Hoeven Continues Efforts to Modernize Nuclear Defenses, Urges Support for Minot's Missions with General Rand

As a member of Senate Appropriations, Senator Secured Funding Priorities for MAFB This Year, Continues Working to Advance FY18 Funds

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee, this week urged General Robin Rand, the Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, to support the nuclear missions at the Minot Air Force Base. The senator has worked throughout his tenure to ensure the base has the tools it needs to be successful in its missions. Hoeven successfully included the following priorities for Minot in the appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, 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. Hoeven joined a bipartisan group of senator’s earlier this year in urging Secretary Mattis to replace the aging helicopters.

“It is vital that we continue to move the ball forward on updating our nuclear arsenal,” Hoeven said. “We have maintained strong support through the Appropriations Committee for the Minot missions over the last several Fiscal Years, and we continue to advance funding to ensure progress on our B-52s, ICBMS and cruise missiles. My call to General Rand is part of this effort, and dovetails with this month’s visits from Secretary Wilson and Secretary Mattis.”

Both Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Defense Secretary James Mattis visited the Minot Air Force Base this month, following invitations from Hoeven. The senator stressed the importance of these officials seeing 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.

The visits and this week’s call to General Rand come as part of Hoeven’s ongoing work to modernize the nation’s nuclear arsenal and provide for stronger security at the Minor Air Force Base. Hoeven recently secured $27 million in the Senate’s Fiscal Year FY18 funding legislation for an indoor firing range at the Minot Air Force Base. The senator continues his efforts to ensure strong support for the Minot Air Force Base in next year’s appropriations bills.