Hoeven Meets With Air Force Secretary, Chief of Staff

Discusses Important Role of Minot and Grand Forks Air Force Bases

WASHINGTON – Senator Hoeven today spoke on national defense issues important to the U.S. Air Force and North Dakota’s bases with U.S. Air Force Air Force Secretary Michael Donley and Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz during a meeting of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, of which Hoeven is a member. 

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for both Secretary Donley and General Schwartz, and I appreciated the opportunity to share with them what we are doing in Congress to support the work they need done. As our military pursues budget savings, we need to be looking at the most cost-effective means of ensuring our country’s safety, which include maintaining the nuclear triad and Global Hawk missions,” Hoeven said.

Hoeven discussed the important role of Minot Air Force Base, which is home to nuclear-capable bomber jets and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, two legs of the “nuclear triad.” Yesterday, the Senate passed the Defense Authorization Act, which includes authorization measures to strengthen the U.S. nuclear triad. Updating and maintaining the triad is a cost-effective means for our nation’s defense, given the threats the country faces and its responsibilities to allies, Hoeven said. The bill also supports enhancements to another Minot Air Force Base mission, the B-52 bomber aircraft fleet, which could be made capable of carrying smart weapons in its bomb bay in addition to its wings, which would make the aircraft more fuel efficient and useful.

Additionally, the senator thanked the officials for the help the Air Force has provided to Minot Air Force Base after major flooding in the area earlier this year.

Hoeven also discussed the importance of maintaining support for the Global Hawk mission at Grand Forks Air Force Base as a necessary component of national security. The Defense Authorization Act authorizes full funding for the Global Hawk Reconnaissance unmanned aerial system, which provides vital and cost-effective intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data for military operations. 

            Hoeven was appointed to the Board of Visitors in May by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The Board includes two members of the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Hoeven is a member.

Hoeven AFA Board

Senator John Hoeven, center, stands with Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley, left, and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Norton Schwartz during a meeting of the Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, of which Hoeven is a member.