U.S. Military Aids EgyptAir Search and Rescue Operations
By Karen Parrish
United States Department of Defense
May 20, 2016
- U.S. European Command and the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet are coordinating with officials in Greece in support of Egypt’s search-and-rescue operations for EgyptAir Flight 804, which disappeared from radar screens while en route from Paris to Cairo yesterday.Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, director of Defense Press Operations, updated Pentagon reporters today on those efforts.
Eucom and 6th Fleet officials, he said, “continue to coordinate closely with the Hellenic armed forces, the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Greece, and the U.S. Embassy in Athens, Greece, all of which are supporting Egypt's lead in this search-and-rescue operation.”
News reports today say Egyptian officials announced the discovery in the Mediterranean Sea of some parts from the missing airliner, as well as suitcases and some remains. Sixty-six people were reported aboard the missing airliner.
Yesterday, the Defense Department “did respond to a request to provide U.S. Navy P-3 Orion aircraft to support the search efforts,” Davis said.
That aircraft, he said, assigned to Patrol Squadron 4, or BP-4 in Sigonella, Italy, conducted a search mission yesterday.
Two additional P-3 aircraft missions occurred today, Davis added, one from the Naval Air Station at Sigonella.
Another sortie began around 8 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, he added.
“I will tell you that thus far none of our aircraft have reported sighting any debris,” Davis said.
He said the U.S. sorties are flying “with and in support of the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Greece, which has search-and-rescue responsibility for that water there, and is coordinating among other contributions from ships and aircraft and assigning them sectors in which to search.”
Davis added, “We're obviously in continued close contact with our French counterparts as well.”