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Nov 17, 2020

Malmstrom Named First U.S. Air Force Base to Receive New MH-139 Grey Wolf Helicopters to Replace Huey Fleet, Following Tester Efforts

Long-awaited upgrade of Malmstrom helicopter fleet will increase defense capabilities and provide certainty to airmen for years to come

Following sustained efforts from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, the U.S. Air Force announced today that Malmstrom Air Force Base will be the first to receive new MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters to replace the decades-old Vietnam-era Huey fleet. The new fleet is expected to be fully operational by 2023.

“After repeated delays, this announcement is welcomed news for our brave men and women at Malmstrom Air Force Base who will be first in line to receive this long-awaited helicopter replacement fleet,” said Tester. “At a time of increased global threats and near peer adversaries, this new batch of helicopters will strengthen our nation’s defense capabilities, secure our ICBM fields, and provide greater relief and certainty to the airmen who work tirelessly to keep us safe. I’m proud to have championed this effort in Congress to ensure our Air Force’s defense needs are met now, and well into the future.”

For years, Tester fought tirelessly to secure new helicopters for Malmstrom—a critical component of the Air Force's land-based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) mission and used to secure and transport airmen between launching sites. In 2016, Tester expressed serious concerns regarding Malmstrom’s outdated Huey helicopter fleet, detailing that it lacked the capability to fully secure the country’s ICBM sites and proposed a plan to use an existing Army contract to replace the fleet with modern helicopters.

Tester successfully secured funding for the replacement helicopters through the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act and the Defense Appropriations bill. After multiple delays, Tester pressed the Air Force in 2018 to provide a detailed timeline on the program’s replacement. He later sent a bipartisan letter urging the Department of Defense to replace the UH-1N helicopters used at ICBM sites.

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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