Hoeven Meets with New Head of Global Strike Command, Outlines Importance of Minot AFB as Nation's Only Base with Dual Nuclear Missions

Senator Reviews Investments in Helicopters, Bombers and Missiles

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week met with General Thomas Bussiere, the new commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, to outline the importance of Minot Air Force Base, the only base in the nation with dual nuclear missions. 

“I had a good meeting with General Bussiere, the new commander of Global Strike Command,” said Hoeven. “We discussed the incredible investments we’re making in the Minot Air Force Base, including the helicopters, missiles, and bombers. This is vitally important to the defense of our nation as Minot is the only dual nuclear mission base in the country. Only the best come north, which is why we continue working to ensure that we modernize our nuclear assets for the men and women at Minot Air Force Base.”

Specifically, Hoeven discussed work to modernize the base’s nuclear forces and investments in:

  • MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters to replace the Vietnam-era UH-1N Huey helicopters, which are currently used to secure Minot’s missile silos. 
  • Upgrades to the B-52 bombers, including the new engine program.
  • The new Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) carried on the B-52.
  • The new Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), also known as Sentinel, which will replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • Air Force Weapons Generation Facilities to ensure Minot Air Force Base has the facilities necessary to maintain and store future nuclear weapon systems, including the new ICBM and the new nuclear cruise missile in coming years.
    • Hoeven included a provision in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) directing the Air Force to provide Congress with a detailed schedule for the construction of Weapons Generation Facilities across its nuclear installations and instructing the Air Force to submit a plan to modify existing Weapons Storage Areas to handle modernized nuclear weapons systems.