Tester and Daines Push Obama to Update ICBM Fleet

(U.S. Senate)-Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines are pushing the Obama Administration to take steps forward and update the ICBM fleet at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

In a letter to President Obama, Montana’s Senators reiterated their support for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, which is scheduled to replace the Minuteman III fleet and provide a next generation land component of the U.S. nuclear triad for decades to come. Tester and Daines both agree that modernizing Malmstrom’s ICBM fleet is the best way to ensure that we are able to maintain a safe, reliable, and cost-effective deterrent that contributes to our national security.

“We write to reiterate our strong support of the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program, and to seek an assurance that the Administration will in no way delay that critical program from moving forward on schedule,” Tester and Daines wrote. “Given the wide array of strategic challenges facing the United States, we believe that anything less could dramatically degrade the value of our nation’s strategic deterrent, and could unnecessarily hinder our ability to protect this nation from the growing capabilities of our adversaries.”

In their letter, Tester and Daines wrote that pursuing the upgrades and additional capabilities associated with the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program makes more sense from a national security and budget perspective that simply extending the life of the Minuteman III fleet.

Last month, Tester and Daines called on both the House and Senate Armed Services Committee leadership to include important ICBM modernization provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act.

In July, Tester and Daines urged Defense Secretary Ash Carter to advance ICBM nuclear modernization as expeditiously as possible, including taking critical steps to develop and procure the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent.

Tester and Daines’ letter to President Obama is available HERE.