Hoeven: Congress Passes Defense Authorization Legislation

Legislation Maintains ICBM Silos, Sustains Global Hawk, Blocks Administration’s Proposal for Base Closings

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes important provisions to benefit North Dakota and bolster the nation’s defense.

“We worked to ensure that the defense authorization legislation supports the nuclear missions at Minot Air Force Base, the Global Hawk missions at Grand Forks and other North Dakota priorities,” said Hoeven. “The bill provides our military with the resources and tools they need to protect and defend our country.”

Hoeven worked to ensure North Dakota priorities in the legislation, including provisions to:

  • Maintain ICBM Silos: Requires that the Administration maintain all 450 of the nation’s current intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) silos in a “warm status” through 2021. Hoeven wrote the leaders of the Armed Services Committees to keep the provision in the final version of the bill as part of his efforts to maintain a strong ICBM force at MAFB and throughout the country. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Senate ICBM Coalition, Hoeven authored a provision in the fiscal year Fiscal Year 2014 Omnibus Appropriations bill that blocks the administration from reducing the number of active silos containing Minuteman III ICBMs.
  • Sustain the Global Hawk Program: Authorizes the President’s request for the Global Hawk program for Fiscal Year 2015. Grand Forks Air Force Base hosts a Global Hawk mission.
  • Promotes Military Base Partnerships: Encourages military bases to enter into agreements with local governments to develop public-private partnerships. Hoeven has worked to bring Northrop Grumman, the County of Grand Forks and the Grand Forks Air Force Base together to create Grand Sky, a cutting-edge unmanned aerial systems research park on the base.
  • Authorize Army Guard Shop: Authorizes $10.8 million for an Army Guard Vehicle Maintenance Shop in Valley City, ND.
  • Block Base Closures: Rejects the Administration’s proposed new round of base closures.

Additionally, the NDAA provides key support for national defense including:

  • Syria Train and Equip program: Extends the Syria train and equip program (originally authorized by the continuing resolution passed in September) through 2016. Does not authorize specific funds for the Syria program.
  • Counter ISIL Operations: The NDAA meets the President’s request to authorize $5.1 billion for US military activities to counter ISIL, to include training and equipping Iraqi forces.
  • Cruise missile: Requires a new nuclear-tipped cruise missile by 2025 or 2026 and rejects a Pentagon proposal to delay the program until 2027.
  • Guantanamo Bay prison: Bars the administration from closing the facility.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on Dec. 4, and it will now head to the president to be signed into law.