* UPDATE 1:30pm JST Aug 3, 2017 *
SOUTH CHINA SEA -- U.S. Navy and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces ships and aircraft are searching for a Sailor from USS Stethem (DDG 63) reported missing while the ship was conducting routine operations in the South China Sea.
Stethem reported a man overboard at about 9 a.m. local on Aug. 1. Multiple searches were conducted inside the ship, but were unable to locate the Sailor.
USS Stethem, USNS Amelia Earhart, and a U.S. Navy P-3 aircraft are currently assisting in the search.
In addition, Japan Maritime Self Defense Force ships JS Izumo and JS Sazanami are searching the area along with helicopters from Izumo.
The Peoples Republic of China is also contributing two frigates from the Peoples Liberation Army (Navy).
Thus far 10,000 square nautical miles of ocean have been scoured for the missing Sailor.
The Joint Personnel Recovery Center Hawaii is also assisting the effort.
The Sailor's name is being withheld while the search is ongoing.