Baucus, Tester write Air Force Secretary, fight to protect Minuteman IIIs

Senators say missiles are critical to national security

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester recently wrote the Secretary of the Air Force strongly urging him to keep the nation's nuclear arsenal at its current level.

The 500 land-based Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that comprise our fleet are critical to America's national security, the Senators said.

Baucus and Tester wrote Secretary Michael Wynne to reaffirm their opposition to the President's proposal to remove 50 ICBMs from Montana.  Citing the National Posture Review (NPR) and other independent studies of the nation's nuclear arsenal, Baucus and Tester urged Wynne to not move forward in eliminating 50 of Montana's Minuteman III missiles.  The missiles are housed in silos across north-central Montana and are controlled, maintained and secured by Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls.

"ICBMs play a vital role in our nation's security," Baucus said "With all of the uncertainty in our world today, it's not in the best interest of our national security to cut back our ICBM fleet. The ICBMs also play an important role to our Malmstrom Air Force Base – they account for hundreds of good-paying jobs in the Great   Falls community. I'm going to continue to work together with Jon Tester and the rest of the missile state senators to fight the proposed cuts."

Land-based ICBMs strengthen the security of our homeland and that of our global allies while deterring other nations from seeking nuclear parity, the senators said.

"These Minuteman missiles are critical to our national security in the 21st Century.  Max and I are working together to make sure the Secretary knows that this proposed cut isn't good for Montana and it isn't good for America," Tester said.  "Malmstrom is the economic backbone of Great Falls and north-central Montana and I will work with my colleagues to get results for the base."

The missiles targeted are from the 564th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base.