Part of the Search
Sailors support the effort to search for Air Asia Flight #QZ8501
Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Joseph Jiardina, assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35, describes how he is supporting Air Asia Flight #QZ8501 search efforts and helping to bring closure to families affected by the tragedy.
At the request of the Indonesian government, USS Sampson arrived on station in the Java Sea in the early afternoon on Dec. 30 and began assisting in the search. The ship's MH-60R search and rescue helicopters were launched to assist in the search efforts and the crews, working with multiple Indonesian assets, discovered debris late on the 30th.
The ship and her helicopters are still on station and continuing to search in close coordination with Indonesian authorities.
"Sampson will remain on station as long as the Indonesian government feels they are providing useful assistance," said Capt. Christopher Budde, operations director for U.S. 7th Fleet.
"The Indonesian government and Indonesian Rescue Coordination Center have done an outstanding job in very quickly organizing this multi-national search effort," said Budde. "We are preparing additional equipment and assets in case the Indonesian government requests them, but they are doing a tremendous job and additional U.S. Navy assistance may be more than they require."
Authorities in the region continue to lead the search and recovery effort. The U.S. Navy is working closely with the government of Indonesia to identify additional surface or airborne capabilities to best assist.
USS Sampson is homeported in San Diego and is in the midst of an independent deployment to the Western Pacific.
For more news from Commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f/.