Following Alarming Rare Cancer Report for Malmstrom Missileers, Tester Calls on Defense Department to Provide Urgent Answers
Senator presses Defense Department to act swiftly in response to new Air Force report detailing unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen at Malmstrom;
Tester: “The brave men and women who serve and who have served at Malmstrom deserve no less from their government”
In the wake of a new report this week from the Air Force which revealed findings of unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Cascade County, Montana, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter demanding the Department of Defense (DOD) take immediate action to ensure all potentially impacted missileers and their families receive swift answers and appropriate care.
“I am deeply alarmed by the Air Force’s most recent study, released this week, which revealed that unsafe levels of a likely carcinogen have been detected at Malmstrom,” wrote Tester in a letter to DOD Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness Gilbert Cisneros. “Our missileers play a critical role in protecting Montana and our nation, and I am calling on the Defense Department to ensure all potentially impacted servicemembers and their families receive swift answers and appropriate care. It is urgent that the Air Force work immediately to identify any potential risk to servicemembers, and ensure anyone who has been exposed to harmful conditions or that incurred an illness due to their service receive the care they need.”
Additionally, Tester’s letter called on DOD to establish a detailed schedule outlining the next steps in the ongoing missile cancer study, and to put a plan in place to ensure Malmstrom is safe for active servicemembers.
“It is critical the Department share with my office and these airmen a detailed schedule of planned activities regarding the ongoing missile cancer study,” wrote Tester. “The Department must put in place a plan to ensure servicemembers, contractors, and civilians are aware of the potential risks and available resources when they arrive to affected locations, as well as updating training and remediation plans to ensure Malmstrom Air Force Base is safe for operations.”
Tester concluded his letter by urging DOD to move swiftly to address his concerns, writing: “I look forward to your prompt response. The brave men and women who serve and who have served at Malmstrom deserve no less from their government.”
In April, Tester brought Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and top Air Force leadership to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Airlift Wing to meet directly with servicemembers, discuss DOD’s response to incidents of rare cancers among missileers, assess readiness capabilities as Congress works on next year’s military budget, and receive updates on Malmstrom’s response to the Chinese spy balloon.
Read the Senator’s full letter HERE.