Malmstrom breaks ground on missile maintenance facility, project funding no longer possible source for border wall
Officials broke ground last week on the new missile maintenance dispatch facility at Malmstrom Air Force Base.
The new missile maintenance facility is being built because the functions that would occupy that building are being displaced from their current location in the existing three-bay hangar. That hangar is being renovated to house the new MH-139 helicopters that are coming to replace the current UH-1N Huey fleet.
The missile maintenance contract was originally slated to be awarded in April, but the time allowed for submission of proposals was extended to June. The contract was awarded in June, which falls within fiscal year 2019. The missile maintenance dispatch facility is 43,500 square feet of new construction.
Earlier this year, the missile maintenance dispatch facility was included on a list released by the Pentagon of U.S. military construction projects that the White House could redirect funds from to build a border wall.
The $9 million C-130 aircraft apron for the Montana Air National Guard in Great Falls was also on the list. The contract for that project is expected to be awarded in September.
Sen. Jon Tester released statements chastising the Trump Administration for jeopardizing national security through those Montana projects.
Tester’s office told The Electric this week that both of those projects won’t be subject to reprogramming for the border wall.
But, Tester’s office said a portion of the funds for the weapons storage/generation facility that are included in the budget have not yet been appropriated so it”s possible that project could be subject to a future reprogramming request or be delayed because military construction funds are being diverted elsewhere.
The weapons storage area is in the design phase and Malmstrom is slated to be one of the first bases for the project. A Malmstrom official said during a January event that the contract award is expected in 2020.