Hoeven: Congress Passes National Defense Authorization Act

Bill Approves Key Priorities for North Dakota and the Nation

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Congress has passed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which approves the nation’s military programs. The legislation includes key provisions that will benefit North Dakota’s bases and missions.

“Passing the National Defense Authorization Act is an important step because this legislation authorizes our nation’s military programs,” Hoeven said. “This means that we will continue key programs like the North Dakota National Guard’s missions in Fargo, nuclear missions at Minot Air Force Base and the Global Hawk mission at Grand Forks. We passed the Military Construction appropriations bill in September, and now with the passing of this authorization act, we’re working to pass the Defense appropriations bill to fully fund and fully authorize our military and its operations.”

The NDAA passed today is a reconciliation of the House and Senate versions and will now go to the President for his signature. The Senate had originally passed its version of the bill in June.

Provisions that will benefit North Dakota include:

• Full authorization of the RQ-4 Global Hawk program, which includes the Block 20 and Block 40 fleets based at Grand Forks Air Force Base
• $18 million in authorized funding for the Air Force to begin replacing the UH-1N Huey helicopter that provides security for the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) located around Minot Air Force Base
• $114 million authorized for research and development on a next generation ICBM to replace the existing Minuteman III
• Continuing upgrades to the B-52’s internal weapons bay and authorizing new projects to modernize the B-52, which includes developing a new advanced radar system and equipping Line of Sight Tactical Data Link (TDL); currently the B-52 is the only combat aircraft without Line of Sight TDL
• $95 million authorized for research and development on a new nuclear cruise missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52

The bill also authorizes the following key provisions for our Armed Services and national security:

• Authorizes an across-the-board pay raise of 2.1 percent for all servicemen and women.
• Ensures Guantanamo detainees will not be transferred to the U.S.