13, 2021 – On July 9, The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), and the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) held the 155th Repatriation Ceremony at Gia Lam Airport in Hanoi. This was the first repatriation ceremony held at Gia Lam Airport since 1973, when over 500 American POWs were flown home during “Operation Homecoming” following the end of hostilities between the United States and Vietnam. The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Christopher Klein, delivered remarks and witnessed the signing over of remains thought to be associated with a U.S. service member still missing from the Vietnam War. These remains will be transferred to the DPAA Laboratory in Hawaii for further review. This ceremony was the culmination of collaborative efforts of the United States and Vietnam during the 143rd Joint Field Activity, working together on an underwater recovery site off the coast of Nha Trang.
During his remarks, Mr. Klein paid tribute to the sacrifice of those who died serving our country, thanked the Government and people of Vietnam for their collaboration, and commended the DPAA and VNOSMP members for their efforts to safely continue this important humanitarian mission in accordance with all COVID 19 prevention protocols. Addressing representatives from both governments, Mr. Le Chi Dung, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Americas Department and Director of the VNOSMP, remarked on the special significance of Gia Lam Airport to the MIA mission and the continued efforts to “set aside the past” and “look to the future.”
The United States and Vietnam have cooperated for over 30 years to fully account for those Americans still missing from the war in Vietnam. Through a close partnership between the two countries, 729 Americans have been accounted for, upholding the promise that those missing in action are never forgotten.