Members of the Montana Army National Guard, working with airmen from Malmstrom Air Force Base, used a CH-47 helicopter on Aug. 21 to bring four microwave antenna dishes to the peak of Highwood Baldy Mountain, about 40 miles northeast of Great Falls. They will be installed on a 100-foot communications tower already lifted there in pieces. The tower is part of Air Force Space Command’s wide area coverage project that will provide modern land-mobile radio communications to Malmstrom’s 341st Missile Wing and local communities, including law enforcement and first responders. The tower will provide coverage for the entire vast missile field that contains the wing’s 150 Minuteman III ICBMs, one third of the nation’s land-based strategic nuclear deterrent force. “We must be able to talk with each other to protect the mission,” said David Hinds, project manager within Malmstrom’s 341st Communications Squadron. (Malmstrom report by SSgt. Eydie Sakura)
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.