President Signs Montana Defense Priorities into Law

U.S. SENATE —Today, President Donald J. Trump signed a bill into law that prioritizes Montana’s military units, installations, research partners, universities, small businesses and manufacturers. 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.

Montana’s military assets play a critical role in defending our great nation, and this bill will help strengthen and enhance that role,” Daines said.  “As a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, I’m glad to have worked to get this important bill signed into law on time and I thank President Trump for ensuring our service members have the resources they need to protect our freedom.”

The bill funds the U.S. Armed Forces for one year beginning October 1st. This is the first time in roughly 10 years, the Department of Defense will receive the funding on time and through regular order.

Breakdown of wins:

Malmstrom Air Force Base:

o   $258 M for the UH-1N “Huey” replacement helicopter, expected in 2021

o   $414 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o   $5 M increase to replace outdated equipment at civil engineering units like Malmstrom’s 819th REDHORSE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 (UAVs) 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.