Monday, 8 February 2010

On Launch Pad 39A
The space shuttle Endeavour is seen after the rotating service structure is rolled back on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010 at Launch Pad 39A of the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Endeavour and the crew members of the STS-130 mission are set to launch on Sunday at 4:39 a.m. EST. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Monday, February 8, 2010
WHEN: 9:00 a.m.
WHAT: The Institute for National Strategic Studies 2010 symposium on "Implementing the New Path for America's Defense" :- 9 a.m.
: Principal Deputy Defense Under Secretary for Policy James Miller delivers opening keynote remarks- 11:45 a.m.: Deputy Defense Undersecretary for Strategy, Plans and Forces Kathleen Hicks delivers remarksWHERE: Fort Lesley J. McNair, 260 Fifth Avenue SW, Washington, DC.CONTACT: 202-685-3857NOTE: Register online:

News Release

Health and human services department Deploys Mobile Morgue to Haiti

Port-au-PrincE – Today, the United States Government began the work of establishing a temporary morgue and forensic facility to help with the identification and handling of remains of American citizens killed in the January 12 earthquake in Haiti . The hub for this work will be an HHS National Disaster Medical System mobile facility known as the Disaster Portable Morgue Unit or DPMU, which arrived on a flight from Charleston , South Carolina on February 2. A team of 25 specialists have also arrived and will begin the process of identifying American citizens and preparing their remains for return to the United States .

“The magnitude of the loss from this disaster has touched families across Haiti and the world. Americans sadly also lost their lives," said Dr. Tom Sizemore, the HHS Secretary ' s personal representative in Haiti . “Through the work of our dedicated experts and professionals, we hope to make the grieving a little easier to bear as loved ones are reunited with family members."

Initial reconstruction efforts in Haiti started with removal of debris from some sites, including the Hotel Montana where many American citizens are believed to have lost their lives. The Hotel Montana, like many buildings in Port-au-Prince , simply collapsed with one floor falling on another. Uncovering these sites, work known as “delayering,” proceeds slowly and with great care. Consequently, remains still in the Hotel Montana alone may take many weeks to recover.

Positively confirming identity is a painstaking process. Information gathered by interviewing families of missing persons helps provide initial indicators such as tattoos or jewelry. Documents found on the bodies, such as driver’s license, strengthen the identification. But only a few indicators provide positive scientific identification. These include dental details, fingerprints, implantable devices (with serial numbers) and, in some cases, DNA matches. This requires the work of the experts which include imaging specialists, anthropologists, fingerprint experts and morticians who comprise the NDMS Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team.

An interagency U.S. Government team will continue to do everything possible to find and identify U.S. citizens who lost their lives as a result of the earthquake and return them their final resting place in the United States . Americans who are missing family members are encouraged to call the U.S. State Department at 888-407-4747.

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