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Shaw AFB

Airfield information
Elevation AMSL 242 ft / 74 m
Coordinates 33°58′23″N 080°28′22″W / 33.97306°N 80.47278°W / 33.97306; -80.47278Coordinates: 33°58′23″N 080°28′22″W / 33.97306°N 80.47278°W / 33.97306; -80.47278

Location of Shaw Air Force Base
Direction Length Surface
ft m
4L/22R 10,016 3,053 Concrete
4R/22L 8,001 2,439 Concrete
Sources: official web site[1] and FAA[2]

Shaw Air Force Base (Shaw AFB) (IATA: SSCICAO: KSSCFAA LID: SSC) is a United States Military facility located approximately 8.4 miles (13.5 km) west-northwest of Sumter, South Carolina. It is under the jurisdiction of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC). The United States Air Force 20th Fighter Wing (20 FW) is the host unit.

It is one of the largest military bases operated by the United States, and the last airbase with an active railroad line.


Shaw AFB is home base of the USAF 20th Fighter Wing (20 FW), which flies F-16CJ Fighting Falcons. As the host wing, it also retains the responsibility for providing facilities, personnel and material for the base's operation. Major components of the 20 FW are:[3]

The 20th Operations Group employs approximately 80 F-16CJ fighter aircraft in conventional and anti-radiation suppression of enemy air defenses, strategic attack, counter-air, air interdiction, joint maritime operations and combat search-and-rescue missions.
  • 20th Maintenance Group
The 20th Maintenance Group operates the 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, the 20th Component Maintenance Squadron, the 20th Equipment Maintenance Squadron and the 20th Maintenance Operations Squadron.
  • 20th Mission Support Group
Shaw AFB is a self-contained town, administered and maintained by the 20th Fighter Wing through the 20th Mission Support Group, supporting more than 5,400 military and civilian employees and 11,000 family members. The 20 MSG is also responsible for thousands of acres of land, including the 24-acre (97,000 m2) outdoor recreation area located 37 miles (60 km) northwest on Lake Wateree, and the approximately 12,000-acre (49 km2) Poinsett Electronic Combat Range located about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of the base.
  • 20th Medical Group
The 20th Medical Group provide ambulatory medical and dental services to the 20th Fighter Wing, Headquarters 9th Air Force and associate units. It is an outpatient clinic with 24-hour ambulance transport service.
  • 682d Air Support Operations Squadron
Provides Tactical Command and Control of air power assets to the Joint Forces Air Component Commander and Joint Forces Land Component Commander for combat operations.

Tenant units located on Shaw AFB are:

USAFCENT is the air component of United States Central Command, a regional unified command. USAFCENT is responsible for air operations (either unilaterally or in concert with coalition partners) and developing contingency plans in support of national objectives for USCENTCOM's 20-nation area of responsibility in Southwest Asia.
USARCENT is the United States Army Component of United States Central Command and the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) for the Central Command Area of Responsibility (AOR), operating primarily in Northern Africa and Central and Southwest Asia, and is the primary logistics element for all land forces in the CENTCOM AOR.


Shaw Air Force Base is named in honor of World War I pilot 1st Lieutenant Ervin David Shaw. Lieutenant Shaw was one of the first Americans to fly combat missions in World War I. Shaw, a Sumter County native, died after three enemy aircraft attacked his Bristol while he was returning from a reconnaissance mission on July 9, 1918. Lt. Shaw downed one of his attackers before he was killed.[5]

World War II

Shaw Field was activated on 30 August 1941 and placed under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps Southeast Air Corps Training Center. The mission of the new airfield was a basic (Phase II) flying school to instruct air cadets in flying, and the Air Corps Basic Flying School was activated at the field on 26 June to operate the school. The airfield consisted of three 4,500-foot (1,400 m) runways and several auxiliary airfields.[6]

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