Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Cømmunity Guide 2021 Flip Book File

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Page 68 of 115

he military mission in Great Falls remains a major piece of national security strategy. Crews from Malmstrom Air Force Base's (MAFB) 341 st Missile Wing are prepared to launch more than 100 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) from facilities throughout the plains of northcentral Montana, spanning 13,800 square miles in and around Great Falls. MAFB, located east of Great Falls, also houses the 40 th Helicopter Squadron, a specialized deployable construction squadron – 819 th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE, RHS), and the 22 nd Space Operations Squadron (SOPS) Detachment 1. The 341 st Missile Wing and 819 th RHS deploy Airmen year-round in support of the Air Force's global mission. Recent upgrades to MAFB include a new hanger for the incoming MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter. The MH-139 is scheduled to arrive in June 2021, with MAFB being the first base to adopt the new equipment. The transition will be complete near September 2024. According to MAFB, "MH-139 provides increased capabilities to our warfighters – notably speed, range, endurance, payload, and survivability." In addition to being a force in national security, the base and its Airmen are major players in the Great Falls economy and community. MAFB contributes an estimated $300 million annually to the Great Falls area. Additionally, the 40 th HS is a search and rescue (SAR) asset that provides a robust capability in the region in support of the U.S. National SAR Plan in partnership with county SAR teams. The squadron is also prepared to support FEMA for any Humanitarian Assistance/ Disaster Response (HADR) operations. There are more than 3,300 military employees with nearly 2,500 family members. MAFB also employs more than 600 civilian workers, while hundreds more do additional work with the base under private contracts. Approximately 8,000 people with some base connection make up more than 10% of Cascade County's population. MAFB's Airmen contribute individually to the community by sharing in volunteer efforts. Among the activities are MApril annual city cleanup efforts, base personnel who deliver Meals on Wheels in Great Falls, volunteers to the Great Falls Rescue Mission, and mentors for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Also at home in Great Falls is the Montana Air National Guard. 331 full-time and 667 traditional guardsmen make up the MTANG force. Eight C-130 Hercules cargo planes are assigned to MTANG's 120 th Airlift Wing. The primary mission for C-130s is moving people and cargo. MTANG also hosts a RED HORSE squadron, 219 th RHS. For monthly training, members of the 219 th RHS come from across Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming. U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection contracts with the Great Falls International Airport for the hangar and terminal space necessary for housing the Northern Border Air Wing. The U.S. Army Reserve 889 th Quartermaster Company, a supply unit specializing in handling potable water, also operates out of Great Falls. 69 Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Great Falls Military Mission T M I L I TA RY Photo by Photo Solutions

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