Sumter, South Carolina | American Spirit. Global Edge. | 800.888.7926
Business and Industry
A Caterpillar Inc. employee operates a robot in the Sumter hydraulic cylinder plant.

Shaw Airforce Base

Powerful Expertise in a Global Industrial Arsenal.

It’s a safer world abroad and stronger economy here at home in Sumter, thanks to the Shaw Air Force Base, as retirees and spouses provide an experienced, flexible and skills-ready backbone for the Sumter workforce.

Since 1941, Shaw Airforce Base, originally  Shaw Field - has been home to hundreds of aircraft and thousands of service members. As the Airforce largest F-16 Combat Wing, the mission of the 20th FW is to provide combat-ready airpower and Airmen. Shaw is also United States Airforce Central with an area of responsibility that stretches form Africa, through the Persian Gulf and into Central Asia.

The base was named after World War I Pilot and Sumter County Native 1st Lt. Ervin David Shaw. Ervin Shaw enlisted in the Army on June 27, 1913, and served for the first four years of his military career in Savannah, GA. He was granted an honorable discharge in 1918 in order for him to accept a commission as a first lieutinenanct in the Royal Canadian Air Service.

​Shaw Field was activated as the home of the Air Corps Basic Flying School to train pilots during World War II. More than 8,600 pilots were trained at Shaw Field in basic and advanced flying courses.​


Economic Impact of Shaw Airforce Base in the Sumter Region 
$65.83M- Rental activity for owner-occupied dwellings 
$32.77 M- Food Services and drinking places 
$24.98 M- Real Estate Establishments 
$21.44 M- Retail Stores - General Merchandise
$19.52 M- Offices of Physicians, dentists, and health practitioners

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We’ve made great strides. But now it’s time to shift our focus inward and really zero in on our number one asset: our people.”
Greg Thompson
Chair, Sumter Development Board