Montana's Congressman, Denny Rehberg, sat down with Malmstrom Air Force Base Brigadier General (Sel) Anthony Cotton to discuss a wide variety of issues, opportunities and challenges facing the Great Falls military installation. Among the subjects that they discussed were concerns over the impact of the New START Treaty which will cut between 30 and 50 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) from across the three ICBM bases. Rehberg also addressed quality of life issues for those serving at Malmstrom and employment opportunities for their families.
"Malmstrom Air Force Base has always played a critical role in keeping America safe by maintaining our nation's ICBMs," said Rehberg, a member of House Military Families Caucus. "Whether it's preserving the base's security role or ensuring that the spouses and families of our airmen are taken care of, I will continue to stand with the Great Falls community to fight for Malmstrom's important role in the mission of national defense."
In the meeting, Rehberg discussed the implications of the New START Treaty, which took effect in February 2011. Among the provisions of this treaty is a reduction in land-based ICBMs, which serve as a crucial nuclear deterrent. Malmstrom Air Force Base currently services 150 of these missiles.
Rehberg, who is the Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services and Education helps to oversee the Department of Labor's VETS program. He asked General Cotton how he could further utilize that position to help out Malmstrom's airmen, their families, and other veterans returning to Montana. One specific idea that Rehberg has supported is the creation of tax incentives for hiring military spouses and lowering the barriers between states when transferring professional licenses.