Daines Urges DOD to Address National Guard Equipment Shortfalls in Great Falls

Calls on DOD to Prioritize National Guard Readiness

U.S. SENATE — Today, during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense hearing, U.S. Senator Steve Daines urged the U.S. Department of Defense to prioritize equipment shortfalls in the National Guard.

During the hearing, Daines questioned General Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army, about the military’s plan to strengthen funding for tank units in the National Guard, such as Charlie Company of the 163rd in Great Falls.

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“Montana is home to nearly 2,600 Army National Guard members who are ready to fight for our security and freedom,” said Daines. “We must make sure they have the tools and equipment necessary to perform their critical mission.”

General Milley committed to Daines that Army intends to “outfit the total force, total army with active protective systems in the years ahead.”

Daines’ Work to Support Montana National Guard:

On May 8, 2018, Daines, who was rated one of the Senate’s most bipartisan Senators, and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Representatives Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) and Trent Kelly (R-Miss.) introduced the bipartisan National Guard Promotion Accountability Act to address delays in federal recognition of promotions for National Guard members.

On February 28, 2018, Daines sponsored legislation to protect Americans’ national security by preserving funding for National Guard and Reserves training during a government shutdown.

On February 6, 2018, Daines sponsored the Military Reserve Jobs Act, legislation to increase employment opportunities for members of the National Guard and Reserve by extending eligibility for veterans’ preference points to those seeking employment with the federal government.

On March 27, 2017, at the Montana Enlisted Association of the National Guard this evening in Great Falls, Daines announced the introduction of a bipartisan bicameral legislation to ensure servicemembers aren’t unduly penalized when they serve their country.

On December 2, 2016, Daines announced the inclusion of his amendment to provide security for nuclear sites in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

On June 7, 2016, Daines’ amendment to provide additional security for land based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) sites, like Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) unanimously passed the United States Senate and will now be included in the National Defense Authorization Act.

On May 18, 2016, Daines led the bipartisan ICBM coalition urging the Department of Defense to outline a clear plan for the security of the nuclear missiles stationed in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming following the news that the Department of Defense failed to approve the Air Forces’ request for a faster acquisition process.  

On May 11, 2016, following a meeting with U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah James, Daines announced that the Air Force will be going with the slowest proposed route to replace the Vietnam-era UH-1Ns that provide security for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base.

On May 5, 2016, Daines sent a letter to the Air Force requesting the consideration of utilizing National Guard and their HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters. 

In March 2016, Daines led the Senate ICBM coalition in calling on the Air Force to expedite their decision on the course of action to replace Vietnam–era UH-1N helicopters. 

On April 27, 2015, Daines pressed Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter on the timeline to upgrade Vietnam-era UH-1N helicopters to provide much-needed security for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) stationed at Malmstron Air Force Base (AFB).

On June 11, 2015, Daines helped move forward support for important Montana defense priorities in the Senate Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2016, including protecting the Montana Air National Guard’s C-130 mission.

On May 29, 2015, during a Defense Appropriations Committee hearing on the President’s Fiscal-Year 2016 budget request for the National Guard and Reserve, Daines pressed Guard officials to ensure MANG’s C-130 planes are Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-certified and flyable by 2020. Daines conveyed ongoing concerns with the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) and the lack of clear path forward for modernization by 2020.

On February 25, 2015, during an Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, Daines called on the U.S. Air Force to prioritize the modernization of Montana’s critical military missions and take additional steps to address Montanans’ ongoing concerns regarding the proposed expansion of the Powder River Training Complex.