The U.S. Pacific Command said it is also sending a black box locator in case a debris field is located, one that can be pulled behind a vessel at slow speeds and could hear the pinger down to a depth of about 20,000 feet (6,100 meters), Cmdr. Chris Budde, a U.S. 7th Fleet operations officer, said in a statement.
The deployment is part of “a prudent effort to pre-position equipment and trained personnel closer to the search area,” he said.
U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes on Monday stopped short of saying the U.S. had independent confirmation of the status of the missing airliner. He noted the conclusion of Malaysian authorities that the Boeing 777 had plunged into the Indian Ocean and said the U.S., which has been assisting the search effort, was focused on that southern corridor of the ocean.