Restoring Runway at Malmstrom?

The Senators of Montana tagged a measure on the 2008 defense policy bill that would require the Air Force to consider arranging an associate unit that would pair active duty airmen at Malmstrom Air Force Base with the Montana Air National Guard’s 120th Fighter Wing at Great Falls. Sen. Max Baucus (D) and Sen. Jon Tester (D) have been working this issue since BRAC 2005 and recently renewed their efforts, following USAF’s announcement that it would cut a missile squadron at Malmstrom. The lawmakers would like the service to increase the number of F-15 fighters in the 120th FW and reopen the runway at Malmstrom, where Air Guardsmen would work with active airmen. They also offer as an alternative, moving the entire ANG operation from Great Falls to Malmstrom. “When we talk about Montana’s military future, I want to make sure all options are on the table,” said Tester in a statement. Baucus said: “An active association could be a win-win for our national security and for new good-paying jobs. This amendment will make sure nobody rules it out.”