The U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) instructed to deploy a multi-mission aircraft to Punta Arenas to support the tasks carried out by the Chilean Air Force to locate the missing aircraft in the Drake Sea.
In response to the request of the Chilean government, the P-8A and its crew, consisting of 20 people, took off from the Comalapa Air Base, in El Salvador, towards Magallanes, to begin operating on Thursday.
Previously, the South command collaborated with the delivery of satellite images of the tracked area.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile and the families of the disappeared, as we join our regional partners in support of the search for the C-130, its crew and its passengers,” said SOUTHCOM commander, admiral of the US Navy, Craig Faller.
The P-8A Poseidon is the most modern marine patrol and reconnaissance aircraft in the US Navy.
It has state-of-the-art sensors and communication equipment, which allows it to support a wide variety of search and rescue missions over large bodies of water, including the marine sub-surface.
In its characteristics is that it can reach a speed of 564 miles per hour, with a roof of 41 thousand feet, a range of 1,200 nautical miles and four hours of autonomy, which allows it to move through the search areas.
In 2017, SOUTHCOM sent two P-8A Poseidon patrol boats to Bahía Blanca, Argentina, to collaborate with the international search for the ARA San Juan submarine of the Argentine Navy, which disappeared under the waters of the South Atlantic.
SOUTHCOM is one of the six unified commands of the United States, geographically focused, which in this case is responsible for the US military operations for the Caribbean, Central and South America.