Follow-Up Friday: DFAS Limestone and Loring Revitalization Nearly 30 Years Later

Published: May. 8, 2023 at 7:42 AM EDT
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LIMESTONE, Maine (WAGM) -Throughout it’s nearly 30 years at the former Loring Air Force Base, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service or DFAS has seen many changes and survived a “Base Realignment” effort to close their doors in 2005. As we saw in this week’s Throwback Thursday, DFAS was excited to come to Loring and lead the charge of businesses occupying the former base. In this week’s Follow Up Friday, Corey Bouchard sat down with the Site Director of DFAS Limestone to learn more about what has changed, and new developments to help breathe life into Loring.

Ashley Judkins - Site Director - DFAS Limestone " So when the decision was made to bring the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to Limestone it was such a great opportunity.”

Ashley Judkins is the Site Director for DFAS Limestone, They handle the finance services for a number of air force and air national guard locations as well as the US Transportation Command. She is also a Caribou native who began her career at DFAS limestone, before moving to a number of different locations, and eventually taking over as the site director for this facility. She says while the mission itself hasn’t changed much, technology has.

Ashley " (Shorter) Technology is moving ahead so fast and it plays such a critical part to making sure that we are leveraging that technology and bringing it forward to support our customer. Our military need top of the line items in order to support and defend our nation and so our technology, our computer systems have to keep up”

Those computer systems, are smaller and more portable than the computers that DFAS limestone originally opened their doors with.  These computers were essential, according to Judkins, to keeping work going during the pandemic, when the facility had to figure out how to balance a public health crisis with keeping finance services going within the Airforce. She adds that DFAS Limestone, as predicted in 1994, has had a major impact on the area.

Ashley "  We are now open with over 650 employees, we have an economic impact to Aroostook County of over $29 Million to this area.”

And soon more projects and businesses will be coming to add their own economic impact to the County.  Recently we told you about Green 4 Maine and a Biofuel company. Additionally an AI Quantum Computing Datacenter will be opening their doors in a few weeks.

Avery Thomas - President / CEO - Eternal Minds Inc  " Loring has been under redevelopment for a few years after the air force left and left everything vacant. the good thing about that is the government usually leaves buildings in very good shape and they leave a lot of very good utilities there that have access use and we just happened to run into this facility that has the power that we needed, it had the internet that we needed, it had the facility that we needed it had everything that met our requirements for building this type of data center which needs these type of requirements and it is just a perfect fit.”

Judkins says she is excited to see the buildings around DFAS limestone used once again, adding that new workers in other industries could also benefit the DFAS workforce

Ashley " The biggest thing related to the development we’re very excited, we are excited to get new neighbors... This will really help us try to redevelop some of the land that is left here around the base and around our facility. We see some of the new talent coming into the area related to people coming in from all over the nation and they want a more relaxed environment, their love of nature and the quiet countryside. That’s what folks are looking for and also the safety and security that Aroostook county brings. When individuals come and relocate here they’re also bringing their family members and if their family are an individual that maybe they are looking for a new position or a new career to make their start in Aroostook county.

Judkins says DFAS limestone is looking forward to many more years to come. CB  NS8

We will have more with Judkins and Thomas on Future editions of Newssource 8 at 6,