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USNS Cesar Chavez, Navy Planes Pull Out Of Malaysia Airlines MH370 Search (Video)

U.S. Navy

Search for MH370 aboard a P-8A Poseidon

The U.S. Navy has decided to pull the USNS Cesar Chavez (built in San Diego) and two P-8 Poseidon aircraft from the hunt for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, virtually ending the Navy's air search for the missing plane:

The decision to detach the P-8s was made in close coordination with the governments of Australia and Malaysia in view of the diminishing possibility debris will be found on the surface of the water.

According to the Navy, aircraft assigned to its 7th Fleet have conducted 45 missions searching for MH370 - which involved 396 hours of flight time and covered 513,000 square nautical miles. The San Diego-based USS Pinckney and USS Kidd were among the first ships to begin the search for MH370 when the plane disappeared on March 8.

Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters that as of April 24, the Department of Defense had spent $11.4 million on the MH370 search, breaking down the costs as follows:

-- $4.6 million in operations and maintenance funds;

-- $3.2 million in overseas humanitarian disaster and civic aid funds; and

-- $3.6 million for underwater search equipment and support.

NBC News reports the search for the missing airliner will now be focused solely beneath the ocean:

Video

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