Hoeven Kicks Off Statewide Military Tour in Minot, Outlines FY24 Defense Funding To Modernize Minot AFB Dual Nuclear Mission

Senator Spoke with AF Chief of Staff Allvin

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, today kicked off a statewide military tour at a roundtable with Minot’s Task Force 21 to outline the recently passed fiscal year (FY) 2024 Defense Appropriations Bill, which provides strong support for the nation’s military while bolstering North Dakota’s role in the nation’s defense. The bill increases defense spending by 3 percent and includes a 5.2 percent raise for military members. At the same time, it bolsters North Dakota’s military role, including:

  • Minot: Advances modernization of the nuclear triad, including missions at Minot Air Force Base, the nation’s only dual-nuclear base.
  • Grand Forks: Provides full-funding for the Space Development Agency and Test Resource Management Center to execute their missions at Grand Forks and keep it the tip of the spear for space and hypersonic missions.
  • National Guard: $15 million in funding to plan for a new Guard training center for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, potentially located in Grand Forks.
  • Statewide Defense Research and Development: Provides more than $100 million for new military technologies being developed in North Dakota communities, including Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo.

“The FY24 Defense Appropriations legislation provides strong support for our military and bolsters North Dakota’s growing role in the defense of our nation. We kicked off our military tour in Minot today to outline this important funding because our nuclear triad is the bedrock of our national defense. But our nuclear forces were developed during the Cold War and need to be overhauled to deter any adversary from challenging the United States. This legislation makes the investments we need to strengthen deterrence,” said Hoeven.  “Importantly, we secured funding to continue upgrading the B-52 bomber and its engines, and provide millions for the new weapon it will carry. At the same time, the bill provides strong funding to develop and procure a new intercontinental ballistic missile and keeps Minot on track to receive new Grey Wolf helicopters to secure the ICBMs around the base.”

Specifically, Hoeven outlined FY24 funding important to Minot Air Force Base’s dual nuclear mission, including:

Sentinel Land-Based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)

  • $4.5 billion for ongoing research and development and early procurement of key components of the new ICBM, as well as $200 million to increase capacity for silo construction.
  • $1 billion in the FY24 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for the W87-1 warhead, the payload that will be carried on Sentinel.

B-52 Upgrades

  • $1 billion for ongoing updates to the B-52, including $600 million to support new engines, as well as modernization of the radar and upgrades to the secure communications equipment carried on board.

Long Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO)

  • $969 million for development and engineering on the new LRSO, which will be carried on the B-52.
  • $1 billion in the FY24 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for the LRSO warhead, the W80-4, to ensure warhead development keeps pace with the missile.

MH-139 Grey Wolf Helicopters

  • Continues procurement of the Grey Wolf, the replacement for the Vietnam-era Huey helicopters, with Minot in line to receive the Grey Wolf in the coming years.
  • This follows the senator securing more than $138 million in military construction funding over the past five years for a new helicopter facility at MAFB to accommodate the Grey Wolf. Construction started on the facility last summer and is expected to be completed in late 2026.

Additionally, Hoeven updated Task Force 21 on his discussion with Air Force Chief of Staff General David Allvin this morning, where they discussed the Air Force’s FY25 budget request and the outlook on various nuclear modernization programs.

Hoeven will continue his state-wide military tour to highlight North Dakota’s growing role in U.S. national defense and to outline important priorities included for the state’s missions in the FY24 defense funding legislation, which he helped author. Minot is the first stop of the military tour, with meetings to follow in Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo over the next week.