BEIJING, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Since the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 went missing Saturday, 12 countries, including Malaysia, Vietnam, China and the United States, have mobilized aircraft, ships and emergency teams to join in a search and rescue mission, whose scale has caught the world's attention.
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) ordered one C-130 aircraft on Saturday noon to fly to the search area, 700 km north of Singapore.
Early Sunday morning, it dispatched two C-130s, a Formidable-class frigate (RSS Steadfast) with a Sikorsky S-70B naval helicopter onboard, a submarine support and rescue vessel with divers onboard, and a Missile Corvette (RSS Vigor).
As of Thursday, two Singaporean C-130s, each with 12 crew, have carried out a total of 11 10-hour missions flying as low as 300 meters.
Singapore's search work has mainly focused on a specific area of 2,700 sq. nautical miles, some 150 nautical miles northeast of Kota Bahru, Malaysia.
Vietnam responded quickly to the report of the Malaysian flight going missing. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung immediately ordered relevant departments to spare no efforts in launching a search.
He also convened a special emergency meeting to arrange the 24-hour search and rescue operation.
Vietnam also swiftly approved the applications of China and the United States to allow their search and rescue forces to enter its waters.
Vietnam so far has had a total of 11 ships and nine aircraft involved in the search work, plus various fishing boats.
Brunei's navy ships started to participate in the large-scale international search work on Tuesday. Brunei's civil aviation department is closely watching the latest reports about the missing Malaysian plane and exchanging information about the plane.
Royal Brunei Navy Commander Pahlawan Haji Abdul Halim bin Haji Mohd Hanifah said Brunei's search work mainly covered its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Brunei's participation is in line with the consensus reached by the ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus, to fulfill cooperation in the non-security and enhance mutual trust among the member countries.
The Royal Thai Navy on Monday sent a coastguard vessel carrying a helicopter and a surveillance aircraft from Phuket to search an area between Malaysia's Langkawi island and Indonesia's North Sumatra island. Meanwhile, it dispatched a patrol aircraft to fly over the Gulf of Thailand, but found nothing, said Adoong Paniam, deputy spokesman of the Royal Thai Navy.
On Friday, the coastgurad vessel docked to resupply but the surveillance aircraft is continuing its search mission.
Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra phoned Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak immediately after learning of the plane's disappearance, expressing willingness to offer any assistance and dispatching the coastguard vessel and surveillance aircraft.
The Thai search operation is under Malaysia's direction. Royal Thai Navy Commander Narong Pipatanasai said Thursday Thailand would continue the search work as long as Malaysia required.
The Philippines immediately put its navy and air forces into search operation after the MH370 flight was reported missing. The Philippine military said that, as of Sunday morning, it had dispatched two aircraft to conduct three search missions along the sea, east of the Philippines and each mission lasted three hours. Meanwhile, the Philippine navy also dispatched two ships, but found nothing.
Later, The Philippines tasked its most advanced naval vessel, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, a former U.S. Coast Guard cutter, to the search mission, while the Philippine air force committed various types of planes, including a C-130, to the search.
The Philippines was among the first countries to be involved in the operation, its search and rescue efforts continue.
The Philippines' search mainly focused on "its EEC", far from the routine route of the missing Malaysian plane, in case the plane had left its routine flight route.
South Korea will dispatch two military aircraft - a P3-C Orion patrol aircraft and C-130 military transport airplane - to assist the search.
Their search area has yet to be discussed with Malaysia.
South Korea's foreign ministry said its decision to help was based on its friendly relations with Malaysia and the growing need for intensified international cooperation.
THE UNITED STATES
The U.S. Navy's USS Kidd was heading toward the Indian Ocean to continue the search after days of searching with the destroyer USS Pinckney in the Gulf of Thailand
A Navy P-3C Orion aircraft has been searching both the Strait of Malacca and the Gulf of Thailand, and a P-8A Poseidon will join the search on Saturday.
The United States have also sent officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist with the investigation.
Indonesia engaged five ships and a maritime surveillance plane to search the Malacca strait and Penang, and a Boeing 737 patrol aircraft in the Malacca strait and waters off the border area of Malaysia and Thailand.
It joined the search at Malaysia's request on Saturday night.
Australia has offered two P-3C aircraft to cover the waters off Malaysia and Vietnam. There were six Australians aboard the missing plane.
Japan on Wednesday sent two C-130 transport aircraft of the Air Self-Defense Force and two P-3C patrol planes of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the South China Sea, in response to a request for cooperation from the Malaysian government.