Defending America

Service in the Armed Forces is a way of life in communities across Montana.  Jon possesses a strong commitment to America’s troops and their families, as well as to his role in defending our nation.  Jon understands that the Montana National Guard and Malmstrom Air Force Base play critical roles in our national security and in Montana’s economy.

Jon is a proud advocate of the Montana Air National Guard (MANG), and he has a powerful record of strengthening it while protecting the hundreds of Montana jobs it provides.

One of the first things Jon did after being elected to the U.S. Senate was meet with top Air Force officials to make sure they understood the role MANG plays in defending our country.

When the Department of Defense announced its plan to remove the F-15s from north-central Montana, Jon led the fight to ensure that MANG maintained a long-term flying mission by helping secure the C-130 cargo planes.

Jon has also fought hard to protect Malmstrom Air Force Base and its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) mission.

When the Department of Defense announced it was going to conduct a multi-million dollar study on the ICBM fleet – a move many speculated was the first step in eliminating missiles – Jon blocked the move by adding an amendment to the Defense spending bill.

In response to Jon’s work, all of Malmstrom’s missile silos were kept in warm status when the New START Treaty was implemented.

Jon has twice traveled to Iraq to visit Montana troops.  He also visited Montana soldiers in Afghanistan.  These visits reaffirmed Jon’s belief that the United States needed to end both conflicts responsibly, without “taking our eye off the ball” in the war on terrorism.

Behind every Montana Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Guardsman is a family that sacrifices, too.  That’s why Jon passed a measure allowing the military to pay the travel costs for immediate relatives to attend one memorial service – in addition to a burial service – following an active-duty death.

As a staunch defender of Montanans’ Constitutional rights, Jon also believes that effectively defending America can be achieved without invading privacy.  That’s why Jon pushed hard to eliminate the federal government’s proposed REAL ID program — an effort to force all Americans to obtain national ID cards.  And he opposed the unpopular Patriot Act (which invades the privacy of law-abiding Americans) from the beginning, as well as efforts to extend the program.

As a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Jon has successfully fought for critical investments to keep illegal drugs out of Montana’s communities, such as the Montana National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.

He has worked with senators from North Dakota to strengthen law enforcement in the Bakken oil fields and cut down on drug trafficking.

And to help continue Montana’s proud tradition of service, Jon has helped dozens of Montana high school students secure spots at the nation’s most prestigious military academies through the congressional nomination process.

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