Tester Passes Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Military and Boost National Security

Senator Works with Republicans and Democrats to Deliver Critical Resources to Malmstrom and MANG

(Big Sandy, Mont.)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester has helped pass a bipartisan bill to give American troops a raise, strengthen the military and boost national security.

Tester worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass the 2019 Defense Appropriations Act, the legislation that funds all branches of the military. Tester ensured this legislation delivered critical resources to Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard.

“This bill supports our military and invests in the men and women who keep us safe,” Tester said. “Today we strengthened the missions at Malmstrom and MANG and bolstered our national security.”

Tester led the charge earlier this month to pass the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which paved the way for funding.

Tester, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the following specific provisions in the 2019 Defense Appropriations Act:

• 2.6 percent pay raise for the Armed Forces.
• $288 million to replace the aging UH-1N “Huey” helicopters at Malmstrom that secure missile sites and transportation.
• $414 million to accelerate the full replacement of the aging Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) infrastructure across Montana
• $151 million to upgrade the engines for the Montana Air National Guard’s C-130H planes at Great Falls International Airport.
• $312 million to extend the lifespan of Malmstrom’s Minuteman III missiles.
• $8 million for the Language Training Center Program, which prepares special operations, troops with language and culture training and include the Defense Critical Language and Culture Program at the University of Montana.
• $10 million for Montana Tech Army Research Laboratory for research, education, and technology development in materials and metals processing.
• $4 million for Montana State University technology transfer centers, which develop technology partnerships between small businesses and the Department of Defense.
• $5 million for Advanced Manufacturing, Space, and Optics Laboratories, including the one Montana State University.
• $70 million for the IT infrastructure of the new electronic health record system.

Tester also included his amendment to urge the Department of Defense to bring pay and benefits for the National Guard and Reserve who are training in line with active duty Armed Forces.

The 2019 Defense Appropriations Act passed the Senate 85-7.