HONOLULU — The Pentagon announced retired Maj. Gen. Kelly McKeague, a 1977 Damien Memorial School graduate, is the new director of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

McKeague, who was born in Liliha and grew up in Papakolea, was sworn in Tuesday at a Pentagon ceremony.

McKeague is the first permanent director for the agency that searches for, recovers and identifies missing American war dead since Michael Linnington left in June 2016.

The Pentagon says Fern Sumpter Winbush, who has been serving as acting director, will resume her role as principal deputy director for the agency, responsible for formulating policy, overseeing business development, and increasing outreach initiatives.

McKeague served as an independent business consultant since his military retirement from the Air Force in 2016.

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency replaced the former Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. McKeague was the last commander of Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command before it was renamed Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency in an organizational shakeup in early 2015, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (http://bit.ly/2eLdNvX ).