Installation Info: Zip Code: 29152, Area Code: 803, DSN: 965
Civil War buffs recognize Sumter as the name of the Union fort that received the first hostile volley and the name Shaw as the Union officer who led the first African American troops in combat. Today, those names refer to the site of a headquarters command in Sumter, South Carolina and to a local man killed in the war to end all wars.
The base's mission is to train combat units to sustain ready forces for immediate deployment. The brunt of Shaw's air attack is carried by the lethal F-16 Fighting Falcons.
Shaw Field, as it was originally known, was activated in 1941 and named in honor of 1st Lt. Ervin D. Shaw, a Sumter County resident killed in action during World War I. The town of Sumter lies 10 miles east of the base. Its lovely gardens and residential areas are synonymous with Southern hospitality. Sumter's cost of living is among the lowest in the U.S. With the Atlantic Ocean to the east and mountains to the west, South Carolina experiences a mild year-round climate. Charleston, S.C. , is a 1-1/2 hour drive and Savannah, Ga., lies 2-1/2 hours to the south. Myrtle Beach offers great weekend getaways. Children attend local schools in Sumter County. Home care and the Family Support Center offer additional services. The 20th Medical Group and a 25-bed hospital provide health care.
Shaw showcases a beautiful outdoor recreation center, in addition to pools, golf courses, an aero club, arts and crafts center, fitness center, bowling alley and theater.