Hoeven Joins Bipartisan Group of Senators and Representatives in Urging Secretary of Defense to Replace UH-1N Helicopters

Average Age of UH-1N “Huey” Helicopter Is 40 Years

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and chairman of the Senate Air Force Caucus, this week joined a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers in urging Secretary of Defense James Mattis to replace old UH-1N “Huey” helicopters with newer, more capable helicopters. Huey helicopters provide security for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) located around Minot Air Force Base.

“We need to replace the Air Force’s old and outdated Huey helicopter fleet,” Hoeven said. “U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) has repeatedly called on the Air Force to replace the Huey and we have included funding to acquire new helicopters, but efforts to upgrade the fleet have been delayed. We need to stop the delays and modernize the fleet of helicopters that protect our nation’s ICBMs.”

In a meeting this week with the nominee to be secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson, Hoeven emphasized the importance of maintaining and modernizing the nuclear triad, of which two of three legs are located at Minot Air Force Base. In the most recent National Defense Authorization Act, Hoeven worked to secure $18 million in funding for the Air Force to begin replacing Huey helicopters.

The letter was organized by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Also signing onto the letter were Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), and Representatives John Larson (D-CT), Jim Himes (D-CT), Liz Cheney (R-WY), Tom Reed (R-NY) and Adrian Smith (R-NE).

Text of the letter is available here.