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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 discharch 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.

​Today, there are more than 19,000 servicemen and women, families, and  civilians employed at Shaw, making it the largest employer in Sumter County.

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“We are grateful for the support we have received here in Sumter and South Carolina. Dynamic
local organizations and so many individuals have definitely helped us expand. More jobs at Apex
help the entire Sumter community. It’s great to be a part of that.”
Ryan Cagle
Vice President, ABS and Project Management Apex Tool Group, LLC.

Shaw AirForce BaSE

Sumter is home to Shaw Air Force Base. The base is named in honor of World War I pilot 1st Lieutenant Ervin David Shaw, a Sumter Native. Shaw has an extended personnel of more than 20,000.