11 March 2014

USS Kidd joins in search for Boeing 777 missing since Saturday | RallyPoint.com

Image copyright US Navy

By James Kimber
Copyright Stars and Stripes

The U.S. has dispatched a second destroyer to assist with the search efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 that disappeared somewhere over the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam early Saturday.

The USS Kidd, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, joined the USS Pinckney in the search effort, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet. Both destroyers were conducting training in the South China Sea when they were dispatched to aid the search.

Both are equipped with MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, which have the capability to conduct night searches using Forward Looking Infra-red cameras, according to a 7th Fleet release.

In addition, a P-3C Orion aircraft is currently providing assistance. Navy officials said the P-3C Orion aircraft left Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, and arrived on station about 3 p.m. Sunday.

Cmdr. William Marks, the spokesman for the U.S. 7th Fleet said the aircraft will search an area west of Malaysia in the northern section of the Strait of Malacca and cover roughly 1,500 square miles every hour. The Orion has the capability of conducting long range searches. It also brings radar and communication capabilities to the effort, the Navy release said.

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