Tester Announces Contract for Malmstrom's Huey Replacement
The Boeing Company Wins Contract to Deliver 84 MH-139 Helicopters
(U.S. Senate) - U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced that the Boeing Company won the contract to replace Malmstrom Air Force Base's fleet of aging UH-1N "Huey" helicopters.
Tester recently secured $258 million to replace Malmstrom's Huey fleet in a bipartisan government funding agreement that provides resources and equipment to the Armed Forces. The Air Force subsequently awarded the Boeing Company the contract to replace the Huey fleet with MH-139 helicopters, training devices, and support equipment.
"The men and women at Malmstrom are on the front lines of keeping Montana and our nation safe," said Tester. "Their aircraft and equipment should reflect their crucial role in keeping America and Montana safe. The new fleet of MH-139 helicopters will make sure Malmstrom has the resources it needs to get the mission done for years to come."
Tester first secured a commitment to replace the Huey fleet from then Air Force Secretary Deborah James in January 2015. He then fought to include funding in the 2017 Military Construction and Veterans' Affairs Appropriations Bill for a new Missile Maintenance Dispatch facility at Malmstrom that will allow the base to properly house and maintain the Huey replacements once they arrive.
In March 2017, Tester urged Defense Secretary James Mattis to commit to the established schedule to replace the Huey fleet. In March 2018, Tester doubled down and led a bipartisan group of Senators in urging Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to replace the Huey fleet without delay.
Tester then fought to secure authorization and funding for a replacement fleet in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act and subsequent 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill. Respectively, these bills approve the plan to replace the Huey fleet and then provide the funding to do so.
Shortly after, the Air Force announced that the Boeing Company received a contract to deliver up to 84 MH-139 helicopters, training devices, and associated support equipment to replace the Huey fleet nationwide. The first operational helicopter is expected in 2021.