Senators call for Malstrom to play a strong role in nation’s future military operations

Baucus, Tester Meet With Air Force Secy. Nominee About Mission Possibilities For Great Falls Base

(Washington, D.C.) – Montana's U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester today met with Air Force Secretary Nominee Michael Donley and called for Malmstrom to play a prominent role in the country's future military operations.

Last month, the President nominated Michael B. Donley to replace Michael Wynne as Secretary of the Air Force. Donley is serving as Acting Secretary while he awaits Senate confirmation. Baucus and Tester today met with Donley to ensure that if he is confirmed, Montana's military interests are heard and well-represented.

The senators urged that the Air Force send new missions to Montana and invited Donley to visit Montana to see all that the state has to offer for new military operations.

"It was a good meeting," Baucus said. "Montanans are proud to play a role in our nation's military operations. Jon and I are committed to working together to make sure that Montana continues to help protect the freedoms we enjoy every day. We want to bring new missions to our state that will not only help keep our country safe but will help create good-paying jobs too."

"Montana has a proud history with the Air Force and we want to continue that relationship," Tester said.  "Max and I told Mr. Donley how proud we are of our Air Guard and Malmstrom's airmen and how the base is ripe for growth.  And that we expect to work closely together to make that happen."

Baucus and Tester suggested an 'Active Association' mission between the Montana Air National Guard and Malmstrom Air Force Base. The proposed Association could bring additional aircraft to Montana, could help create good-paying jobs and could save the Air Force money.

The senators also reiterated their disapproval of a proposal that would expand air missions originating in North and South Dakota into southeastern Montana. Baucus and Tester noted that the proposed expansion would hurt the quality of life of Montanans living in that part of the state.

Baucus and Tester said they will follow-up with Donley on the items discussed in today's meeting.