US Navy reduces support for missing Argentine submarine search

The R/V Atlantis, a US Navy owned research vessel, deploys the cable-controlled Undersea Recovery Vehicle (CURV-21) during night operations. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy announced it would reduce the number of assets deployed in search for the Argentine submarine A.R.A. San Juan in the South Atlantic.

The US actively joined the Argentina-led international search efforts within 24 hours of learning of the missing submarine on November 17 and will now draw down operations after completing its support to requests by the government of Argentina, the navy said.

At its height, US contributions to the search and rescue effort included three advanced aircraft, over 200 search and rescue personnel, four submersibles, one specialized underwater rescue unit, one ship, and more than 400 sonar buoys dropped in support of the operation.

Additionally, the US provided an advanced sonar system which was mounted on Argentine search vessels. US planning and analytical specialists supported the efforts through data analysis, an effort that will continue.

“The US support team completed all searches in areas assigned by the Argentine Navy, sweeping each area twice with advanced sensors. Despite their best efforts on behalf of the Argentine people and the families of the missing sailors, this international effort has yet to locate the ARA San Juan,” the navy announcement read.

“On behalf of the people of the United States, we offer our respects to the families of the crew of A.R.A. San Juan and the people of Argentina,” said Rear Adm. Daniel B. Abel, director of operations, US Southern Command.

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