VFW National Security & Foreign Affairs
Washington Office Weekly Update
9 Dec 05
v War Death Status Iraq (OIF) – 2,134 Afghanistan (OEF) – 252
v Reserve Component Mobilization: The total number currently on active duty in support of the partial mobilization for the Army National Guard and Army Reserve is 123,304; Navy Reserve – 4,121; Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve – 8,417; Marine Corps Reserve – 8,425; and the Coast Guard Reserve – 421. This brings the total number of activated Guard and Reserve personnel to 144,688, an increase of 111 over last week.
v MIA Remains Identified: The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced that the remains Air Force Technical Sergeant Patrick L. Shannon of Owasso, OK missing in action from the Vietnam War, were identified and returned to his family for burial.
v Vietnam War Remains Repatriated: A ceremony honoring remains believed to be those of American military members missing from the Vietnam War will take place today at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Following the ceremony, the remains will be transported to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command where the forensic identification process begins. One transfer case holds remains recovered from Laos while the other case holds remains recovered form Cambodia.
v Pentagon Official Retires: Jerry D. Jennings, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA affairs since August 2001 retired on Dec. 3rd. A successor has not been named at this time.
v First National Security Cutter Named: The U.S. Coast Guard named its first National Security Cutter on Nov. 22 in honor of Commodore Ellsworth Price Bertholf, who was the first commandant of the modern day Coast Guard. The new ship is the first of the Coast Guard's Deepwater program, intended to replace most of the ships, aircraft, and computer systems currently in service. The cutter is under construction at Northrop Grumman Ship Systems in Pascagoula, Miss., and will be launched next year.
v DOD Voting Report: The Department of Defense released the 17th report for the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) for 2000-2005 with a focus on the November 2004 election. The total voting participation rate among uniformed service members was 79 percent in 2004 compared to 64 percent of the general public. The 79 percent rate is an increase of 10 percent from 2000. The total voting participation rate among federal civilian employees overseas was 80 percent in 2004, which is an increase of 15 percent from 2000.
Michael H. Wysong, Director
National Security and Foreign Affairs
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.