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Phoenix Navy officer aiding in search for missing Malaysian jet

PHOENIX — A Navy officer from Phoenix is on board the USS Kidd helping in the search for the missing Malaysian jet.

“We are committed to helping the Malaysian government and to helping the families have some type of closure,” Navy Lt. j.g. Eric Bachtel said. Bachtel is a combat information center officer.

“There are 300-plus here on Kidd who are honored to be here. We are trying to be positive and are hopeful that we find the aircraft. Nothing is impossible.”

The USS Kidd is expanding its patrol area from the northwest entrance of the Strait of Malacca into the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea.

The ship is searching more than 1,500 square miles of ocean each day, investigating any possible debris that may be linked to the airliner’s crash. The information is shared with the Malaysian government.

“We would hope that if it were one of our aircraft, there would be 25 countries … (to) support us as well,” said Batchel.