The four aircraft of Helicopter Support Squadron 4, based at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, remain grounded as the investigation continues into the crash two weeks ago that injured the four sailors aboard, said Navy Lt. j.g. David Luckett, a spokesman for the 6th Fleet.

A MH-53 Sea Dragon crashed Feb. 16 on the base’s runway while on a training exercise. The sailors suffered minor injuries.

“Flight operations for Helicopter Support Squadron Four have been suspended pending completion of a mishap investigation to determine the cause of the incident,” Luckett said. “We do not have a specific timetable for the mishap investigation. The focus is to complete it as soon as possible and ensure we get an accurate picture of what led to this and ensure we take necessary steps to correct any problems found.”

The Feb. 16 crash marks the third incident involving the MH-53 at Sigonella in the past two years. Four HC-4 sailors died in July 2003 when their helicopter crashed during a training flight, and four were injured in another crash in August 2004.

The squadron provides heavy helicopter combat support to the fleet in the European theater.

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