Hoeven: Defense Funding Legislation Invests in North Dakota Missions, Accelerates Nuclear Modernization

Senator Worked As Member of Defense Appropriations Committee to Fund Pay Raise, Nuclear Upgrades, UAS Operations & Research

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, today announced that he has secured important priorities for North Dakota in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 defense funding legislation. The bill will fully fund a 2.6 percent pay raise for military members, help modernize the nation’s nuclear forces by providing new engines and other upgrades for the B-52 as well as replacements for the nation’s cruise missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and will advance unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations in the state. The full Senate Appropriations Committee recently advanced the bill and it now awaits consideration on the Senate floor.

“North Dakota’s military members serve in critical missions around the world,” Hoeven said. “Our defense funding legislation helps provide the pay they deserve, while also delivering the resources they need to be effective in their important work. That includes accelerating our efforts to modernize our nuclear forces, ensuring our bombers, cruise missiles and ICBMs remain a credible deterrent. We also invested in our UAS surveillance and reconnaissance operations in Grand Forks as well as research in unmanned traffic management to help advance the safe integration of UAS into our national airspace. This is about supporting our service members and protecting our nation against increased threats across the globe.”

Modernizing the Nation’s Nuclear Forces

  • Nearly $625 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52. This is $10 million above the administration’s request and allows the program to continue moving ahead of schedule.
  • $555 million to sustain the existing fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • $459 million for upgrades to the B-52, including the procurement of new engines. The bill also provides $60 million to accelerate other B-52 upgrades.
  • $345 million for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent to replace the Minuteman III.
  • $288 million to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.

Advancing UAS Operations

  • $386 for the Global Hawk, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk program at the Grand Forks Air Force Base. This includes $100 million to support the Global Hawk Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN), allowing for the procurement of an additional aircraft.
  • $7.8 million for research into unmanned traffic management, $4 million above the administration’s request.

Additional Priorities

  • Fully funds a 2.6 percent pay raise for all military members.
  • $5 million to adapt the lightweight cargo loading system produced by UTC Aerospace Systems in Jamestown for the CH-52 and V-22 platforms.
  • $4 million for a helicopter pilot training initiative, similar to the ROTC flight school funding that Hoeven secured in FY2018. The senator is advocating for the military to use flight schools like the University of North Dakota (UND) to address the pilot shortage.
  • Makes significant investments in research and development funding, which will allow North Dakota State University, UND and North Dakota companies to compete to work on Department of Defense (DoD) priorities. This includes:
    • $25 million for Army advanced materials development.
    • $12 million for the DoD Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
    • $10 million for coating technologies for the Air Force.
    • $10 million for the Navy to research UAS payloads and performance.
    • $5 million for augmented reality systems for Army land vehicles.