Tester: Funding for Malmstrom Air Force Base facility threatened

Posted at 3:04 PM, Mar 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-14 18:29:11-04

GREAT FALLS – Senator Jon Tester said Wednesday that funding for upgrades at Malmstrom Air Force Base is threatened due to President Trump’s disaster emergency declaration.

In a press release, Tester stated the U.S. Air Force made a commitment during a Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Air Force’s Fiscal year 2020 budget request to build a Weapons Generation Facility at Malmstrom, but then failed to guarantee the funds would remain in the budget following the President’s declaration.

The new $235 million facility would replace the current Nuclear Maintenance Facility, which is used to store and maintain the base’s inter-continental ballistic missile warheads.

“The current facility is deteriorating. The giant cracks in the walls are getting bigger. I am sure you know because of that deteriorating infrastructure, it has created numerous safety and security logistical challenges. And that emission operations will remain at risk due to the inefficiency of the failing infrastructure there at Malmstrom,” Tester said. “We are talking about a facility which ICBM warheads are maintained and stored. I believe and I think you do that there is urgency here.”

The Senate is scheduled to vote on President Donald Trump’s emergency declaration later this week.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News