TITLE:U.S. HOSTS U.S.-RUSSIA JOINT COMMISSION ON POW-MIAS PLENARY (12/07/94)
U.S. HOSTS U.S.-RUSSIA JOINT COMMISSION ON POW-MIAS PLENARY
(Text: DoD 12/06/94 news release) (660)
Washington, Dec. 6 -- The United States will host the eleventh United States-Russia Joint Commission (USRJC) on POW/MIAs plenary in Washington, D.C. from December 7-9.
Part of the USRJC's work is to determine the fates of American servicemen from the Korean and Vietnam wars who may still be missing on the territory of the former Soviet Union or about whom the Russians may have information.
Following is the text of the news release provided by the Public Affairs
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense:
The United States will host the eleventh United States-Russia Joint Committee on POW/MIAs (USRJC) plenary in Washington, DC from December 7-9, 1994. The Washington meeting is the second to be held in the United States.
The USRJC was established in March 1992 by agreement between Presidents Bush and Yeltsin to determine the fates of American servicemen from World War Two, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War, who may still be missing on the territory of the former Soviet Union or about whom the Russians may have information. The Commission also has an objective to assist the Russians in learning about the fates of Russian servicemen in Afghanistan. The U.S. side of the Commission is headed by Ambassador Malcolm Toon. Other members include Senators Bob Smith and John Kerry; Congressmen Sam Johnson and Pete Peterson -- both former POWs in Vietnam; Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA James Wold; President Joint Military Intelligence College Denis Clift; Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Ambassador Pete Tomsen; Department of State Director for Independent States and Commonwealth Affairs John Herbst; and Acting National Archivist Dr. Trudy 1eterson. The Russian side, headed by General Volkogonov, includes parliamentarians, the head of the major archives, and the officials of the Ministries of Defense, Foreign Affairs, the Interior, and security services.
To date the Joint Commission has met nine times in Moscow, commencing in March 1992, and most recently in August/September 1994. The Commission has also traveled to the Baltic States, the Ukraine, Armenia, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Belarus, and to eastern Russian in an effort to expand interview efforts and archival searches.
While here, the USRJC will visit the United States Naval Academy and the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland. The USRJC has been actively involved in locating the remains of Captain John Dunham, USAF, who graduated from the Naval Academy in 1950. The visit is designed to continue to stimulate initiatives with our Russian counterparts that are expected to produce more witnesses, documents, and leads to additional information regarding our POW/MIAs.
The visit to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds is an attempt to show the Russian delegation some of our equipment holdings and, in turn, to encourage them to examine their holdings of U.S. material, which may enhance our chances to resolve POW/MIA issues. It is hoped that such an activity will challenge the Russians to look at serial numbers, markings, and other data that can possibly provide clues to the origin of equipment and its users. One other objective is to request of the Russian side of the USRJC that American investigators be granted access to Russian museums, technical institutes, and test facilities which may hold American equipment taken for technical exploitation or as trophies from World War Two, the Korean War, Cold War, or Vietnam.
This plenary is intended to promote the work already undertaken in previous commission meetings held over the past two and one half years. Discussions will involve working group sessions for World War Two, Korean, Vietnam, and the Cold War, permit Russian delegates to examine our archival holdings, meet with senior American military and civilian officials, and provide a forum for family members to directly ask Russian Commission members questions pertaining to individual cases.
"From the: Defense POW/MIA Weekly Update
November 22, 2000
U.S.-RUSSIA POW/MIA GROUP RENEWS COMMITMENT
The U.S.-Russia Joint Commission on POW/MIAs renewed their commitment last week to continue cooperative efforts in search of information concerning the circumstances of loss and to establish the fate of missing servicemen.
During the two-day plenary session in Moscow, the commission's co-chairmen, Maj. Gen. Roland Lajoie, USA (retired) and Gen. Major Vladimir Zolotarev, signed the executive summary to the commission's joint report on the results of work conducted from 1995-2000. The executive summary highlights the commission's accomplishments and identifies areas for further research and investigation.
The commission was established in 1992 by the U.S. and Russian presidents. It is a group of senior American and Russian executive- and legislative-branch officials that meets periodically to assess and to coordinate policy, research and investigative efforts on clarifying the fate of missing American and Russian servicemen. Information of value to the commission is gained primarily through archival research and interviews of veterans, government officials, and other knowledgeable Russian and American citizens.
Highlights of last week's meeting included a report in the World War II working group on the successful August 2000 visit to Kamchatka when a team led by Lajoie and Col. Konstantin Golumbovskiy, the Russian deputy chairman of the commission, positively identified a U.S. PV-1 patrol bomber missing in action since March 25, 1944. Plans for a full-scale excavation of the site scheduled tentatively for summer 2001 were initiated by Michael McReynolds, the working group's U.S. co-chairman, and his Russian counterpart.
In the commission's Cold War working group, A. Denis Clift, the U.S. co-chairman, reported that painstaking research conducted by the Russian and U.S. sides has led to new information related to incidents of U.S. aircraft lost near the borders of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
The Korean War working group discussed prospects for expanding archival research emphasizing reports from search groups involved in the recovery of U.S. aircraft and crews during the war. The concept was favorably received. The archives' management agreed to examine holdings at military museums and other facilities that may retain any records, artifacts or personal effects of U.S. service personnel from that period. The U.S. side raised once again the issue of U.S. military personnel who, based on a number of reports from a variety of sources, were sighted in the Soviet camp system (GULAG). The Russian side agreed to accept the reports, which have been incorporated into a single document, called the GULAG Study, for further examination.
In the Vietnam War working group, the Russian side agreed to continue its research in various archives seeking documentation that might clarify the fate of missing in action American servicemen from the Vietnam conflict. Both sides agreed to cooperate further on evidence that Soviet soldiers also might be missing from the war in Southeast Asia."