Sept. 19 marked this year’s National Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Recognition Day — a national observance focused on standing behind those who serve our nation and ensuring that we do everything possible to account for those who do not return.
The Intelligence Community’s POW/MIA Cell is integrated within the Defense Intelligence Agency, working closely with IC and Department of Defense partners. Following a directive from Congress, the IC POW/MIA Analytic Cell was established Sept. 18, 2001, to serve as the focal point for post-1990 POW/MIA and personnel recovery-related all-source analysis within the Intelligence Community.
The cell’s mission has subsequently expanded to include U.S. civilians, and designated foreigners held hostage, kidnapped or missing. The cell specializes in providing comprehensive intelligence assessments in response to current and emerging threats from regime, terrorist or insurgent groups. It provides in-depth intelligence tracking and monitoring in support of captured DOD personnel covered under the U.S. Missing Persons Act and other U.S. citizens assessed to be missing or captured.
In addition to recovery of live persons, the cell provides essential support in locating and recovering the remains of post-1990 U.S. service members. On multiple occasions, analysts used advanced 3-D visualization, geospatial imagery and other analytic tools to assist the combatant commands in these recovery operations.
The IC POW/MIA Analytic Cell is currently engaged in supporting cases of missing personnel all over the world. Their assessments focus on these individuals, as well as providing detailed analysis on hostage-taking tactics, techniques and procedures.