Hoeven: Deputy Secretary of Defense Confirms Commitment to Nuclear Modernization Efforts

Senator Presses Administration to Include Full Funding in Budget Request, Conduct Nuclear Posture Review

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week spoke with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks to secure her commitment for nuclear modernization efforts. Hoeven outlined the vital missions of the Minot Air Force Base in hosting two legs of the nuclear triad, and pressed Hicks to keep nuclear modernization efforts on schedule. Specifically, the senator urged the administration to fully fund nuclear modernization efforts in the President’s budget request, including:

  • Upgrades to the B-52, including the new engine program.
  • The new Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) carried on the B-52.
  • The new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), which will replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • replacement helicopter for the aging UH-1 helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.

Additionally, Hoeven pressed the administration to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review, which would include military assessment of the value of our nuclear deterrent in the face of challenges from adversaries like China, Russia and North Korea. 

“We appreciate Deputy Secretary Hicks confirming her support for the nuclear triad,” said Hoeven. “Now, we need the administration to include full funding in the President’s detailed budget request to keep our nuclear modernization efforts on schedule. As the only dual nuclear base in the country, these modernization efforts support the vital work being done at Minot Air Force Base. We worked hard to secure full funding for these efforts in Fiscal Year 2021 and will continue working to advance these vital security programs.”

From his position on the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to secure more than $2.3 billion to keep nuclear modernization efforts on schedule in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021. Specifically, Hoeven secured the following priorities for FY2021:

  • Long Range Stand Off Missile:  $385.4 million for the LRSO missile to replace the aging ALCM carried on the B-52.
  • Ground Based Strategic Deterrent:  $1.45 billion for the GBSD to replace the Minuteman III ICBM.
  • Minuteman III Sustainment and Modernization:  $590 million for maintenance, sustainment and continued incremental upgrades for the Minuteman III ICBM.
  • B-52:  $512 million for modifications and upgrades to the B-52, including the new engine program.
  • UH-1N Replacement:  $194 million to purchase the first 8 MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters to replace the Hueys.