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Oleg Byelogurov to fly civilian helicopters following the completion of his six-year contract.

Oleg Byelogurov, a 2014 graduate of Rex Putnam High School, has nearly completed of his six-year contract with the U.S. Navy and plans to fly helicopters as a civilian pilot upon leaving public service next year.

A native of the Milwaukie area, Byelogurov joined the Navy in 2016 in order to fly in helicopters.

"I always loved aviation and thought I would begin my flying career by taking to the skies in rotary wing aircraft as an air crewman," he said. "I do get to do some pretty cool things, such as shoot machine guns out of helicopters, jump out into the ocean to practice saving someone and fly over some amazing places like O'ahu and Guam. It's a pretty good job."

Byelogurov was assigned to combat ship USS Charleston, which is on a rotational deployment operating in the U.S. Seventh Fleet area of operations with a mission to serve as a ready-response force in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

According to the federal government, at any given time there are roughly 50 to. 70 ships/submarines, 150 aircraft and approximately 20,000 sailors in Seventh Fleet, the largest deployment of the U.S. Navy outside of American territory. Seventh Fleet's area of operation spans more than 124 million square kilometers, stretching from the India/Pakistan border to the Antarctic, encompassing 36 maritime countries and 50% of the world's population, including China, Russia, India and Korea.COURTESY PHOTO: U.S. NAVY/ADAM BUTLER - In May, Naval Helicopter Air Crewman 2nd Class Oleg Byelogurov of Oak Grove stands as a lookout on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter attached to Combat Squadron 21 of the USS Charleston in the Indo-Pacific region.

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