Senator Steve Daines’ amendment should provide additional security for land based intercontinental ballistic missile sites like Malmstrom Air Force Base; Today the amendment unanimously passed the United States Senate and will now be included in the National Defense Authorization Act.
“The Department of Defense has failed to recognize the urgency in replacing the Vietnam-era helicopters at Malmstrom, and the increased security is needed until they are replaced,” Daines stated. “I am pleased that the Senate is taking the appropriate steps to study the shortfalls and provide increased security from an outside resource until that replacement takes place.”
It was confirmed this year that the UH-1N Huey helicopter does not meet the security requirements for land based missile sites. The Air Force has known this since before 2001 and is working currently to replace the Huey’s.
In the Fiscal Year 2017 Defense Appropriations Bill, Daines secured $75 million for the Air Force to purchase Black Hawk helicopters along with language directing the Department of Defense to secure the nuclear missile fields with additional outside air support until the acquisition process has completed due to the security risks posed by the Vietnam-era UH-1N.