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AirAsia Wreckage Search Continues For San Diego-Based USS Fort Worth And USS Sampson (Video)

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

JAVA SEA (Jan. 4, 2015) Sailors aboard the littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) make preparations to launch a Tow Fish side scan sonar system from the ship's 11-m rigid hull inflatable boat.

The advanced sonar systems aboard the San Diego-based USS Fort Worth could be key in helping discover the black boxes from AirAsia Flight 8501, which disappeared last week and is thought to have crashed into the Java Sea with 162 passengers and crew on board.

The USS Fort Worth arrived in the search area on Jan. 3. The littoral combat ship joined the San Diego-based USS Sampson, which has been part of the search for AirAsia Flight 8501 since Dec. 29, according to the U.S. Navy:

The crew recovered several bodies Jan. 1 and Jan. 2. The remains were treated with all respects to religious customs and sensitivities and all 12 bodies were transferred via the ship's MH-60R helicopters to Indonesian authorities at Iskander Air Base in Pangkalan Bun, Indonesia.

USS Sampson Cmdr. Steven Foley told ABC News the U.S. Navy will do all it can to assist Indonesia in its recovery efforts:

"The U.S. government is providing as much help as the Indonesian authorities request, and that's really the bottom line on that subject. And if they request more, then the U.S. provides more."

CDR Kendall G. Bridgewater, commanding officer of the USS Fort Worth, explains in this Department of Defense News video (edited by the Wall Street Journal) the unique high-tech capabilities his ship has that will aid search efforts:

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