Australia has dispatched search planes for a third consecutive day to search the remote southern Indian Ocean for debris possibly from missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370, now lost for two full weeks.
The international team hunting for the plane returned Saturday to an area about 2,500 kilometers southwest of Perth where an Australian satellite spotted two large objects earlier in the week.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss praised the search and rescue teams on Saturday, saying they were doing an excellent job and had trained for this sort of mission for their entire career. He told reporters the search will continue until officials determine that further efforts would be futile.
The searches have come up with no sign of wreckage in the area. Australia has cautioned that the objects might have no connection to the Boeing 777, carrying 239 passengers and crew.
During a telephone conversation Friday, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein asked the U.S. Defense Department for underwater surveillance equipment to help with the search.
A Pentagon spokesman did not say what equipment the U.S. might provide, but that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is considering the request and whether it would be helpful in looking for the aircraft.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters Friday his country is "throwing everything we've got" in an effort to find Flight 370.
The Malaysia Airlines jet disappeared two weeks ago during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There has been no firm evidence, so far, of what happened to the jet.
Investigators are not ruling out anything, including catastrophic mechanical failure, terrorism or pilot suicide. They say it is possible that someone with knowledge of planes diverted it far off course.
Twenty-six nations have been hunting for the plane across an area covering more than 7 million square kilometers, from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean.