REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (June 12, 2019) - Two employees with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center competed in the Alabama Skeet Shooting Association 2019 State Skeet Championship in Childersburg, Alabama, May 31 to June 2.Layne Merritt, CCDC AvMC Aviation Development Directorate acting director, was introduced to the sport in 1997 while attending Test Pilot school. After moving to Fort Rucker, Merritt began visiting the shooting range more often and said he "caught the bug" from there.Merritt first competed in 2000 and continues to participate in events each year. "I like the opportunity to focus on executing the shots correctly to break the targets," said Merritt. "It takes focus and is satisfying when you do it right."The Wisconsin native took third place overall and retired military honors during the competition in May. He shoots on several teams, including the Redstone Skeet Team and a five-man retired military team, referred to as "F Troop."At the age of 8, Charlene Bertus, CCDC AvMC Engineering Directorate lead acquisition analyst, began shooting skeet with her father. "I began competitive shooting around age 10 and was fortunate enough to shoot with (people) who are still active today," Bertus said.Bertus took a break from shooting after her first year of college in 1978 and didn't begin again until 2015. After seeing a photo of Merritt after a competition on the CCDC AvMC intranet page, she reached out to him and he introduced her to a new team, the Mars Gun Club. She has been shooting ever since and competes as often as possible. Bertus, who also serves as the state secretary for ASSA, took second place overall in the C class and ladies honors in this year's state championship.There are four events during the championship weekend: 12 gauge, 20 gauge, 28 gauge, and .410 bore. A range of shooters competed in each event with 66 shooters in 12 gauge, 59 in 20 gauge, 54 in 28 gauge, and 49 in .410 bore. Shooters are scored based on how many targets out of 400 - 100 targets per event - they hit.Merritt shot 100 targets in the 12-gauge and 20-gauge categories, giving him a perfect score for those events. During the 28 gauge and .410 bore, he shot 91/100 and 96/100, respectively.Bertus had an overall score of 370/400."I get a sense of accomplishment competing individually and also in a team format at various competitions," she said. "It's that feeling of 'family' that is the best part of it all. Everyone pitches in and helps each other and cheers each other on."---The CCDC Aviation & Missile Center, formerly known as the Aviation & Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), is part of the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, which conducts responsive research, development and life cycle engineering to deliver the aviation and missile capabilities the Army depends on to ensure victory on the battlefield today and tomorrow. Through collaboration across the command's core technical competencies, CCDC leads in the discovery, development and delivery of the technology-based capabilities required to make Soldiers more lethal to win our Nation's wars and come home safely. CCDC is a major subordinate command of the U.S. Army Futures Command.