US, Vietnam lauch joint underwater search for MIAs

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This month, the US Navy dispatched a high-tech ship to cooperate with Vietnam in searching for Americans MIAs, the US embassy in Hanoi said in a press release, issued Monday.


The search mission was conducted between May 24 and June 20 by members of the US Navy's Oceanographic Office aboard the USNS Bowditch alongside representatives from the US Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons.


In 2009, a US naval vessel conducted a similar operation.


Virginia Palmer, the embassy's Chargé d'Affaires, was quoted in the release as saying that the modern sonar equipment aboard the Bowditch, which is manned by a civilian crew, has the potential to locate aircrafts missing for 40 years, which is something that could not have been done in the past.


"We very much appreciate Vietnam's cooperation in continuing to support these humanitarian surveys," Palmer said.


Hundreds of US aircrafts and their crews are still missing in Vietnam's coastal waters since the Vietnam War.


The US and Vietnam have cooperated on searches for missing American soldiers since the 1980s and have conducted 103 joint search operations.


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