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USS Kidd Joins Search For Missing Malaysian Airliner

Published on 15 March 2014

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by Office of the Spokesperson


Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Navy vessel USS Kidd has moved to replace the USS Pinckney as the United States continues to aid in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, bound for Beijing, a Defense Department spokesman told Pentagon reporters March 14.

“At Malaysia’s request, the USS Kidd is north of the Strait of Malacca, in what we are calling the western search area,” Army Colonel Steven Warren said.

“The western search area is a large swath of water that includes the Andaman Sea, the Bay of Bengal and the northern portion of the Indian Ocean,” he explained. “So it’s a very large search area.”

The USS Pinckney is en route to Singapore for scheduled maintenance, Warren said. A Navy P-3 Orion reported nothing found after a search in the Gulf of Thailand, he added.

“Additionally, there’s a P-8A Poseidon on station now, which is there to replace the P-3,” Warren said. “The P-8 will be searching the Bay of Bengal. The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range maritime patrol capability. The P-8A will provide more capability while focusing on worldwide responsiveness and interoperability. [The] nine-person crew will operate state-of-the-art sensors.”

The P-8A arrived at Kadena Air Base, Japan, in December, Warren noted, as part of the Defense Department’s rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region.

“We believe [the USS Kidd] will be searching in the Andaman Sea, and into the Bay of Bengal,” Warren said. The P-8A Poseidon will search a much larger area: the southern portion of the Bay of Bengal and the northern portion of the Indian Ocean.

“We’re very excited about the P-8A, because it’s got tremendously increased capabilities,” he said.

This article was originally published on the Defense Department website on March 14.


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Posted 2014-03-15 14:18:00