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Phoenix Navy officer aiding in search for missing Malaysian jet

U.S. sailors use hand signals while directing helicopter operations onboard the destroyer USS Kidd at sea, March 17, 2014, as it assists in search operations for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.( U.S. Navy Photo/Petty Officer 2nd Class Karmowska-Brooks)

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.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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