Shaw Air Force Base
The 20th Fighter Wing's Mission is to provide Combat Ready Airpower and Airmen to Meet Any Challenge, Anytime, Anywhere.
Shaw Air Force Base ranks as one of the oldest installations in the Air Force. Construction began at Shaw Field on June 27, 1941. Lt. Col. Burton M. Covey, Jr. became the first base commander on August 30, 1941. Shaw Air Force Base is named in honor of 1st Lt. Ervin D. Shaw, a Sumter County native, killed in action during World War I while on a long-range reconnaissance flight behind enemy lines. Today, Shaw Air Force Base is the home of the 15th Air Force Headquarters and the 20th Fighter Wing and is the largest combat F-16 fighting wing. For more history visit Shaw AFB's homepage.
- 7,140 active duty
- 14,000 family members
- 730 civilians
Sumter Metro:107,456; Columbia: 99,353
Shaw Air Force Base is located about 40 miles east of Columbia, South Carolina, the state capital. The base is centrally located in the state of South Carolina with many points of interest within a reasonable driving distance. The Atlantic Ocean is 2 hours away with miles of beach available for vacation and recreational activities. To the east, Myrtle Beach and Charleston await you, with wonderful seasonal activities and great southern food. To the North, you can enjoy cool mountain breezes or go white water rafting.
Sumter, named for the Revolutionary War hero General Thomas Sumter who made his home here, has a spiritual communion with its past without it being consumed. His tomb, a national historic site, is just one of the many treasures for local and visiting history buffs. Many retired military veterans who were stationed here at Shaw during their career are so taken with the area that they settle here permanently making Sumter's populace a seasoned and worldly group. Sumter today is one of the most economically balanced areas in the U.S. with a diversified income ranging from frozen foods to furniture, tools, paints, chemicals, medical supplies, heavy equipment, and high-tech electronics. Housing is inexpensive by national standards, and property taxes are correspondingly low.