Loring Air Force Base was a United States Air Force base in Limestone, Maine. Loring AFB was the largest base of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command during its existence, until it was transferred to the newly created Air Combat Command in 1992. It was named for Major Charles J. Loring, Jr., USAF, a Medal of Honor recipient during the Korean War. From 1951 to 1962, it was co-located next to Caribou Air Force Station.
The base's origins began in 1947 with an order for construction of an airfield by the New England Division of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The chosen site, in northeastern Maine within both Limestone Township and Caswell Plantation, was the closest point in the Continental United States to Europe. This location would provide high strategic value during the Cold War. The base was originally named Limestone Army Air Field, and was renamed Limestone Air Force Base following the establishment of the Air Force in 1947.
The base was home to a civilian population, many of whom were employed alongside active duty service members. The base included many amenities such as a hospital, a school, and a ski hill, which facilitated an adjustment to Maine life by the civilian population.
The 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended that Loring be closed and its aircraft and mission be distributed to other bases in the nation. In September 1994, the base was closed after over forty years of service. The former base was redeveloped by the Loring Development Authority as the Loring Commerce Centre, an industrial and aviation park. The airfield is operated as Loring International Airport.
Loring's Weapons Storage Area.
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