Tester meets with Air Force Secretary James

Senator pushes for assurances for RED HORSE

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester on Wednesday met with Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James to demand more information about the future of the RED HORSE squadron and its overall role in America’s national security.

“The RED HORSE Squadron provides Montana and our country with an incredible asset,” Tester said. “I’m actively working to ensure that the manpower at Malmstrom and MANG are not reduced. I will continue to demand transparency from the Air Force and will fight to make sure that RED HORSE remains a vital part of our national defense.”

The Air Force is reportedly considering reducing manpower at Malmstrom’s RED HORSE squadron. RED HORSE squadrons are the Air Force’s heavy construction units that can be quickly deployed to support missions worldwide or to carry out various construction or engineering projects in Montana and the region.

Tester is actively working to hold the Air Force accountable for decisions related to RED HORSE. He recently filed an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Department funding bill blocking any funding for the realignment of RED HORSE units until the Air Force reports to Congress on the costs and strategic value of any transfers. Tester also recently wrote a letter to Secretary James urging her to fully consider the impacts that a potential drawdown could have on our national security.

Tester and the Secretary also discussed the New START Treaty and the mission conversion at MANG, and Tester pressed James to ensure that the runway at Malmstrom will be assessed for reopening.