JPAC celebrates groundbreaking for new multi-million dollar facility

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -With the ceremonial shoveling of dirt, comes the realization of a long-awaited dream at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam.

"It is a long journey to get to where we are today and this begins a new era for JPAC," said Major General Stephen Tom, Commander of Joint P.O.W. / M.I.A. Accounting Command.

On an open field near Kuntz Gate, in a little more than 2 years from now, you'll see a new three story centralized headquarters for the agency tasked with identifying and bringing home the remains of lost soldiers.

The state of the art facility costs more than $62,000,00.00 to build.

It'll bring workers at the Central Identification Laboratory who work in different locations, together under one roof, and will help fulfill a congressional mandate.

"We have been tasked by congress to increase our capacity and capability to such a state where we are able to produce more than double the number of current identifications that we are producing now by the year 2015," said Major General Tom.

"We had a code of honor that said very simply we will not leave anyone in the field. If he's dead we'll bring him back, if he's wounded, we'll rescue him," said Senator Daniel Inouye. "That was a pledge we made to each other."

Construction begins in September. The project is expected to be completed by July 2013.

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