With a nuclear posture review underway and the Obama Administration negotiating a new arms control agreement with Russia, Montana’s Congressional delegation has made clear that it doesn’t want to see cuts made in the nation’s ICBM force that would affect Montana’ Malmstrom Air Force Base, which hosts 150 Minuteman III missiles, one third of all US land-based ICBMs. In a joint release Wednesday, Sen. Max Baucus (D), Sen. Jon Tester (D) and Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) said they expressed their strong support for the ICBM mission during a meeting with James Miller, deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, who is playing a pivotal role in the NPR. “These missiles are essential to national security,” said Baucus. Tester added that Malmstrom and its airmen are “a key part of our national security infrastructure.” And Rehberg said maintaining Malmstrom’s missiles benefits “not only Montana, but all Americans.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.