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Update: Defense Department identifies two Norfolk-based sailors killed in crash

Posted on: 4:46 pm, July 19, 2012, by , updated on: 08:39pm, July 21, 2012

The Department of Defense announced on Saturday the deaths of two sailors who died in a helicopter crash July 19 in Oman.

Senior Chief Aviation Warfare Systems Operator Sean P. Sullivan, 40, of St. Louis, Mo., and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) Second Class Joseph P. Fitzmorris, 31, of West Monroe, La., were declared deceased following an extensive search of the wreckage and the surrounding areas of the crash.

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A Norfolk-based MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter assigned to Helicopter Mine Countermeasure Squadron-15 crashed 58 miles southwest of Muscat, Oman, today while conducting heavy lift support operations, according to a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command news release.

The crash was not due to hostile activity and the status of the five crew members is still being determined, the release said.

Another MH-53E helicopter assigned to the squadron is on the scene, providing search and rescue assistance and the incident is under investigation.

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 relocated to Norfolk from Naval Air Station Corps Cristi Texas in September 2009 as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.

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