Friday, June 26, 2009

Survey Ship Completes Vietnam Humanitarian Mission

The crew and scientists of the oceanographic survey USNS Bruce C. Heezen, together with embarked representatives from the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) completed their two-week support of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command’s (JPAC) latest mission in Vietnam June 23.

Heezen began the mission June 11 off the coast of Vietnam with a goal of speeding up the discovery of potential aircraft crash sites from the Vietnam War.

At least one site of particular interest was discovered by Heezen and its technologies, which are managed by the Naval Oceanographic Office. Reporting by Agence France-Presse and Vietnam Net following a media visit to the ship in Danang on June 25 during Heezen’s visit there notes the discovery of an object that could possibly be a helicopter.

JPAC will review all of the findings from the investigative mission and determine whether there is enough evidence to support a recovery mission associated with that information in the future.

Heezen was in support of a wider mission in Vietnam, JPAC’s 95th there since the 1980s, that ran from May 24 – June 24.

The mission of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) is to achieve the fullest possible accounting of all Americans missing as a result of the nation's past conflicts.

Heezen’s participation marked the first time a U.S. Navy ship has been used to search for underwater wreckage off the coast of Vietnam. The Government of Vietnam authorizing this important mission highlights the expanding cooperative relationship between the U.S. and Vietnam.

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