Hoeven: Administration's 2018 National Defense Strategy Highlights Importance of North Dakota Missions

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement about the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) 2018 National Defense Strategy, which was released by U.S. Defense Secretary General James Mattis. The document outlines the Defense Department’s strategic vision and highlights the importance of modernizing our military forces and maintaining a technological advantage over a wide range of adversaries.  

“North Dakota will play a vital role in meeting the challenges identified in DoD’s National Defense Strategy,” said Hoeven. “The strategy reaffirms the administration’s commitment to modernizing our nuclear triad, which is good for Minot Air Force Base, and something I’ve been working to do through my role on the Appropriations Committee. It also highlights the importance of technological innovation to stay ahead of our enemies, something that North Dakota supports both with the unmanned aircraft missions at Fargo and Grand Forks as well as with the commercial development of advanced unmanned aircraft and related capabilities.”

Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus, has been working to support North Dakota’s missions. As part of these ongoing efforts, the Senator helped secure the following provisions in the NDAA:

  • A Hoeven-sponsored amendment allowing the National Guard to send unmanned aircraft pilots for the MQ-9 Reaper to a civilian contractor, like General Atomics at the Grand Sky Technology Park, to assist the Air Force with training.
  • Authorizes nearly $300 million for the Global Hawk, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk program at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
  • $108.6 million in authorized funding for the Air Force to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopter that provides security for the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) located around Minot Air Force Base.
  • $586 million authorized to sustain the existing fleet of ICBMs and $215.7 million for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to develop a replacement for the existing Minuteman III.
  • Authorizes $221.4 million for upgrades to the B-52 and $451 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.

Hoeven hosted the Vice President and Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson at Minot Air Force Base last year to review the dual-nuclear missions. Additionally, following invitations from Hoeven, both Air Force Secretary Wilson and Defense Secretary Mattis visited the Minot Air Force Base to see the work of the base’s airmen firsthand as they work to ensure the nation has a credible nuclear force to deter aggression against the U.S. and counter rogue nations, like North Korea.