Hoeven Makes the Case for Strengthening Missions in Minot, Grand Forks and Fargo to Air Force and Space Force Leaders

Senator Outlines Importance of Nuclear Modernization, Role of UAS in Supporting Success & Safety of Servicemembers across the Globe

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week met in a classified briefing with Gen. David Goldfein and Gen. John Raymond, the chiefs of staff for the Air Force and Space Force, respectively, and other Air Force leaders to discuss national security threats across the globe and the important role that North Dakota’s bases play in defending the nation.

Hoeven discussed the two nuclear missions in Minot with the military leaders, as well as the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) missions in Grand Forks and Fargo. The senator made the case for strengthening support for these missions, stressing:

  • The continued nuclear ambitions of the nation’s adversaries, including China and Russia, who are working to overcome current U.S. nuclear capabilities.
  • The importance of intelligence-gathering and kinetic UAS operations in helping ensure the success and safety of servicemembers around the world.

“This meeting was about looking to the future of our nation’s defense and working with military leaders, like Generals Goldfein and Raymond, to identify opportunities to strengthen and better leverage the capabilities of North Dakota’s air bases,” said Hoeven. “Considering the investments other nations are making in their nuclear programs, we need to continue modernizing our nuclear forces, including those in Minot, to ensure we have a credible deterrent. Further, our state is leading the way in developing UAS technology, and these advancements offer a real opportunity to improve security at home and abroad, building on the success of the existing Global Hawk and Reaper missions.”

In order to help address the above issues, Hoeven funded the following programs in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations legislation and will continue advancing these priorities in the coming fiscal years:

Minot Air Force Base

  • Upgrades to the B-52, including the procurement of new engines.
  • The Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • The Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) to replace the Minuteman III.
  • The replacement for the UH-1N Huey helicopters used to provide security for the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos.
  • Additional funding for a new helicopter facility in Minot.

Grand Forks & Fargo UAS Missions

  • The RQ-4 Global Hawk program at Grand Forks Air Force Base.  
  • The BACN payload flown on the Global Hawk. 
  • The MQ-9 Reapers, which are flown by the 119th Wing in Fargo and at Grand Sky UAS Research and Development Park in Grand Forks.