Malmstrom AFB: Good News & Big Win?

It’s really hard to take all the “good news” and the “big win” recently in regard to Malmstrom AFB which is near Great Falls, Montana.

Earlier this month, the Air Force announced that they will remove a total of 50 missiles from the three missile bases (Malmstrom, F.E. Warren in Wyoming, and Minot in North Dakota) and place them in storage.

It’s kind of like when you take that TV or microwave and stick it in the corner of the garage or in the spare room – and forget about it.

The Associated Press reported at time, “The resulting launch-ready total of 400 Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles would be the lowest deployed ICBM total since the early 1960s.”

Today nine countries have nukes. Two more, Syria and Iran, would love to get their hands on them.

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.) called placing the 50 missiles in storage “a big win.”

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MT Congressional Delegation: Epic Failure

Once again Montana’s congressional delegation failed to protect another military mission in the state. It was announced on Tuesday that the three Minuteman missile bases (Malmstrom in Montana, F.E. Warren in Wyoming, and Minot in North Dakota) will lose a total of 50 missiles.

Malmstrom already had 50 missiles removed in 2007 under the watch of Jon Tester, Max Baucus, and Denny Rehberg. Just recently the delegation allowed F-15 fighter jets to be removed from the Montana Air National Guard and replaced with a few cargo planes. Jets had been part of the Montana Air National Guard for over 50 years. The delegation has been against the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex in southeast Montana, basically telling the Department of Defense (DoD) and aerospace companies that Montana’s skies are closed. Now, the DoD will remove more missiles.

So when Senator Jon Tester, Senator John Walsh, and Congressman Steve Daines tout their support for Montana’s military, it’s pretty hard to see.

It would be nice if at least one of three acted just a little irate at more cuts, but instead we see a press release trying to spin it as a victory with, “Tester, Walsh praise decision to keep Malmstrom’s ICBM silos operational.” Tester was quoted in the joint press release saying this was a “big win.”

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Caught My Eye…

Woohoo – we made it to Friday!

Coming to you from The Western Word world headquarters deep inside a bunker somewhere in Montana, this is “Caught My Eye!” This column is posted right here every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little. Basically, nothing is off-limit – nothing!

Today I write about Lt. Governor John Walsh, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Steve Daines, Max Baucus, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Secretary of Defense, Malmstrom, F.E. Warren, and Minot, Global Strike Command, Mike “libido” Huckabee, Montana Commissioner of Political Practices, Bloggers’ rights, birthdays, plus we have two people who are making Montana proud!

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Caught My Eye…

Welcome to your Friday favorite – “Caught My Eye!” Thanks for stopping by, and let me be one of the first to wish you a happy Thanksgiving!

If this is your first time visiting The Western Word, the “Caught My Eye” column is posted every Friday morning! This is when I take a quick look at some of the stories I did not have time to write about during the week. I often throw in a touch of sarcasm just to make you smile – or to irritate you just a little.

Today I write about closing a missile squadron, Daines and the poll, Missile Force “burnout,” the Senate Nuclear Option, Update on Kelsey Sue Anderson, the wrong big plane, Brawl of the Wild, friendly wager, JFK 50 years, plus we have a winner who is Making Montana Proud.

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ICBM Forces: Close the Door!

There seems to be an on-going problem in the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) world these days, and that problem can be described in military terms as failure to pay attention to detail.

It does not appear that a shiny new checklist will correct the problem, either (that’s military humor in case you were wondering).

On Tuesday, the Associated Press (AP) reported, “Twice this year alone, Air Force officers entrusted with the launch keys to nuclear-tipped missiles have been caught leaving open a blast door that is intended to help prevent a terrorist or other intruder from entering their underground command post.”

One incident happened at Minot Air Force Base (AFB) in North Dakota; the other happened at Malmstrom AFB in Montana.

Of course commanders and the public affairs personnel at these bases will tell the public and the media that all is safe, secure, and that we civilians shouldn’t worry because everything is under control.

With so many screw-ups recently, that song is starting to grow old. In August, Malmstrom failed a nuclear inspection. In April, Minot failed a nuclear inspection. Something needs to change and to change quickly. Continue reading

Wouldn’t it be nice?

And wouldn’t it be nice to live together

In the kind of world where we belong

-Beach Boys “Wouldn’t it be nice”

It would be nice if we all lived in peace and harmony in a place where we could leave our doors unlocked, the keys in our car, and we would never worry about theft or vandalism.  When looking at our world, it would also be nice if every country in the world got along with one another and there were no wars or conflicts.  It would also be nice to have a safe world – a world where we do not need weapons to annihilate each other.  It would even be wonderful if there were no nuclear weapons in the world.

But we don’t live in a place like that.  I never have.  My children probably won’t either.

Today we are hearing that Iran is well on their way to developing a nuclear weapon.  The Associated Press reported, “Iran claimed Wednesday that it has taken two major steps toward mastering the production of nuclear fuel.”

We should be alarmed by this news. Continue reading

WarGames?

Word spread quickly about 50 intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming being knocked off-line due to a power outage for about 45 minutes.

Later it was disclosed that the problem was due to a computer glitch.

Calm down folks, it’s no big deal – unless there were UFOs circling the missile squadron.

It was also not Matthew Broderick and his girlfriend Ally Sheedy playing “Global Thermal Nuclear War” either. We all remember the words, “Shall We Play a Game?” from the 1983 movie, WarGames, don’t we? Continue reading