Constructed in 1941, Shaw Air Force Base was named after 1st Lieutenant Ervin David Shaw, who was a World War I pilot.
Shaw was a native of Sumter County who died after three enemies attacked his jet as he was returning from a mission in 1918, but he did kill one of his attackers before his plane went down.
Along with being one of the Air Force’s oldest military installations, Shaw Air Force Base is also known for being one of the largest military installations in the United States Department of Defense.
Not only is Shaw Air Force Base the home of the 20th Fighter Wing, which is the base’s host wing and that provides facilities, personnel and material for the entire base’s operation, but it is also the home of several other important units. The 20th Operations Group, 20th Maintenance Group, 20th Mission Support Group, 20th Medical Group and 682d Air Support Operations Squadron all call Shaw Air Force Base home. Under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command, Shaw Air Force Base is located just over eight miles from Sumter, South Carolina, to the west-northwest.
Since Shaw Air Force Base is very conveniently and centrally located in the state, there are plenty of options for those who are looking for things to see and do while stationed at Shaw Air Force Base. Located only around two hours from the beautiful coast of South Carolina, there are many nearby beaches and tourist locations for service members and their families to enjoy, such as the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which is a very popular tourist spot. A quick trip to the state capital of Colombia only takes approximately 40 minutes by car, and the capital has plenty of things to offer. Sumter also has plenty of interesting history behind it, and the population in the area is very military-friendly and offers a very stable economy.
There are multiple elementary, middle and high school options in the Sumter County School System for dependent children to attend. Along with plenty of public schools, there are also private schools in the area as well.
Located on base, the 20th Medical Group provides ambulatory healthcare, including dental services, to service members who are stationed at Shaw Air Force Base as well as their families. The 20th Medical Group also has a pharmacy for convenient prescriptions and refills.
Those who are stationed at Shaw and are in need of emergency healthcare services are urged to contact emergency services and to seek assistance at the nearest emergency room; the Tuomey Healthcare System offers medical assistance and a hospital for residents of Sumter, South Carolina and its surrounding areas.
Considered to be one of the finest lodging facilities in the United States Air Force, the Carolina Pines Inn offers temporary housing for service members and their families who are just arriving to Shaw Air Force Base. Private housing that has been recently renovated is available on base in the Forest City Military Community, and service members can seek permission to seek housing off base as well.