Tester discusses Malmstrom’s missiles, mission with Air Force Secretary

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana Senator Jon Tester this week met with the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force to talk missions and missiles at Montana's only Air Force base.

At the Pentagon, Tester met with Secretary Michael Wynne to express his concerns over an Air Force proposal to remove 50 of Malmstrom Air Force Base's 200 Minuteman III missiles. The missiles are currently housed in silos across nearly 24,000 square miles of north-central Montana.

"This is a matter of national security," Tester said. "Every single missile in Montana plays an important role in our military preparedness, and we can't afford to let any of them go."

Maintenance of the missiles also benefits local economies and requires regularly maintained, paved roads in much of rural, north-central Montana, Tester noted.

During his meeting with Secretary Wynne, Tester also discussed the possibility of bringing a new flying mission to Malmstrom.

"Making sure our borders and skies are safe and secure is critically important in this day and age," Tester said.  "I know Montana and Malmstrom Air Force Base would be quick to welcome a new flying mission and I'll make sure the option is out there as we continue to improve our great military."

Malmstrom Air Force Base, located just east of Great Falls, is home to the 341st Space Wing and various support units, and the 819th Red Horse Squadron.