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      3rd Army begins move to Shaw Air Base

      SUMTER S.C. (AP) -- Soldiers with the Third Army have begun closing offices in Atlanta and moving to new headquarters at Shaw Air Force Base in central South Carolina.

      The shift has many people in nearby Sumter hoping for an economic boomlet.

      The bulk of the 1,200 people who will work in a new, $93 million headquarters at Shaw are supposed to arrive over the summer. Banners have sprouted up around town to welcome the soldiers and their families.

      The Pentagon ordered the closure of Fort McPherson in Atlanta and the shift to Shaw in 2005 as part of a national reshuffling of military bases.

      The Third Army supports Army units in the Mideast and Afghanistan, and the move brings it closer to Air Force units operating in the same area.

      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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