HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ A team of 98 U.S. military specialists leave for Vietnam Friday with hopes of recovering remains that may lead to the identification of American servicemen listed as missing in action in the Vietnam War, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a news release.

The team will join Vietnamese counterparts Tuesday to begin joint investigations and recovery operations in 23 provinces and cities during the 30-day operation, the statement said.

Six primary excavation sites and three alternate locations will be targeted in the 42nd joint MIA operation conducted in Vietnam since the U.S. Joint Task Force-Full Accounting was established in 1992. Similar MIA searches also have been carried out in Cambodia and Laos.

Since 1973, the remains of 529 American servicemen, formerly listed as unaccounted for, have been identified and returned to their families, the statement said.

There are currently 2,054 Americans still unaccounted for from the wars in Southeast Asia, 1,530 of them in Vietnam.