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Apr 8, 2014

Tester, Walsh praise decision to keep Malmstrom’s ICBM silos operational

All 454 U.S. silos will maintain warm status

(U.S. SENATE) - Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh today praised the Defense Department's decision to keep the nation's 454 ICBM silos operational, securing Malmstrom Air Force Base's critical role in protecting the nation's security.

"Today's announcement is a big win for our nation's security and for Malmstrom Air Force Base and north-central Montana," said Tester, co-chairman of the Senate ICBM Coalition. "ICBMs are the most cost-effective nuclear deterrent, and keeping silos warm is a smart decision and the kind of common-sense Montanans expect from their leaders."

"Today's news is welcome, but the fight is not over, and I will be on the frontline to make sure Malmstrom continues to play an important role in our nation's defense," Walsh said. "ICBMs continue to be the most cost-effective part of our nuclear defenses and at a time of instability in eastern Europe, it is critical that the ICBM mission remains strong."

Keeping silos on warm status ensures that they remain under the watch of Malmstrom's security and maintenance personnel.

The Senators also recently announced that the Defense Department would halt its plans to conduct an environmental assessment that many considered the first step to closing missile silos.

Tester, a member of the Appropriations Committee, included a provision in this year's defense appropriations bill prohibiting the department from conducting any environmental assessment on the effects of eliminating ICBM silos. He and Walsh recently reinforced the importance of Montana's ICBM fleet to Air Force Secretary Deborah James.

Today's announcement is the result of the President reaching a decision on the U.S. strategic force structure to comply with the New START Treaty. The announcement also detailed U.S. plans for reductions in submarine-launched nuclear weapons as well as a decrease in the nuclear bomber fleet. To comply with the treaty, Russia is reducing its number of nuclear warheads by nearly one-half compared to 2010 levels.

New START cuts must be fully implemented by February 2018.


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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