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    California Native Searches for Missing Service Member from Vietnam War

    DPAA searches for MIA pilot

    Photo By Sgt. Mitchell Ryan | U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Schneidig Aroche, a recovery team member attached to the...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Mitchell Ryan 

    Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

    JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii —U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Schneidig Aroche, an augmentee attached to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), joined a recovery team in search of a missing U.S. service member lost during the Vietnam War in Vilabouly District, Savannakhet Province, Laos.

    Schneidig, born and raised in Riverside, California, volunteered his efforts when given an opportunity by his chain of command to deploy alongside members of DPAA.

    “When my leadership asked if I was interested in this opportunity, I said of course.”

    During excavation operations, team members assigned to DPAA work anywhere from seven to eight hours a day. Activities consist of building shelters, tents, and digging dirt in austere environments in countries worldwide including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Papua New Guinea.

    “A normal day starts with us getting up in the morning and getting transported to the dig site. After we arrive, we start digging and screening to find possible evidence of the missing service member.”

    Schneidig said that he implores the rest of his office to volunteer for one of these missions to experience a different culture and take part in something that is important.

    “When I get back to my unit, I’ll share with them that this is an extremely unique experience and we’re fulfilling our nation’s promise to the families of the fallen.”

    The mission of DPAA is to provide the fullest possible accounting of U.S. personnel from past conflicts to their families and the nation. DPAA is responsible for implementing the Secretary of Defense's program to account for the more than 81,000 Americans who remain unaccounted from the World War II era through the Gulf Wars.

    In Fiscal Year 2019, DPAA accounted for 218 Americans, a milestone for the agency. That means 218 families now have answers after decades of uncertainty.

    News media looking for more information about DPAA or Staff Sgt. Aroche, may visit, find us on social media at, or email Public Affairs Officer Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman at



    Date Taken: 12.20.2019
    Date Posted: 12.20.2019 17:34
    Story ID: 356843
    Location: RIVERSIDE, CA, US 

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