Tester: Decision to keep all nuclear missiles 'right call'

(MISSOULA, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement in response to the President's decision to keep all of the nation's 450 operationally deployed Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) through at least 2012, 150 of which are secured and maintained by Montana's Malmstrom Air Force Base:

"This is the right call for America and our national security.  It's the right call for Montana and the strong relationship our communities have with the Air Force.  And it's the right call for Malmstrom and the folks who serve our country there.

"After years of pushing two administrations to keep our ICBM force at its current level, and after countless meetings and phone calls, this goes to show that working together, opening the lines of communication–and a lot of persistence–pays off.  When it comes to our national security and Malmstrom Air Force Base, I wouldn't have it any other way."

Tester, a member of the influential Senate Appropriations and Homeland Security Committees, and Senator Max Baucus last month met with Vice President Joe Biden to urge the administration not to make any cuts to the nation's ICBM force.

“This is great news for Montana, especially for north central Montana and the city of Great Falls,” said David Weissman, chairman of the Central Montana Defense Alliance.  “On behalf of the Central Montana Defense Alliance, I want to thank Jon and Max for their leadership in helping protect Montana’s missiles and our national security.”

The President's decision to not remove any nuclear missiles is part of the Nuclear Posture Review, a regular assessment of the America's nuclear weaponry.