Daines, Senate Appropriations Committee Move Forward Critical Montana Defense Priorities

Senate defense appropriations bills approved by committee, contains key provisions to support Montana defense priorities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today helped move forward support for important Montana defense priorities in the Senate Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2016.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill today with a strong bipartisan vote of 18-3.

“This bill is essential to funding our military,” Daines stated. “I’m proud that this bill contains critical funding for our national security and protects the important role that Montana plays in our national defense.” 

With Daines’ support, the Defense appropriations bill contains several key provisions to support Montana’s military missions and national security interests, including:

  • Protecting Montana Air National Guard’s C-130 mission by:
    • Moving forward with Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) Increments 1 and 2, which are improvements from the original, costly and wasteful AMP program, will ensure that the C-130s at the Montana Air National Guard will be certified to continue flying by 2020 and provide a pathway for a full-scale avionics upgrade that addresses outdated components.
    • Funding key engine modifications for the C-130s.
  • Addressing the pending decision before the Secretary of the Air Force to maintain an active duty RED HORSE squadron in either Great Falls, MT or Guam:
    • This bill prevents the Secretary of the Air Force from relocating or consolidating a RED HORSE squadron outside of the fifty states unless the Secretary certifies that the relocation would yield the greatest savings for the Air Force. 
    • This would prevent the Secretary from arbitrarily moving RED HORSE out of Great Falls, and gives Great Falls a distinct edge when competing with Guam for maintaining a RED HORSE squadron. The Great Falls RED HORSE squadron currently has about 250 personnel.