11.17.20

Daines: Malmstrom to Receive Helicopter Upgrade This Summer Following Direct Request

Announcement follows years of work by Daines to secure UH-1N “Huey” helicopter replacements for Malmstrom

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that Malmstrom Air Force Base will receive the MH-139 “Grey Wolf” helicopter upgrade replacing the Vietnam era UH-1N “Huey’s” in the summer of 2021. Malmstrom will be the first Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) base in the country to receive this critical upgrade. This news follows Daines’ direct request and extensive work to secure the upgraded helicopters for Montana.

“Today’s announcement that Malmstrom will be receiving these critical helicopter upgrades is great news for Montana and our country’s national security,” Daines said. “I’m proud to have fought to secure this critical upgrade for Malmstrom and I look forward to seeing the upgraded helicopters in action in the future.”

General Timothy Ray, Air Force Global Strike Command Commander, shared the news with Daines this morning. The new helicopters will provide critical security for intercontinental ballistic missiles stationed around Malmstrom Air Force Base.

Background: 

On July 23rd, 2020, Daines voted for and secured Senate passage of critical Montana priorities in the Senate defense bill called the “National Defense Authorization Act” (NDAA). Daines secured a 3% pay raise for the military, relief for service members impacted by COVID-19 and support for the Montana Army and Air National Guard and Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls.  

On March 10th, 2020, Daines announced that $15,077,162 will go to the renovation of an existing 3-Bay hangar at Malmstrom Air Force Base to facilitate the storage of the new MH-139 helicopter.

On September 28th, 2018, President Trump signed a bill into law that prioritizes Montana’s military units, installations, research partners, universities, small businesses and manufacturers. The bill was critical to Montana, Malmstrom, Montana National Guard and the rest of the nation.

On September 18th, 2018, Daines voted to secure funding for Montana’s military units, installations, research partners, universities, small businesses and manufactures.

On June 18th, 2018, Daines today announced that he helped secure critical support for Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including legislation authorizing vital support for modernizing Malmstrom’s ground-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) infrastructure and replacing UH-1N Huey military helicopters at the base.

On May 17th, 2018, Daines urged Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force, to consider Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls as a future base for the B-21 bomber.  He also requested an update on the plan to replace Montana’s aging UH-1N helicopters. 

On June 7th, 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 11th, 2016, Daines announced that the Air Force would 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 April 27th, 2016, 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 Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB).

On March 18th, 2016, Daines led eight Senators in calling on the Air Force to expedite their decision on the course of action to replace Vietnam–era UH-1N helicopters that provide security for our nuclear weapons. 

On February 10th, 2016, Daines called on the U.S. Air Force to prioritize the readiness of Montana’s military missions by ensuring the modernization of aircraft at Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base.