By Yvonne Johnson, APG News March 15, 2012
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The APG community is invited to check out the shooting opportunities at the MWR, Trap and Skeet Range during its open house activities March 31, 1 to 3 p.m.
Ralph Cuomo, the Outdoor Recreation program manager said the goal of the open house is to garner awareness and he hopes it will prompt more community members to participate in shotgun target recreation.
Skeet and trap are two of the three major types of competitive shotgun target shooting sports, and even boasts an Olympic category, explained Cuomo. During play, participants attempt to break clay disks flung into the air at high speed from a variety of angles and directions.
"If you have never shot trap and skeet, you really should come out and give it a try," said Cuomo. "We will provide all the equipment needed for you to shoot at no charge, but more importantly, it's just a whole lot of fun."
Cuomo said employees, family members and troops will find the sport reasonably priced and extremely convenient, located on Hoadley Road at APG South (Edgewood).
"Fortunately, our operating hours allow personnel to travel to the range directly after work and enjoy a few hours of before we close," he said.
The range is operated by the Community Recreation Division with the help of volunteers.
Outdoor Recreation's Charles Guthrie said new machines that launch the clay targets and better lighting to improve night shooting have recently been installed. Guthrie oversees range activities and is assisted by volunteer range safety officer retired CSM Lorenzo (Larry) Alejo.
Activities currently include open trap and skeet shoots-two evenings and one day each week-and special events like organization day shoots and team-building exercises.
All events at the range are open to military ID cardholders, CAC cardholders, retirees and their guests. Alejo said many of the current patrons are hunters, but not all.
"Some of our customers are sport shooters or folks who would like to sharpen their shooting skills," said Alejo. "But we encourage beginners to come out and try a new sport. The best part of the program is it's a great place to socialize, meet people with similar interests and learn from each other."
Alejo is also a hunter education instructor as are most of the range volunteers. He helps MWR coordinate special events and liaisons with local and post organizations like the installation's Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program.
During the open house, guests will receive a safety briefing and an explanation of the difference between skeet and before shotting.
The range has shotgun and muzzle loader shooting opportunities for all skill levels, and is located at Bldg. 4737. Operating hours are 3 to 8:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, for skeet and trap.
Reserved hours are 3 to 8 p.m. on Mondays for organization team building; 3 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays for silhouette shooting; and 3 to 8 p.m. on Fridays for organization days. The range is closed Sunday and holidays. A weekly Ladies Night is planned for this spring. For more information, visit http://apgmwr.com or call Cuomo at 410-278-4124/4836.