Tester secures assurance that Malmstrom’s RED HORSE Squadron will stay in Montana

Senator announces future of RED HORSE after meeting with Air Force Secretary

(U.S. Senate) – Senator Jon Tester today announced that he secured assurances from the Air Force Secretary that the 819th RED HORSE Squadron will stay at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls.

Tester, the Ranking Member on the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee, met this afternoon with Air Force Secretary Deborah James face-to-face and they discussed the decision to keep the 252-person unit in Montana. The Air Force had previously considered relocating the RED HORSE personnel and equipment from Malmstrom to Guam.

“Keeping the 819th RED HORSE unit in Montana speaks to the tremendous work of our Airmen and the successful partnership between active duty units and the Air National Guard. This news ensures that the squadron can continue to meet the emergency needs and provide the engineering support needed in Montana and throughout the region,” said Tester. “Today’s announcement is welcome news for Malmstrom and for Great Falls, and for everyone who relies on the RED HORSE to keep our bases and communities safe.”

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.

The 819th RED HORSE Squadron works closely with Montana Air National Guard’s 219th RED HORSE Squadron to provide a unique synergy the Air Force and National Guard have testified is a critical asset to their ongoing national defense missions.

Tester, in a hearing with Secretary James earlier this year, pointed out that moving the 819th and its equipment would negatively impact Montana Air National Guard and its 219th RED HORSE Squadron. The two units work closely together and have carried out numerous projects across the state, including emergency road repairs in Great Falls and an overhaul of the Tabor Dam in St. Ignatius.

A timeline of Tester’s work on behalf of the 819th RED HORSE Squadron is available online HERE.