Delegation, Task Force 21 Meet With Air Force to Plot Future for Minot Air Base

New START and Support of New Bomber Squadron Indicative of Base’s Bright Future

Washington – With significant base construction scheduled to support the continued stand-up of the second bomber squadron, Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven and Congressman Rick Berg met today with members of Minot’s Task Force 21 and Pentagon leadership to consider ways to amplify the bright future of Minot Air Force Base.

The delegation said that significant investments in the base are the single best indicator of the base’s positive future. The Administration’s budget proposal targeted $67.9 million for three new projects at Minot Air Force Base, including another dorm, a maintenance dock for B-52s, and a conventional munitions maintenance facility.  The dorm would be the fourth dorm funded for Minot in the last few years.

 Pentagon officials provided detailed briefings on military construction, privatized housing, and the future of Global Strike Command for the delegation and the representatives from Task Force 21.

 As the nation’s only dual nuclear mission base, Pentagon officials also emphasized the key role Minot Air Force Base would play in the implementation of the New START treaty. That treaty serves as a blueprint for reductions to the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and preserves America’s powerful nuclear triad -- Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.

Additionally Lieutenant General Kowalski confirmed to Senator Conrad that the Minot runway repair is funded in the next three years through Operations and Maintenance funding. In total, Air force officials said the Fiscal Year 2012 military construction at Minot represents 4.5% of the Air Force’s total Milcon request.

 “Task Force 21 and the community of Minot have done an outstanding job of supporting the Minot Air Force Base and its mission over the years, and we are committed on the federal level to doing all we can to make sure its mission continues to receive the support it deserves,” the delegation said.

Minot Air Force Base hosts 150 Minuteman III missiles as well as two squadrons of nuclear-capable B-52H bombers.

Senator Conrad is the co-Chair of the ICBM Coalition in the United States Senate.