Loring Air Force base sits on 14,300 acres in northern Maine, just outside of the town of Limestone. The base is named after Charles J Loring, Jr., a Portland, Maine born Major in the US Air Force. Loring was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for deliberately crashing his aircraft into enemy anti-aircraft guns during the Korean War.
Though decommissioned in 1994, Loring still serves the community as Loring Commerce Center. The former air base is now home to Dept of Defense Accounting (DFAS), Maine Military Authority, where Hummers are rebuilt for the military, Sitel, the Job Corps and a wildlife refuge.
Loring was home to the 42nd bomb wing which originally flew B-36 Peacemakers, but later converted to the B-52 Stratofortress and the KC-135 Stratotanker. Loring had several distinctions within the Strategic Air Command (SAC) including:
-Closest US base to the Soviet Union
-Biggest SAC base in the US
-Largest weapons storage capacity (10 million Net Explosive Weight)
-Largest fuel storage capacity (9.1 million gallons)
-Second largest ramp space (1.1 million square yards)
-Downhill ski area
Aircraft based at Loring include the KC-135R, B-52G, B-52H, KC-135A, B-52C, KC-97G, B-36 and F-106 Delta Dart.
To reach Loring AFB from Bangor, Maine, take I-95 north to Houlton and then take Route 1 north to Caribou. From Caribou, take Route 89 east towards Limestone and the base will be easily spotted on your left (to the north). Travel time from Bangor is approximately three hours.
Update September 2011: The heating plant has been knocked down. After a failed implosion, that was to have been the largest in recent history in Maine, heavy machinery was brought in to complete the task. Apparently, the crew that was running the implosion did not grasp the standards to which Cold War era military structures were designed and built.
I've visited Loring on several occasions over the last three years (2008 - 2010). Some of these images may fall chronologically out of order. If you see red and yellow leaves in one picture and green leaves in another, that's why. There have been few noteworthy changes over the last couple of years which is why many will be out of order.
More Loring pictures on page 2.