Daines Delivers Big Win for Montana, the Nation in Defense Spending Bill

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines, who sits on the Defense Subcommittee on Appropriations, today voted to secure funding for Montana’s military units, installations, research partners, universities, small businesses and manufactures. The funding secured in the bill is critical to Montana, Malmstrom, Montana National Guard and the rest of the nation. The bill also secures a 2.6% pay raise for troops – the largest in 10 years.

“This funding will greatly enhance our national defense and give our war fighters the resources they need to maintain a decisive advantage over our adversaries,” Daines said. “Montana’s military assets play a critical role in defending our great nation, and this funding will help strengthen and enhance that role.”

The next step is for the House to vote on the bill and then it will be sent to the president’s desk for signature.

Last month, Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate in support of the bill.


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Breakdown of wins:


Malmstrom Air Force Base:

o   $288 M for the UH-1N “Huey” replacement helicopter, expected in 2021

o   $345 M for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (Minuteman replacement)

o   $12.9 M increase to update communication equipment at Minuteman Missile Launch sites

o   $5 M increase to replace outdated equipment at civil engineering units like Malmstrom’s 819th REDHORSE


Montana Small Businesses:

o   $2.7 M for advanced automated sensors to protect remote ICBM facilities made by Adelos, Inc in Polson, a tribally owned subsidiary of S&K

o   $6.2 M to outfit warfighters with better gear, like assault pack made in Bozeman by Mystery Ranch

o   $10 M for research into lighter weapons by using composite barrels developed by PROOF Research in Columbia Falls, MT


Montana Universities:

o   $125 M for research on Traumatic Brain Injury, with portions going to University of Montana’s study of biomarkers to diagnose and treat mild, repetitive cases

o   $8 M to provide specialized language training to military special operations and intelligence personnel at UM’s Mansfield Center

o   $4 M to facilitate technology transfer from the DOD to U.S. small businesses through MSU’s TechLink program

o   $5 M for research on unmanned aerial vehicles and the electromagnetic spectrum at MSU

o   $4 M for research on composites at MSU to add strength and reduce weight on Army helicopters


Montana Civic Organizations:

o   $8.1 M to purchase new aircraft for the Civil Air Patrol. The MT Wing of Civil Air Patrol has over 300 volunteers across 12 units. 

Other notables:

o   $1.3 billion for 15 additional Black Hawk helicopters for the National Guard.  MT has some of the oldest Black Hawks in the inventory.

o   $125 M increase for Counter-Drug Programs in the National Guard.  MT has an active program that partners with state and local law enforcement to combat meth.