Hoeven: Defense Appropriations Bolster National Security, Strengthen Role of Minot Air Force Base

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today said federal legislation recently approved by Congress will strengthen America’s national security and support a robust role into the future for the Minot Air Force Base. Senator Hoeven serves on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee and was also a conferee on the joint committee that reconciled the Senate and House versions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2012, which included the defense appropriation. 

The measure includes funding to support ICBM upgrades, as well as to modify the nation’s B-52 bomber aircraft fleet. In addition, a related measure approved in the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriation will fund new B-52 munitions and maintenance facilities, as well as a new dormitory for Air Force personnel. 

“National defense and military infrastructure are priorities, and these measures will both bolster national security and strengthen the role of Minot Air Force Base,” Hoeven said. “They recognize that Minot Air Force Base, with its vital missile and bomber wings, plays a key role in defending our country.” 

Funding that will benefit Minot Air Force Base includes the following: 

Department of Defense

  • $500 million for ICBM upgrades and acquisitions, including funding for modifications to the Minuteman III, missile replacement equipment, and other technical advances to the strategic nuclear force, as well as funding for missile engineering and manufacturing development.
  • $94 million to modify the B-52 bomber aircraft fleet, including a program to enable the aircraft to carry smart weapons internally in its bomb bay, rather than on the wing, resulting in greater fuel efficiency and longer range.  Minot Air Force Base is home to both ICBM and B-52 missions. 

Military Construction and Veterans Affairs

  • $68 million that will directly impact North Dakota, including $11.8 million for a new B-52 three-Bay Conventional Munitions Maintenance facility; $34 million for a new B-52 two-Bay Phase Maintenance Dock; and $22 million for a 168-bed dormitory at Minot Air Force Base to accommodate a growing base. 

Joining Hoeven for the news conference were members of Task Force 21; Col. Jim Dawkins, 5th Bomb Wing Commander; Col. S.L. Davis, 91st Missile Wing Commander; Col. Tom Summers, 91st Missile Wing Vice Commander; CMSgt Kevin Jurgella, 5th Bomb Wing Command Chief; CMSgt Dave McLain, 91st Missile Wing Acting Command Chief; Lt. Col Randy Morris, 5th Mission Support Group Commander; Lt Col Barry Eddins, 5th Comptroller Squadron Commander; Mr. Tracy Denham, 91st Missile Wing Financial Manager.