A San Diego-built cargo ship continues to support the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the Pentagon said Thursday, noting the U.S. cost of the mission has topped $11 million.
The Military Sealift Command dry cargo ship USNS Cesar Chavez joined the task force April 10 to provide logistical support.
The Chavez — built at San Diego’s National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., or NASSCO — is the Navy’s newest Combat Logistics Force ship. It’s operated by a crew of 125 civil service mariners, along with 11 Navy sailors who provide operational support and supply coordination, according to Naval Today.
Total cost of the search to date is $11.4 million, said Army Col. Steve Warren. This figure includes $4,200 per flight hour for the two P-8 Poseidon aircraft involved in the search. The plane and its 239 passengers disappeared March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing
The breakdown is:
The P-8s continue conducting aerial search operations, and the Bluefin-21 autonomous underwater vehicle completed its 12th search mission, Warren said.
“Bluefin-21 has now completed more than 90 percent of a focused underwater search … . Unfortunately, no contacts of interest have been found,” he said.
The department has received no requests for additional underwater search assets, Warren said.