San Diego-based USS Pinckney to help in search for missing Malaysian Airlines plane

WASHINGTON - The USS Pinckney, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer, is headed to the southern coast of Vietnam to aid in the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The ship left San Diego in January and has been conducting training and maritime security operations in international waters in the South China Sea.

The Pinckney carries two helicopters that can be used for search and rescue. It is expected to reach the search area within 24 hours.

Additionally, the Navy is deploying an Orion patrol and surveillance plane based in Okinawa. It will bring long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the search mission.

There were 239 people on board the Malaysian airlines flight when it lost contact with air traffic controllers.

The airline said there are 227 passengers, including two adult Americans and an infant, on board the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

Flight MH370 departed Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday and was scheduled to land in Beijing, China.

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