Hoeven Enlists Support From Air Force Officials for Growing Mission at Minot Air Force Base

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. John Hoeven offered his support for the Air Force’s expansion plans at Minot Air Force Base and pressed officials to adequately equip the base for the arrival of new B-52s at a hearing with Air Force Assistant Secretary Terry Yonkers and other Air Force officials at a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Subcommittee.  

Hoeven noted the growth in operations at Minot Air Force Base, which is now home to the 23rd Bomb Squadron, along with a second, new flying squadron, the 69th Bomb Squadron.  Expanding missions have added pressure to infrastructure on the base and Hoeven urged the Air Force to continue moving forward on fiscal year 2011 construction projects. 

Funding for a new control tower and a training center at Camp Grafton are now authorized to move forward following passage yesterday of H.R. 1473, a continuing resolution providing funding for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.  

Hoeven is also working to support three additional Air Force priorities for fiscal year 2012 at Minot Air Force Base including a B-52 maintenance dock, a B-52 munitions maintenance facility, and a new dormitory. 

With the Minot community growing to over 40,000 people, Hoeven pressed the need for adequate housing and dormitories for the airmen serving our country.  

“Your young outstanding airmen are coming in without a place to live right away,” Hoeven said. “The dormitories issue is really important.”  

Yonkers acknowledged that many dorms need upgrading and reassured Hoeven that the Air Force will meet its goal to do so by 2017.   

Hoeven also pressed officials to ensure that plans to enhance the runway at the base are on schedule. Military construction funding will be used to expand the taxiway as a temporary runway, enabling the full runway to be repaired so that it can accommodate the B-52s. According to Yonkers, plans to complete the runway are on track and should be completed within 2-3 years.