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William S. Cohen Papers | Senate Legislative Materials, Loring Air Force Base

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MS 106.3.3.5.6 Loring Air Force Base 1976-1995 12 boxes

The military installation at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone, Aroostook County, Maine, became a high priority constituent issue for Cohen's office during the House and Senate years. Loring was closed in 1994 after the second round of base closures, but not without a tremendous fight from opposition in the state and the U.S. congressional delegation from Maine. The fight to keep Loring open and the efforts to convert the base to private sector uses are good examples of cooperation and coordination among members of Maine delegation to Washington including Cohen, Olympia Snowe, Edmund Muskie, and George Mitchell. Throughout its history as an active base and as a result of the transition to civilian uses, Loring and related issues were handled by various staff members in Cohen's office. The files in this series are divided into three categories reflecting the functional focus of the materials: Humphrey and Hastings were staff members working on Cases and Projects related to Loring; Closure and Reuse covers the activities for physically closing the base and readjusting to other economic uses; and Defense Conversion is the effort to switch companies from solely relying on defense contracts to more private contracts as the defense budget shrank at the end of the Cold War.

MS 106.3.3.5.6.1 Hastings and Umphrey, 1976-1981, 2 boxes.

Arranged alphabetically. Files in this subseries created by Michael Hastings and Robert Umphrey, constitute an extension of Bob Umphrey's files in Senate: Legislative: Cases and projects which document Loring AFB activities from 1973 to 1978. In 1979, efforts by Senators Cohen and Ed Muskie and others on behalf of Loring over a period of several years resulted in rejection of the Department of Defense plan to reduce the force at the Limestone, Maine, installation. Instead, in October 1979, the DOD announced a plan to strengthen the base for strategic reasons. Material includes staff memos, reports, clippings, Save Loring Committee reports and minutes, and correspondence.

Folder Titles

Air Force Base Closures and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 1976-1979 2 folders
Cohen-Muskie letter to Chairman of Armed Forces Committee 1979
Economic Adjustment Committee 1978-1979
Economic readjustment, information and correspondence 1978-1980
Loring Air Force Base, economic adjustment planning assistance 1978-1979
Loring Air Force Base trip 1980
Loring clips 1979
Loring economic impacts 1978-1979
Loring, final Department of Defense decision 1978-1979
Loring, Maine Delegation meeting 1978-1979
Loring, meeting with Secretary of the Army 1977
Loring, memos
Loring, Military Construction Amendment 1979-1980
Loring, miscellaneous 3 folders
Loring Readjustment Committee, meeting and notes 1979-1980 2 folders
Loring-related publications 1976-1980 2 folders
Loring, section 612 compliance, reduction costs 1976-1979
Loring, strategic aspects 1979
Military Construction Authorization Amendment 1976
Military Construction Authorization Act 1981
Official correspondence, Environmental Impact Statement, Air Force 1976-1977
Save Loring meetings 1979

MS 106.3.3.5.6.2 Closure and reuse, 1985-1995, 6 boxes.

Arranged alphabetically. Files created by Congressional staff members John Veroneau, Kathy Decoster and Dale Gerry. Loring Air Force Base survived the first attempt to close it in 1976 but was slated for closing in 1991, along with five other bases, after the Base Realignment and Closure Commission hearings. Cohen reacted by participating in a lawsuit-along with the other members of the Maine delegation to Congress, several municipalities in Aroostook County, and the Save Loring Committee-against officials of the Department of Defense and the Commission in an attempt to reverse the decision. The lawsuit specifically challenged the process used by the Air Force to review Loring AFB. (See files related to the base closure hearings and ensuing legal battles in the Dale Gerry sub-series of Senate: Legislative: Defense.) This effort failed, and the process of planning for readjustment, accomplishing an environmental cleanup, and finding new social and economic uses for the base began. Materials include hearing transcripts, testimony, policies regarding base closing procedures and costs, staff memos, joint letters and press releases from Maine's Washington, D.C. delegation, and defense reauthorization budgets for 1994.

Access to records in this sub series is restricted until 2016. Consult the Special Collections Department for further information.

MS 106.3.3.5.6.3 Defense Conversion, 1987-1994, 4 boxes.

Arranged alphabetically. Files in this category were created by Kathy Decoster, John Veroneau, Dale Gerry, Cathy Mitani, Jim Bodner, and Kate Lambrew. In an effort parallel to the base closures, the government--in this case the Senate Armed Services Committee--worked to support conversion of defense contractors and former military bases to private sector commercial industry and community use. Cohen was on the SASC subcommittee for Defense Technology, Acquisition, and Industrial Base. He took a strong interest in defense conversion because so many Maine firms relied on defense contracts for survival. Conversion involved not only redirecting research and development to find alternative uses for bases and manufacturing companies, but facilitating the change with job training and community assistance. Records in this sub-series include hearing transcripts, staff memos, and Cohen's statements, as well as industry letters and brochures.

Access to records in this sub series is restricted until 2015. Consult the Special Collections Department for further information.


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Contact the Cohen Papers: 207.581.2665 | spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/23/2014
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