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Navy Helo Squadron Commander Fired

Cmdr. Sara Santoski

NORFOLK -- The commanding officer of a Norfolk-based helicopter squadron was relieved of her duties on Saturday after an assessment of a helicopter crash that killed two sailors, according to a Navy news release.

Cmdr. Sara Santoski was removed as leader of the Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 by Capt. Paul Esposito because of a loss in confidence of her ability to command, the news release said. She has been reassigned.

The decision comes after an examination of the crash of a military helicopter in Oman in July that killed two sailors and a mishap involving another helicopter at the Bahrain International Airport in August, the release continued.

Master Chief Petty Officer Bobby T. Anderson was also relieved of his duties as the squadron's command master chief because of unsatisfactory performance, the release said.

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