Shaw shells out to Sumter

20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Story by Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Brewer

Date: 04.12.2019
Posted: 04.12.2019 15:24
News ID: 317964
Shaw shells out to Sumter

With a swift motion a shooter’s shotgun barrel faced the sky, they load five shells, pump the shotgun and lifts it to their shoulder shouting, “pull” as the range manager pushes a button to release a clay ‘bird’ the shooter breathes in slowly and squeezes the trigger.

The 20th Force Support Squadron Trap and Skeet Range work with local groups in the Sumter community, like the Amateur Trapshooting Association and Wilson Hall High School, among other active duty and civilian shooters, creating a positive reputation because of the relationships with the local community.

“ATA draws in more people and keeps us alive,” said Marty Long, 20th FSS Trap and Skeet Range manager. “The civilian influence that we have and draw is enormous and has made all the difference.”

Steven Creech, Sumter’s previous mayor, frequents the 20th FSS Trap and Skeet range often, drawing in a wider audience for the range.

“A lot of civilians who come onto base have given their time, expertise and insight and because they go to a lot of different ranges, they help me build this place to customer satisfaction,” said Long.

The influx in attendees allowed Long the revenue he needed to update the range. He was able to purchase a monitor to electronically log those who come in and shoot. Previously rotting storage units are now completely rebuilt and stocked. And per the recommendation of a customer they put their shooting machines on wheels in lieu of having to manually move them around. The 20th FSS Trap and Skeet Range is now more prestigious and competitive with other ranges nearby.

The 20th FSS Trap and Skeet Range allows civilians to have competitions and events like the father-daughter shooting event and to sponsor high schools without potential shooters having to drive an hour to the nearest range.

Not only is the range more convenient for civilians because of location but it has become cheaper for active duty members to shoot at. If a member signs up as part of the ATA they can shoot for half the price it would cost to shoot alone.
Active duty, along with members from the community are now shooting together at a more convenient and cost efficient range.

“I saw a billboard that said Trap and Skeet, so I came out here to try it since both my sons are gone to college,” said Chris Simon an Army veteran and ATA shooter. “I love being able to shoot on the base because then you don’t have a bunch of rowdy guys like you would off base. It’s so calm and peaceful and the range is very beautiful with the trees in the background.

The Trap and Skeet Range is one way for Shaw Airmen and the local community to come together and raise their shotguns to their shoulder and shout, “pull”.