The U.S. military joined a multinational search effort for the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared early Saturday local time.
The USS Pinckney, a destroyer in the Navy's 7th Fleet, headed to the southern coast of Vietnam to aid in the search efforts for the flight, which was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
"The ship could be in vicinity of the missing jet within 24 hours and carries two MH-60R helicopters which can be equipped for search and rescue," the 7th Fleet, which is stationed in Okinawa, Japan, said in a statement.
In addition, a P-3C Orion aircraft from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa will join the search, "bringing long-range search, radar and communications capabilities to the efforts," the statement said.
As of Saturday ET, search and rescue teams from China, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam were among the groups seeking the missing twin-engine jet.
The Vietnamese government reported Saturday that oil slicks — thought to be from the missing aircraft — had been spotted between Malaysia and Vietnam, but the airline had not confirmed that.
"An international search and rescue mission was mobilized this morning," Malaysia Airlines said in a statement Saturday. "At this stage, our search and rescue teams from Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam have failed to find evidence of any wreckage."
The jet carried 227 passengers and 12 crewmembers. Malaysia Airlines said three Americans were on board.
The last signal from the plane was received as the aircraft prepared to transfer to the airspace above Vietnam's Ca Mau province.
Malaysia Airlines said it had not received any emergency signals or distress messages from the aircraft.
The "focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support," Malaysia Airlines CEO Ahmad Juahari Yahya said in a statement released Friday night ET. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members."
In 2009, Air France faced a similar situation when a plane en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris-Charles de Gaulle disappeared during turbulent weather with 228 people on board.
At the time of the Malaysia Airlines flight, there was only light precipitation in the form of light rain and snow over South and Central China, and any precipitation that would have formed would have been well below the flight level at around 15,000 feet, said AccuWeather Meteorologist Alan Reppert.
Contributing: Calum MacLeod from Beijing; Thomas Maresca from Ho Chi Min City, the Associated Press