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Malmstrom Air Force Base

Military Mission

Malmstrom AFB is located in northwest Montana on the east side of Great Falls in Cascade County and comprises a total of 28,606 acres, including the missile complex - DoD owns 3,900 acres, 24,201 acres are added through private landowner easements, 489 acres are public domain, and 16 acres are leased. The 341st Space Wing, headquartered at Malmstrom AFB, supports the installation's missile defense missions. The Malmstrom Missile Complex, which is a 13,800 square mile area crossing 7 counties, contains 150 Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile sites called Launch Facilities and 15 Missile Alert Facilities. There is no longer an active airfield at Malmstrom AFB.

Joint Land Use Study Planning Process

Development of agricultural and vacant lands that border the installation is likely to increase because conversion of existing agricultural property to new commercial and residential uses is more profitable. Compatible renewable energy development around the missile fields, specifically wind turbines, is also an area of focus. The JLUS was initiated in 2010 to address these compatible use issues. Cascade County is the study sponsor and formed Policy and Technical Advisory Committees to oversee and guide the study process. In addition to Cascade County and Great Falls, representatives from seven other counties that host missile fields are also members of the committees.

Two study areas comprised the Malmstrom JLUS. One study area covered the entire Malmstrom Missile Complex area crossing 7 counties. The other study area included Malmstrom Air Force Base proper to assess the impacts an operational runway might have on surrounding land uses, even though the runway is currently not active. In both study areas private and public lands near the military facilities were evaluated, examining existing land use; growth trends and development potential; and existing regulations, plans and procedures. Using this background information and the ideas developed with the stakeholders during public forums and committee workshops, the JLUS includes recommendations and identifies strategies to promote compatible land use planning around each installation and military use area.

Implementation Strategy

In March 2012 the Cascade County Board of Commissioners adopted Resolution 12-23 to accept the Malmstrom AFB JLUS as a planning tool and resource to guide development of future land use decisions. Numerous compatibility strategies are described in the JLUS for the following general categories: land acquisition, communication/coordination, deed restrictions, development agreements, legislation, memorandums of agreement, real estate disclosures, zoning/building codes, military overlay districts, subdivision standards, and construction standards. As a direct result of the JLUS process, Cascade County is already taking measures to ensure compatibility with proposed wind/solar energy development by requiring developer coordination with Malmstrom AFB prior to the County issuing permits, including coordination with the base before receiving tax credits.

Community Website: www.malmstromjlus.com