Hoeven: Grand Forks Air Force Base to Take Command of E-11 Aircraft Fleet

Senator Working to Ensure 319th RW Leads in Future Air Force ISR Missions

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the U.S. Air Force announced that the 319th Reconnaissance Wing (RW) at Grand Forks Air Force Base will take command of the new E-11 Battlefield Airborne Control Node aircraft mission, based at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. This comes as a result of the senator’s efforts to position Grand Forks to lead future Air Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Hoeven has repeatedly made this case to Air Force leadership, including Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown, Jr., and previously secured commitments from the Air Force to:

  • Keep the 319th RW at the core of its ISR efforts.
  • Utilize the 319th RW for developing and training a new crew force and expanding operational employment tactics for future ISR systems.

“We’ve worked to make Grand Forks a premiere hub for the Air Force’s ISR operations,” said Hoeven. “Placing the E-11 mission under the 319th RW’s command further reinforces these efforts and is a testament to the excellent work of our servicemembers in Grand Forks.”

In addition, Hoeven has worked as a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee to grow the base’s missions by: 

  • Working to convert Grand Forks to an ISR wing and re-designate the base as the lead for all U.S. Air Force Global Hawk operations.
  • Upgrading the Global Hawk to support the widest possible set of missions.
    • Hoeven secured $29 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 for upgrades to allow the aircraft to reroute around adverse weather conditions.
    • The senator also worked to include provisions in FY2021 funding legislation and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to restrict the retirement of the Global Hawk.
  • Establishing a new space networking center in Grand Forks and linking it with unmanned aircraft operations in the Red River Valley, including the 319th RW.
    • Hoeven recently hosted Space Development Agency Director Dr. Derek Tournear in North Dakota toreview these efforts.