Canine crew to help search for Vietnam war dead
(EXCERPT) By Wayne Specht, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition,
Saturday, March 1, 2003
For the first time since Joint Task Force-Full Accounting in Hawaii
was formed in 1992, its officials have dispatched specially trained
search dogs to locate remains of U.S. servicemen missing from the
Panzer and Maximus, belonging to the Rhode Island State Police
department, now are in Vietnam with a 10-member excavation team, part
of JTF-FAs 72nd Vietnam mission.
The mission includes about 95 Americans who will join representatives
from Vietnam in recovery excavations planned for two provinces in the
I would characterize the initial results as encouraging, and our
initial assessment as cautiously optimistic, Lt. Col. Steve Hawley,
commander of JTFs Detachment 2 in Hanoi, said about the dogs via
Hawley said Rhode Island State Trooper Matthew Zarella trained the
dogs personally to detect some aspect of human remains that are aged.
The dogs actually dont alert on decomposing bodies, he said.
Rather, they detect some unknown aspect gas or odor of skeletal
remains as they decompose within the ground and even within ground
Human-remains search dogs have been surprisingly successful in recent
years with U.S. police departments in locating victims of crime,
disaster and suicide, said Capt. Gina Jackson, a JTF spokeswo......
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