Department of Defense Look to Caribou/Limestone for New Defense Base 

Caribou or Limestone is on the radar of the US Department of Defense. Northern Maine is being targeted as a potential location for a missile defense base.The Loring Commerce Center could see a lot more activity in the not so distant future. It could be the hub of a new missile base, boosting the the U.S. Defense system and homeland security efforts protecting American soil from foreign nuke threats. Caribou Town Manager Austin Bleess says the sound of a missile base project is welcome news, especially if it means more jobs. “200-250 new jobs, a few years out, but that’s great to the economy. New jobs is always good with this type of stimulus that we could have in the area. I think we could see a bunch of new development in the Caribou-Limestone area.””I think it would be a great boost, and then the other spinoff support organizations around it. The multiplier effect would be tremendous.”The project could bring up to 250 new jobs to the Caribou/Limestone area, but the plan is just in the prelim talking stages by the Department of Defense. The two communities are in tough competition with another site in the Northeast, Rome, NY. What Northern Maine DOES having going for it though, is its past longstanding track record with the military. “Given the fact that we have a history of military bases here with Loring Air Force Base, a lot of other federal properties such as the Coast Guard, which would be easily accessible for the Dept. Of Defense, we feel that Caribou is a great location for this strategically.”The other feather in Northern Maine’s cap: Maine Senator Susan Collins, who serves on the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. She was the driving force behind a study that spot-lighted major vulnerabilities in the U.S. Defense system shield against foreign enemies.”This has a number of upsides were Aroostook County chosen for this site, including the creation of new jobs. Not only permanent jobs, but construction jobs in the short term, but I think what we most need to remember is this is about our national security. This is about ensuring the protection of our country.”This does beg the question, would putting a missile base put Northern Maine and its citizens at great risk?”You have to weigh out the pros and cons of that. That’s something Pentagon’s gonna have to do. From the city’s standpoint, it’s about the economic development.”Senator Collins says she and other lawmakers have asked the Obama administration to begin an 18-month review to identify which site would work best.