Malmstrom hosts annual training exercise in Chouteau County

Posted at 3:27 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-16 16:20:26-04

GREAT FALLS – Malmstrom Air Force Base joined first responders from Chouteau County for an annual exercise and community members from Fort Benton had the opportunity to see some tools Malmstrom airmen use on Tuesday.

“When we drive down the roads, not many people know exactly what we do, so it is good to come out here and have them see stuff that we work with and the gear that we wear,” Senior Airman Joshua Gonzalez, 341st Security Support Squadron, said.

The public had a chance to see a K9 demonstration as well as military equipment displays. Armed Service recruiters were also available for questions or comments.

Tuesday’s event was not the only reason airmen were in Chouteau County, however.

“The Local Integrated Response plan is an exercise that we do annually,” 1st Lieutenant Brian Hansen, 341st Security Support Squadron, said.

Hansen said he could not go into too much detail about what they will do during the exercise.

“It’s an opportunity for us to not only strengthen our relationships with local, state, and federal law enforcement, but it gives us a chance to demonstrate our capability,” Hansen said.

On Tuesday, agencies sat down for a tabletop exercise. On Wednesday they will have the chance to watch the airmen in action.

“In this situation, any calls fielded if anything does happen will end up in our dispatch center. By involving us in their exercise or even in a real event, we can better inform the public on what they need to do,” Undersheriff Larry Ophus of Chouteau County Sheriff’s Office said.

After the exercise, the agencies will evaluate what requires improvement.

Malmstrom has conducted similar exercises in different counties that host missile launch facilities since 2013.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News