Hoeven Addresses Roughrider Conference, Outlines Efforts to Strengthen NDNG Missions

Senator Discusses Upgrades to MQ-9 Reapers in Fargo, Securing MQ-1C Gray Eagle & Efforts to Make Air Guard FTA Pilot Program Permanent

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today addressed the North Dakota National Guard’s annual Roughrider Conference, where he outlined Guard members’ essential contributions to national security and discussed his efforts to ensure they receive the support and benefits they have earned. This includes:

  • Working to support NDNG missions in North Dakota, as well as Guard deployments within the U.S. and abroad.
    • Hoeven has advanced efforts to upgrade the MQ-9 Reaper in Fargo and to bring the MQ-1C Gray Eagle to the Army National Guard.
  • Introducing and successfully working to pass the Burial Equity for Guards and Reserves Act.
    • This legislation was essential in securing a recent U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) grant to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, which received $1.86 million for a new columbarium and infrastructure and landscaping improvements at the cemetery.
  • Efforts to make the Air Guard federal tuition assistance (FTA) pilot programpermanent.
    • After funding the pilot program, Hoeven offered an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to make the initiative permanent.

“The North Dakota National Guard serves our state and nation in countless ways, and its members always do so with distinction,” said Hoeven. “We are tremendously proud of their important work, whether it’s along the southern border, in our nation’s capital, overseas or conducting missions right here in North Dakota. That’s why we continue our efforts to support their operations, like the 119th Wing’s Reaper mission in Fargo, while working to ensure they receive the benefits and recognition they have earned.”

Supporting NDNG Missions

As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to support the missions of the 119th Wing in Fargo and upgrade the capabilities of the MQ-9 Reaper. The senator secured additional funding to upgrade the sensors across the entire Reaper fleet. At the same time, Hoeven worked to bring the MQ-1C Gray Eagle and its capabilities to the Army National Guard, which will bring a higher level of readiness across its Divisions.

Hoeven has also visited NDNG members that were deployed to Del Rio, Eagle Passand El Paso, Texas in order to call attention to their important work supporting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations along the southern border.