WASHINGTON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- A spokesman of the U.S. Defense Department on Thursday reaffirmed that the U.S. will continue with full effort to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner.
Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said at a press briefing that U.S. President Barack Obama had said searching for the missing airplane was a priority, and Pentagon also made it a priority to try to find it.
"We are mindful that there are more than 200 families out there that are grieving and they want answers, and we understand that, and we're doing what we can. And we're not the only nation doing what we can," he said.
"We're putting as much effort into it across the scope of our capabilities as -- as is needed," he noted.
When asked how long the Pentagon is willing to keep the search alive, the official said that the Pentagon is going to stay with the searching effort as long as Malaysia needs help.
"I think the Navy and 7th Fleet have been doing a terrific job keeping people informed of what the U.S. Navy is doing in the search," he said, adding that the search effort and the investigation are being led by the Malaysian government.
In addition, the spokesman said that the U.S. military will adjust search and rescue missions in accordance with the evolving situation.
"All search and rescue missions change over time. That's just the nature of that kind of operation, and we'll change with it as required," he said.