This was due to the presence of waste oil , fuel, solvents, and pesticides in the soil. Additionally, the burning of waste also created problems, in addition to the use of landfills in old gravel pits on site. The fire training area also needed clean up, as materials were burned until on that site. Loring was officially added to the list in February During Operation Desert Storm , Loring's tankers were responsible for refueling aircraft transiting the Atlantic.
It was also used as a stopover for aircraft travelling to the Persian Gulf region due to its vital position. The base was also vital because it allowed planes to be maintained, planes which sometimes would be unable to reach their destination without maintenance. Between 2 August and 10 May , more than 1, aircraft transiting between America and the Persian Gulf region landed at Loring.
During the fall of , the base was the location of unidentified flying object sightings. During the night of 27 October, an unidentified object was spotted hovering near the secure weapons area the former Caribou AFS. Around hrs, a member of the 42nd Security Police Squadron spotted an apparent aircraft over the northern perimeter of Loring, at a low altitude. Chapman [N 1] arrived 15 minutes later at the weapons storage area and police units were ordered in as well. At this time, he also declared a Security Option 3.
At hrs, another person on duty in the control tower received a call to track the mysterious craft on radar. For the next 40 minutes, it was observed circling around the weapons storage area, when it suddenly vanished, as though it had landed or dropped below the radar. Witnesses later observed it flying away towards Grand Falls, New Brunswick , twelve miles to the east. The base continued to remain on a high state of alert until the following morning, as efforts to identify the unidentified aircraft through the Maine State Police , local police departments, and the Houlton Federal Aviation Administration office remained elusive.
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The next night at hrs, a craft similar to the one the night before approached the base. In addition to being tracked on radar, it hovered around the area for 30 minutes, with characteristics of movement similar to a helicopter. Additionally, it hovered above the weapons storage area at the same altitude as the night before. At this time, possibly another object it is unclear if it was the same one as the over the weapons storage area, but it is possible was spotted over the flightline.
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The cigar-shaped object was described as hovering in mid-air, jerking around, and turning on and off its lights once. During the blackout, it traveled from the flightline, to the northern end of the runway. According to one service member, the object was chased, and eventually discovered to be hovering five feet off the ground. During this time, it was determined that the object was four car lengths long. Once again, the object was tracked on radar, taking off towards New Brunswick. Teletype messages were again sent to higher commands, with no explanation being found.
It also referred to the intruder as an "unknown entity.
An initial sighting was made by a member of the 42nd, who was on duty at hours Another member spotted the object near the East Gate, going from east to west. It has been learned that another member of the nd Communications Squadron working at the Caswell Radar Station had been contacted by the base commander to look out towards the base and report what he sees.
That member responded, I see a helicopter with people rappelling out of it. This incident was a base readiness security drill that has been passed off as a UFO sighting. The justification for the closure of Loring was that the Air Force had six more strategic bases than were needed to support the number of bomber and tanker aircraft in the Defense Department's Structure Plan. The base was evaluated against eight selection criteria and a large number of subelements specific to Air Force bases and missions.
Even though Loring was in good condition and had strong community support, it ranked low in the criteria when compared to twenty other bases in the strategic category. One of the things that hurt Loring was its limited peacetime value as a tanker base, as well as its distance from bombing ranges. The commission did note that the facilities at Loring were above average, and the cost to close Loring would be low, the latter of which contributed to its closure. The last B departed Loring in November , and ceremonies were held in February to celebrate the end of the flying mission.
On 22 November , a BB Stratojet crashed while taking off from Loring, killing all four crewmembers on board. The plane was described as having reached two-thirds of the way down the runway, when it veered sharply to the right, eventually crashing feet north of the runway. Two crewmembers were thrown to safety by the impact of the crash.
The Air Force stated that after a four-hour mission, the crewmembers were practicing taking off and landing on the runway. The plane landed after a six-and-a-half-hour training mission, veered off to the left of the runway, and skidded three thousand feet while on fire. Surviving crewmembers were able to use the emergency chutes to evacuate the plane safely. Seven men were killed, including six crewmembers, during a Minimum Interval Takeoff drill.
On 4 October a KC crash killed all 4 crewmembers. The jet, which crashed about 2. Loring also had its share of incidents that did not result in fatalities over the years. On 6 March , a B Peacemaker crashed and burned in a snowbank at Loring.
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All crewmembers were able to escape unharmed. The cause was a frozen water injection surge tube. Families at the base were able to take advantage of many of the opportunities that the facility provided for them, as life at Loring was not all military-related. Although Loring was constructed with support facilities including a hospital, chapel, and schools, other forms of civilian life were added over the years as well.
Younger students on the base attended Damon Elementary School. Kindergarten-age children would attend school in either morning or afternoon sessions, and the older students were given the standard fare of lunch offerings. Damon's educators were rated highly in the state. Students in grades 9 through twelve attended the nearby Limestone High School. To those who were no longer in secondary education, there were opportunities as well. The Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute offered courses that would help students with introductory college-level classes. Husson College offered credits to those working to earn an associate's or baccalaureate degree in business.
The nearby University of Maine at Presque Isle offered classes in the social and behavioral sciences, as well as humanities and liberal studies. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offered a bachelor's degree in professional aeronautics.
Credits earned through these programs counted as "on campus" or "residential credit" to those who were enrolled in them. Additionally, day, evening, and night classes were offered in nearby Caribou and Presque Isle. For those who wanted to earn a graduate degree, the University of Denver offered a twelve course program for those wanting to earn a Master of Science degree in systems management. Emery-Riddle also offered three graduate degrees, including the Master of Aeronautical Science.
The base's Education Center also provided testing service for those interested in taking exams. The Community College of the Air Force also enrolled active duty personnel in its programs as well. Credits taken there could be transferred to other affiliated Air Force technical institutions, and personnel could qualify for commissioning programs. The first, Building , which was known as the "Green Monster," was damaged during an earthquake on 9 January Veterinary services were also offered in a separate building to base personnel and their families.
Military members adjusting to Loring had many facilities available to them. The base was also served by an independent bank, and included help for many types of financial needs, and an ATM. The Country Federal Credit Union was located right outside the facility, and helped supplement the bank itself. Shopping at Loring could be completed at the Maine Exchange Shopping Mall, which was designed to be a one-stop shop for the shopping needs of the residents. Goods could also be purchased at the base commissary as well, which included a Class VI store.