Chairman Tester Tours Malmstrom & Inspects ICBMs with Top Air Force Leadership, Meets with Montana Air National Guard

Senator: “Montanans and the military know well that Malmstrom and those who serve here play a critical role in the defense of this country”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the powerful Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today was joined by General Charles Brown, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and General Timothy Ray, Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, for a tour of Malmstrom Air Force Base.

The visit comes on the heels of Tester’s visit earlier this week to military and intelligence installations in Virginia, Georgia, Florida, and Maryland, where he toured the U.S.S. Montana and the U.S.S. Billings; discussed troop needs with servicemembers, including members of the Navy SEALs; inspected military manufacturing plants; and received briefings on threats to national security and how the military and intelligence communities are responding to those challenges.

“Montanans and the military know well that Malmstrom and those who serve here play a critical role in the defense of this country,” said Chairman Tester. “The folks at Malmstrom are counting on Congress to put aside division and partisan politics, and provide the resources they need to do their jobs and safeguard our national security. As Defense Chairman, I will be working with partners on both sides of the aisle and in the Administration to ensure the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent program stays on-track so that we maintain a reliable strategic nuclear deterrent for decades to come.”

Chairman Tester’s tour of Malmstrom Air Force Base—which is approximately 90 miles from Tester’s farm in Big Sandy—included an inspection of a Minuteman III silo, a briefing on the operational status of the ground-based leg of America’s nuclear Triad, a tour and briefing on the Wing Operations Center, and a demonstration by Malmstrom’s Tactical Response Force, among other events. Additionally, Tester met with Malmstrom’s airmen and women as well as the Montana Air National Guard to discuss what Congress can do to better support their mission of safeguarding Montana and defending America’s national security.

Tester took the gavel of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee in January. The Subcommitee is responsible for providing nearly $700 billion annually to the Department of Defense and related agencies. This is more than 95 percent of the military’s yearly budget, and includes matters ranging from pay and benefits for millions of service members and civilians to the development of advanced technologies and next-generation weapons. The Subcommittee also oversees funding for nearly all major U.S. intelligence agencies.

Tester previously served as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee for Appropriations, whose jurisdiction included all homeland and border security, cybersecurity, the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), and the Coast Guard.