At Senators’ Urging, Budget Maintains Full Funding for Malmstrom ICBM Force, Jobs

(Washington, D.C.) – Montana’s U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced that the Air Force Budget, released by the White House today, maintains full funding for all 450 ICBMs, including the 150 housed at Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force base.  Today’s news comes after Baucus and Tester repeatedly contacted top officials at the White House and the Defense Department to make the case for maintaining a strong ICBM force despite necessary budget cuts.

“We know that maintaining a strong ICBM force is a necessary contribution to our national security and a wise investment in Great Falls jobs.  So, we made our case over and over again, up and down the chain of command, and it paid off in today’s budget,” Baucus said.  “Now, we’ve got to keep fighting to make sure the Air Force’s funding request is approved by Congress without delay.”

“Malmstrom’s ICBMs strengthen our national security in a cost-effective manner.  The base is a critically important part of Great Falls’ economy and I am proud to fight for it," Tester said.  "We worked hard to make sure this administration understands the national security importance of Malmstrom and listened to our calls to keep its mission strong."

As members of the Senate’s ICBM  coalition, Baucus and Tester will continue fighting to ensure ICBM funding is maintained throughout the budget process.

  • December 7, 2011 – Baucus and Tester argue Secretary Panetta should not eliminate ICBMs to meet new budget constraints.
  • November 18, 2011 – ICBM Coalition files amendment to Defense Authorization Act requiring preservation of 450 ICBM silos and 420 alert missiles.
  • October 13, 2011 – Baucus and Tester led a bipartisan group of Senators warning the Obama Administration against any significant reduction in America’s ICBM force.
  • July 27, 2011 – Sen. Tester meets with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to urge him to maintain 450 ICBM silos and 420 alert missiles as part of New START implementation and to reconsider departure of F-15s from MANG.
  • June 15, 2011 – Baucus met with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to urge him to understand Montana priorities, including protecting the ICBM force at Malmstrom, as a key part of America’s national security.
  • May 19, 2011 – Letter to President Obama expressing strong support for the ICBM fleet.
  • February 3, 2011 – Sen. Tester meets with Undersecretary of the Air Force Erin Conaton to discuss impact of New START on personnel at Malmstrom
  • December 22, 2010 – Baucus and Tester fight to ensure Malmstrom will continue to play a key role in U.S. national security for decades to come with the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty between the U.S. and Russia.
  • June 15, 2010 – Baucus and Tester meet with Major General Don Alston, Commander of 20th Air Force urging him to make minimal missile reductions at Malmstrom.
  • April 30, 2010 – Baucus and Tester join ICBM coalition in letter to President Obama expressing ongoing support for ICBMs.
  • March 16, 2010 – Tester and Baucus meet with Vice President Joe Biden urging him to minimize cuts to ICBMs.
  • November 4, 2009 – Baucus meets with Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Dr. James Miller to ensure that the Nuclear Posture Review emphasizes the importance of ICBMs to national security.
  • November 4, 2009 – ICBM Coalition White Paper released outlining the importance of ICBMs
  • September 25, 2009 – ICBM Coalition letter to Defense Secretary Gates expressing support for ICBMs.
  • July 21, 2009 – Sen. Tester meets with Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz, head of Global Strike Command expressing support for Malmstrom and the ICBM mission.
  • May 14, 2009 – Letter to President Obama voicing opposition to ICBM reductions.
  • February 2009 – Letter to Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III expressing opposition to ICBM reductions.
  • January 2009 – Baucus meets with Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III to outline opposition to ICBM reductions.
  • February 4, 2008 – Baucus letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates voicing opposition to ICBM reductions.