Hoeven: Air Force Secretary's Visit to Minot Highlights Importance of Nuclear Mission

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today said that U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James’s visit to Minot Air Force Base underscores the importance of the nation’s nuclear triad and the good work of the men and women at Minot Air Force Base.

Hoeven met recently with Secretary James and discussed provisions in the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that support Minot’s missions, including $18 million to start replacing the Huey helicopters used to secure the missile fields, $1.36 billion authorized for new B-21 bomber work, and strong support for Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), and the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) program to replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile.

“We appreciate the Secretary’s efforts to modernize our nuclear forces and make our nuclear defense a top priority,” said Hoeven. “We thank her for her leadership on the Nuclear Force Improvement program and her support as we’ve worked to move forward on initiatives to upgrade our ICBMs, replace the aging Huey helicopter and develop a new nuclear cruise missile.”

Secretary James will be in Minot tonight to be honored by local community leaders and tomorrow will meet with Minot Air Force Base leadership and airmen and women.

Hoeven also thanked Secretary James for her work on the Nuclear Force Improvement Program, which enhanced the nuclear career field for Air Force personnel by providing better facilities and equipment and increased bonuses. Secretary James has made several trips to Minot Air Force Base and to the other missile bases in Wyoming and Montana, and her attention has ensured the nuclear mission is seen as a top Air Force priority.

Last month, Secretary James presented Hoeven with the U.S. Air Force’s Distinguished Public Service Award in recognition of the senator’s work to support the Air Force, its airmen and their families as a member of the Senate.