It has been over 30 years since the Cold War ended between the United States and what was once the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR. Anyone growing up during the Cold War always carried the fear of a possible nuclear war.

The US and USSR had nuclear missiles at the ready, and that threat provided a deterrent to firing called mutually assured destruction. If one country fired missiles, the other would fire as well, obliterating both countries. Luckily, it never happened. But what if it had? Would Maine have targets?

During the Cold War, Maine had two military targets for nuclear weapons. One was Loring Airforce Base in Limestone. This location was chosen because it was the closest point in the continental U.S. to Europe, giving the United States strategic value if a war were to break out.

Loring was featured in the 1983 film WarGames with Matthew Broderick, who hacks into a military computer to play games and chooses "Global Thermonuclear War," but eventually realizes that the computer he hacked into is playing the game for real.

At one point, an apparent attack is launched, but it is all just a simulation.

Loring was closed in September 1994 after the Cold War ended.

The other target would have been Brunswick Naval Air Station, which was the base for Navy-operated maritime patrol aircraft hunted for nuclear-armed Russian submarines in the Atlantic during the Cold War. It closed in 2011, and is now the Brunswick Executive Airport and the home of Southern Maine Community College.

There are two obvious targets for a nuclear strike that still operate in Maine, building ships for the U.S. Navy. One is Bath Iron Works and the other the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, which is on the border of Maine and New Hampshire.

Hopefully, these targets will never be fired upon.

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