Flag

An official website of the United States government

VIETNAMESE WARTIME ACCOUNTING INITIATIVE (VWAI)
5 MINUTE READ
July 29, 2021

2021 – 2025 | CURRENT IMPLEMENTERS: DEFENSE ATTACHÉ OFFICE (DAO) HANOI, UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE (USIP), UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (USAID), ACADEMIA | CURRENT BUDGET $1.3 MILLION

In 2018, Vietnam formally requested support for their efforts to account for personnel killed or missing from the Vietnam War. Since that time, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), though the Defense Attaché Office in Hanoi, Vietnam has been developing a concept and subsequent plan to provide the requested support to Vietnam to reciprocate over three decades of support provided by the Vietnamese to the U.S. personnel accounting mission in Vietnam. The U.S. and Vietnam relationship has grown considerably in recent years, particularly as the two countries have made great strides to reconcile the tragedy of war. Building trust and enhancing cooperation through humanitarian programs such as this are critical to continuously improving relations and serve as a humble token of the United States’ appreciation for years of unwavering assistance from Vietnam in bringing home American servicemen.

In the photo: U.S. Amb Krittenbrink walks across the Ham Rong Bridge with Vietnamese Veterans of the war with the United States.
In the photo: U.S. Amb Krittenbrink walks across the Ham Rong Bridge with Vietnamese Veterans of the war with the United States.

A HISTORY OF WORKING TOGETHER

Since the cessation of conflict, the remains of more than 700 Americans killed in the War have been identified and returned to their families for burial with full military honors. The repatriation of these Americans was and is made possible through the support of and strong relationship with Vietnam and its people.

CONCEPT OF SUPPORT

Through DAO Hanoi, the Department of Defense will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Office of the National Steering Committee 515 in the summer of 2021 to formalize archival research support for Vietnam’s efforts to located and identify Vietnamese personnel killed or mission from the Vietnam War. Partnering with USIP, USAID, and U.S. academic institutions, DAO Hanoi will support Vietnamese accounting efforts in five key areas:

  1. Archival Research will be collected, digitized, and analyzed in support of Vietnamese MIA cases
  2. Technology will be leveraged to enable research and digitization of millions of pages of documents to improve searchability and accessibility
  3. Building Capacity of Vietnam’s accounting effort through the provision of training, necessary equipment, and access to information
  4. Media outreach to inform the public in both Vietnam and the U.S. to foster understanding and build support
  5. Exchanges between veterans, academia, policy makers, and technical & working level people
  6. DNA Analysis assistance will be provided through the U.S. Agency for International Development

FUTURE PLANS

As the VWAI Program commences assistance in late 2021, DoD will look to expand partnerships to augment USIP, USAID, and academia. The U.S. Army Center for Military History (CMH) and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) serve as significant sources of expertise and archival information that will be significant interest to the VPAA effort. Maximizing accessible information, as well as seeking expertise and experience relevant to the Vietnam will drive future initiatives under the purview of the VWAI Program.