Local government officials in Cascade County, Mont., which encompasses Great Falls and Malmstrom Air Force Base, have launched a land-use study of the areas around the base, which is today home to a major ICBM force. The Great Falls Tribune reported Tuesday that the Matrix Design Group, a Phoenix-based company, will lead the year-long effort to explore existing and potential development around Malmstrom’s missile facilities in the north central part of the state and potential conflicts such as wind farms and cell-phone towers. The goal is to identify guidelines to limit encroachment on Air Force operations while encouraging well-planned growth in the area, according to the newspaper. Last year, Cascade County received a grant for this study from the Pentagon’s office of economic adjustment that assists communities dealing with issued like base closures, realignments, or expansions.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.