Indonesia asks for US help finding missing plane

AP News
Posted: Dec 29, 2014 8:41 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department said Monday that Indonesia has asked the United States for help in locating a missing AirAsia jet and the Navy said it is sending a ship to the general search area to support search operations.

The Navy's 7th Fleet said it is sending the USS Sampson, a destroyer. The Pentagon said it could include detection equipment deployed by air, surface and sub-surface.

The jet carrying 162 people is believed to have crashed into Indonesia's Java Sea. The State Department says no Americans were on board.

The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta received a diplomatic note from Indonesian officials on Monday asking for assistance finding the plane. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke says the U.S. is identifying how best to help.

The Pentagon's press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said in a brief statement that while details are being coordinated, the assistance "could include air, surface and sub-surface detection capabilities."

"We stand ready to assist in any way possible," Kirby said.

AirAsia Flight 8501 vanished Sunday morning on its way from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore.