Hoeven Hosts Energy Secretary for Review of Minot Air Force Base Nuclear Missions

As a Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven Secured Funding for DOE to Refurbish and Extend ICBM, Cruise Missiles

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources and Senate Appropriations Committees, today hosted Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, along with Senator Kevin Cramer, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, for a review of Minot Air Force Base’s nuclear missions. The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for refurbishing and extending the life of the nation’s nuclear warheads, including those placed on the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and cruise missiles operated at Minot Air Force Base.

Through his role on the Senate Energy and Water Development Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured in Fiscal Year (FY) 2020:

  • $899 million to advance a redesigned cruise missile warhead; and
  • $112 million to develop options for updating the ICBM warhead.

Hoeven, who also serves on the Defense Appropriations Committee, secured FY2020 funding for the systems that will deliver these warheads, including:

  • $713 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) program to replace the existing nuclear cruise missile; and
  • $557 million for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to replace the existing ICBM.

“We appreciate this opportunity for Secretary Brouillette to see firsthand the integral role of the Minot Air Force Base in our nation’s nuclear defense,” said Senator Hoeven. “The Department of Energy is an important partner with the Department of Defense in ensuring that our nation maintains a credible nuclear deterrent, as DOE designs and manufactures our warheads. DOE efforts to refurbish and extend the life of the ICBM and cruise missile warheads are critical to the future of Minot AFB and its nuclear missions, and I look forward to continuing to work with Secretary Brouillette to ensure that refurbished and modernized warheads are ready when the Air Force deploys the Long Range Stand Off nuclear cruise missile and the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, which is our next generation ICBM.”

“Nuclear security is a critical component of our Nation’s national defense, which is why DOE’s mission to maintain and modernize our nuclear stockpile is imperative to our national security,” said Secretary Brouillette. “It was great to be out in Minot, North Dakota today alongside Senator Hoeven and Senator Cramer to see first-hand the incredible work the dedicated men and women of the Minot Air Force Base conduct day-to-day to keep our country safe and secure.”

Today’s visit to Minot Air Force Base is the first stop on the Secretary’s visit to North Dakota, and will be followed by energy roundtables in the state. Hoeven invited Secretary Brouillette to come to North Dakota to see firsthand Energy Department priorities in the state.

During the Secretary’s visit, Hoeven also outlined provisions in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to support Minot Air Force Base and DOE’s work. The Senator helped to pass the NDAA through the Senate in July and worked to ensure the legislation continues authorization for nuclear modernization efforts that support the missions at Minot Air Force Base, including:

  • Authorizing upgrades to the B-52, including the new engine program.
  • A new nuclear cruise missile, the Long Range Stand Off missile, to replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • Authorization for the new cruise missile warheads.
  • $1.5 billion in funding authority for the new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), the replacement for the Minuteman III.
    • Hoeven included an amendment to prevent delays in deploying the GBSD. All nuclear weapons must be capable of withstanding electro-magnetic pulses (EMPs). Hoeven’s amendment requires the Air Force to report on how the GBSD will be protected from EMPs to keep the replacement on schedule.
  • Prohibiting the reduction of ICBMs to any lower than the currently deployed 400 missiles.
  • Authorization for a replacement helicopter for the aging UH-1 helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.