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U.S. ship joins search for MIAs
HANOI, Vietnam - A U.S. Navy ship is participating in the search for the remains of U.S. servicemen missing from the Vietnam War, the first time an American vessel has taken part, embassy officials said yesterday.
The USNS Bruce C. Heezen, an oceanographic survey ship, is conducting a search mission off the coast of Vietnam, part of an effort between the two countries to recover the remains of more than 1,300 U.S. servicemen still unaccounted for in Vietnam.
The U.S. ship has equipment that makes it ideally suited for detecting aircraft crash sites on the ocean floor, an embassy statement said. The United States and Vietnam have been working together to account for missing U.S. servicemen since the 1980s. The current search is their 95th mission. - AP
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US Navy ship to join Vietnam MIA hunt: statement
21 hours ago
HANOI (AFP) — A US Navy ship has for the first time joined the search for Americans who went missing during the Vietnam War, a US statement said Friday.
The USNS Bruce C. Heezen, an oceanographic survey ship, is manned by a civilian crew and is ideal for detecting aircraft crash sites on the ocean floor, said a statement from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC).
Joint US and Vietnamese teams have investigated underwater sites using Vietnamese boats before but "this will be the first time Vietnam has allowed the use of a US Navy ship for underwater searches," said the statement.
Hundreds of US aircraft and their crews are still missing in Vietnam's coastal waters but JPAC said it has accurate data to search effectively for only a small percentage of them.
"The United States hopes the addition of the ship's capabilities will increase both the speed and effectiveness of the search for underwater sites," JPAC said.
It described as "a big step forward" Vietnam's cooperation in allowing the ship to operate in its waters.
Vietnam and the US have cooperated for more than 20 years in searching for the remains of missing American servicemen.
The United States lifted a trade embargo on Vietnam in 1994 and normalised diplomatic ties a year later, 20 years after the communists seized Saigon to mark the end of the Vietnam War.
The war claimed more than 58,000 American and about three million Vietnamese lives.