Many Bangor residents were shaken from their midday routine on Thursday by the roar of fighter jets taking off from Bangor International Airport.
German Panavia Tornados and Eurofighter EF2000 Typhoons piloted by members of the German Air Force, also known as the Luftwaffe, took off from BIA just before noon on Thursday, according to Bangor aviation expert Anthony Delmonaco, who operates the popular 3315 Aviation Facebook page.
According to Delmonaco, three of each type of plane landed at BIA on Wednesday and stayed the night. Five out of the six planes took off Thursday morning, with one remaining on the ground due to technical issues.
Bangor International Airport is home to the 101st Air Refueling Wing of the Maine Air National Guard, and was formerly the site of Dow Air Force Base, which closed in 1968.
Domestic and international military jets regularly land at BIA, as it is the closest U.S. airport to Europe and much of the Middle East. It is a regular refueling stop for troops going to and coming back from overseas air bases, as well as for international air forces that are en route to training exercises in other parts of the country. For decades, local residents known as the Maine Troop Greeters have come to the airport to greet U.S. troops as they arrive at the airport, at any hour of the day or night.