Air Force official visits Malmstrom in response to Baucus, Tester request

Senators say visit is a good opportunity to consider second mission

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Montana Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today praised the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for visiting Malmstrom Air Force Base, calling the tour a good opportunity to bring a second mission to the Great   Falls facility.

William Anderson, the Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment and Logistics, planned his trip to Montana in response to a request by Baucus and Tester.  The senators wanted Air Force leaders to see firsthand Malmstrom's potential for accommodating a second mission.

Both Baucus and Tester have vigorously for fought a second mission at Malmstrom in response to a Pentagon decision to remove 50 of the base's 200 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Anderson today toured the base and downtown Great Falls, and met with community leaders including members of the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce and the Committee of 80, a local organization devoted to preserving Malmstrom's role in Montana.  Asst. Secretary Anderson also heard a presentation from various community members on their proposals for additional missions at the base.

"I'm glad Mr. Anderson got to see for himself one of the best, hardest-working air force bases in America," Baucus said.  "There are so many options on the table to make sure Malmstrom remains a top-notch facility for generations to come, and Jon and I look forward to hearing from the Pentagon about a new mission soon."

"Today's visit really is a good opportunity for the Air Force brass to hear from the Great   Falls community and to see firsthand what an asset Malmstrom is to our military and to our national security," Tester said.  "With millions of dollars in new construction projects and an outstanding command, there's room to grow.  Max and I will work tirelessly to make sure that happens."

This year, Baucus and Tester secured $140 million for new housing units at Malmstrom Air Force Base.  They also had the Senate Appropriations Committee set aside $7 million to build a new Community Activity Center on the base.