Hoeven: Air Force Secretary's Visit Gives her Firsthand Knowledge of Nuclear Mission, Need for Updated Arsenal & Security

Senator Invited USAF Secretary to Visit North Dakota, Continues Advancing Priorities for Base's Missions

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today spoke with U.S. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, marking her visit to the Minot Air Force Base. Hoeven met with Wilson during her recent confirmation process, where he invited her to visit North Dakota and urged her to support modernizing the nuclear triad and updating the helicopters used to secure the missile fields at the base.


“The Minot Air Force Base is critical to our nation’s nuclear deterrent and serves as an important stop for Secretary Wilson,” Hoeven said. “I spoke with her this morning to thank her for accepting my invitation to see our forces firsthand and to drive home the importance of updating our B-52s and ICBMs as well as new helicopters to secure the missile fields. This visit will give her vital knowledge of the needs of our service members and will help us secure the tools they need to be successful in their missions.”


As a member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee, Hoeven continues working to advance priorities for the air bases in North Dakota. Hoeven recently secured $27 million in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 funding legislation for an indoor firing range at the Minot Air Force Base. The existing firing range does not meet Air Force training standards, and a new range will reduce air quality concerns, provide higher quality training with lower maintenance costs and ensure the range is available regardless of winter weather conditions.


The senator also successfully included the following provisions in the appropriations bill for FY17, which was passed by Congress in May:


  • $732 million for intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBMs), including $113 million for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to replace the aging Minuteman III ICBM.
  • $220 million for B-52s and $95 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • $93 million to replace the fleet of UH-1N helicopters used to secure the ICBM fields around Minot Air Force Base.