Hoeven Meets with Air Force Chief of Staff Goldfein

Senator Secures Commitment from Goldfein to Update Nuclear Forces, Visit North Dakota to Review UAS Development and Global Hawk Mission

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week met with Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein to discuss North Dakota defense priorities including upgrading the nation’s nuclear forces and developing unmanned aerial systems (UAS) capabilities. Additionally, General Goldfein committed to visit North Dakota to review UAS development and the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission at of Grand Forks Air Force Base.

Hoeven again secured commitments from General Goldfein to advance North Dakota defense priorities, including:

  • Updating the nation’s nuclear forces, including the B-52s, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and the air-launched cruise missiles for the Minot Air Force Base.
  • Continued development of UAS, including the need for ISR capabilities provided by the Grand Forks Air Force Base Global Hawk.
  • Advancing the Arctic mission to ensure U.S. interests and presence in the region. Hoeven has been working to secure a role for UAS and Grand Forks Air Force Base in the Arctic. 

“I had a good meeting with General Goldfein to discuss North Dakota Air Force priorities,” said Hoeven. “As chief of staff of the Air Force, his commitment to advancing important initiatives for the Grand Forks and Minot Air Force Bases is extremely valuable. We appreciate his support in helping to upgrade our nuclear forces, including the B-52s and ICBMs, which are vital for Minot Air Force Base. At the same time, General Goldfein, who visited Grand Forks in 2016, agreed to come to North Dakota again this year to see firsthand the development of UAS capabilities in our state and to review the ISR mission at Grand Forks Air Force Base.”

Minot Air Force Base

As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven is working to ensure updates to the nation’s nuclear forces remain on schedule so the U.S. will have a strong deterrent for decades to come. In fiscal year 2019, Hoeven secured strong support for:  

  • The Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • The Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) fleet, including the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent program to replace the Minuteman III.
  • Upgrades for the B-52, including new engines.
  • replacement for the Vietnam-era Huey helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.

Grand Forks Air Force Base

Hoeven and General Goldfein outlined their continued commitment to develop the Air Force’s Global Hawk capabilities, including the ISR mission out of Grand Forks Air Force Base. Additionally, Hoeven encouraged Goldfein to secure U.S. interests in the Arctic utilizing the UAS capabilities at Grand Forks Air Force Base. 

Hoeven hosted General Goldfein for a visit the Grand Forks in 2016 area to see firsthand the unique convergence of military, government and private UAS research, development, operations and training in the region.