At 0617 on 28 December 2014, Air-Asia flight QZ8501 traveling from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore disappeared from radar. Later that morning, the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) was activated to lead an international search-and-rescue operation in the Java Sea. On 30 December, Malaysian, Singaporean, Australian, and U.S. surface and air-search assets arrived in the search area. At this time, the author was a foreign area officer working for Task Force 73 (CTF-73) and Destroyer Squadron 7. On 2 January 2015 he arrived at the rescue-coordination center in Pangkalanbun, Indonesia, as the U.S. liaison officer to BASARNAS to help coordinate search efforts for two U.S. Navy ships deployed to the Java Sea. Over the 16 days of U.S. involvement in the search, the USS Sampson (DDG-102) recovered 15 crash victims, and both the Sampson and USS Fort Worth (LCS-3) searched a combined 22,000 square miles of the Java Sea.
Special - ‘I Was Made for This’
By Lieutenant Commander Greg Adams, U.S. Navy