Hoeven, Delegation, Task Force 21 Press Pentagon to Continue Support for Nuclear Force Improvement Program

Senator Announces Nearly $200 Million for New Cruise Missile Warhead

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven and the state’s congressional delegation today joined members of Task Force 21 to press the Pentagon to continue support of the Nuclear Force Improvement Program (NFIP) launched by the Air Force last year. The program is designed to improve mission effectiveness, culture, morale and target areas in need of investment. The group voiced their support for the NFIP and North Dakota’s air force bases with Air Force Chief of Staff General Mark Welsh at the Pentagon.

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the ICBM Coalition, Hoeven has worked to support Minot Air Force Base’s dual mission of bombers and missiles. Today he announced that the Appropriations Energy and Water Committee has included $195 million for a program that will upgrade the warhead for the new Air Force long range standoff (LRSO) cruise missile.

“Minot Air Force Base is important to North Dakota and the community of Minot, but far more importantly, we need to remember that it protects all of America with its two legs of the nuclear triad,” Hoeven said. “That’s why we continue to work with the Air Force on initiatives to implement necessary upgrades not only to the cruise missile warhead, but also other projects to ensure we continue to have a modern, effective fleet.”

Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Military Construction, meets regularly with senior Air Force officials to build support for the nation’s military defenses and North Dakota’s air force bases. He has also worked to upgrade military infrastructure, including the runway at the Minot Air Force Base, which had been in use for 50 years. Hoeven was in Minot in September to celebrate the completion of the new runway project.

Over the past four fiscal years, Hoeven has secured more than $181 million in construction funding for Minot Air Force Base to complete key projects, including:

  • Control Tower/Base Operations Facility - $18.77 million
  • B-52 Two-Bay Phase Maintenance Dock - $34 million
  • B-52 3-Bay Conventional Munitions Maintenance Facility - $11.8 million
  • 168-room Dormitory - $22 million
  • Munitions Aerospace Ground Equipment Facility - $4.6 million
  • B-52 Aircraft Maintenance Facility - $15.53 million
  • B-52 Munitions Storage Igloos - $8.3 million
  • Fuel Pipeline Replacement - $6.4 million
  • High Fidelity Trainer Storage - $1.44 million
  • Multi-Cube Storage Structure for Conventional Munitions - $2 million
  • Runway Replacement - $57 million

Hoeven has been a strong advocate for the nation’s Nuclear Triad, and used his position on the Appropriations Committee to secure the future of the missile silos at the Minot Air Force Base. The senator authored a provision in the Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill last year that blocked the administration from following through on a plan to eliminate missile silos at the Minot base. The White House subsequently withdrew the plan.

Hoeven also worked to include provisions in the Fiscal Year 2015 DoD Appropriations bill that will strengthen America’s national security and support missions at North Dakota’s bases. That includes $21.6 million for the Nuclear Force Improvement Program to refurbish ICBM launch control centers, improve access roads and replace and upgrade basic equipment used by ICBM and nuclear security forces personnel.