Montana's nuclear missile silos are about to undergo a big, historic, and much-needed transformation.

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at the MACRS Convention- that's the Montana Association of County Road Supervisors. In addition to road supervisors and road crews from across Montana, several county commissioners, engineers, and construction companies were also in the house.

Before I spoke, we got to hear a great update from Colonel Barry Little from Malmstrom Air Force Base. Colonel Little spoke of the great work being done on the ground, and underground, by our airmen at Malmstrom to protect our nation every day. He also made a great point about how this leg of the nuclear triad is what gives our troops the freedom of maneuver all over the world. And, he thanked the fine folks building and maintaining our county roads that allows the Air Force to help defend this nation.

Colonel Little also shared an unclassified update on the transformation that is set to take place at our nuclear missile sites here in Montana, noting that Northrup Grumman has already been on the ground and environmental surveys are being conducted as well.

Basically the Air Force is switching from the aging Minuteman III missile system to the Sentinel system. The groundbreaking for the move to the new Sentinel system in Montana is currently planned for 2026. FE Warren Air Force Base is shooting for a 2024 groundbreaking in Wyoming. The plan is for the system to be IOC- initial operational capability- by 2029 in Wyoming.

What is different about the new system compared to the old Minuteman III system going back to the John F. Kennedy era, according to Colonel Little? Penetration capabilities and maintenance. The silos and the missile system will be easier to access from a maintenance and upgrade standpoint than the old silos.

Credit Canva/ Colonel Barry Little Photo Credit Malmstrom Air Force Base
Credit Canva/ Colonel Barry Little Photo Credit Malmstrom Air Force Base


Stanford University featured a recent writeup, if you're interested in more information.

The Air Force is replacing six-decade-old ICBMs with Sentinels in about 400 silos around the West, from Montana’s Malmstrom Air Force base to North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base to the Warren Air Force Base, located in the area where the states of Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraka meet.


KTVQ-TV in Billings also recently raised concerns about the China spy balloon that hovered over Montana, and the work getting ready to be on the nuclear missile sites in Montana.


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