Your Montana Public Radio
Wed April 9, 2014
Tester: Malmstrom operations not significantly impacted by missile cuts
Senator Jon Tester says he is happy with how the U.S. Defense Department is complying with a nuclear reduction treaty signed with Russia in 2011.
A plan to remove 50 missiles from America’s land-based nuclear arsenal should not significantly affect operations at Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force Base.
Tester says reducing those missiles won’t reduce personnel.
"I think the win is here that the missile silos, even though they don't have a missile in them will be kept operational," he says.
This would allow the military to move the remaining warheads between silos to enhance security. The deadline for removing these missiles is not until 2018. Tester says it’s unclear how many will be taken from Malmstrom—and that may always be the case.
"Because of the nature of the security of this, that information may be classified forever, because we don't want the people who may want to do us harm to know which silos are open and which silos have missiles in them," he says.
Tester does not think recent drug use and an exam cheating scandal among launch officers at Malmstrom will impact how many missiles are removed from the base.