Montana Military Bases
Military bases in Montana are an important part of our northwestern nations security. The great state of Montana has a population of just over 1 million people. The state in itself is the fourth largest state in the country by area. Montana is bordered by North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Idaho.
The Territory of Montana was formed in 1864 and Montana was admitted as the 41st state in 1889. The following year, five stars were added to the national flag to account for the new states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Idaho.
The state flag of Montana was first adopted in 1905 and consists of a dark blue field with the state seal in the center. The shows a plow, shovel, and pick resting in a field in front of the Great Falls of the Missouri River. The ribbon at the bottom contains the state motto in Spanish of “Oro y plata,” which translates to gold and silver. The word Montana was added to the flag in 1981. The flag was originally used by Montana troops in the Spanish-American War.
Military bases in Montana
Malmstrom Air Force Base
Malmstrom AFB is one of three Air Force bases in the country that can manage the Minuteman III intercontinental missiles. It’s located in the middle of Montana in Cascade Country and hosts the 341st Missile Wing. The 341st has several groups stationed here, including operations, security forces, maintenance and medical groups. All of these groups have important duties, but some of them are constantly monitoring the need for a combat strike that would involve one or more of the 15 missile alert facilities. This missile wing is in charge of launching the Minuteman Missiles if they are ordered to do so. Malmstrom houses 150 Minuteman III ICBM’s, 50 each among the 10th, 12th and 490th squadrons. Because the Minuteman III missiles are almost 50 years old, periodic launch tests of unarmed missiles are performed to ensure reliability. Each launch test takes approximately six to twelve months to plan. The Unites States is currently working on an updated program to replace the Minuteman III – it’s called the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program. That program is not scheduled to be active until sometime in the mid-2030’s. Until then, the 341st will continue to monitor and test the Minuteman III ICBM’s as an assurance to our partners and a deterrent to potential aggressors.