Hoeven Meets with NORTHCOM Commander About Challenges of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

Senator Outlines Resources Available in Grand Forks to Help Address Issues

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, this week met with General Glen VanHerck, Commander of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), to discuss recent issues with unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) and how to better address these national security concerns. Hoeven outlined resources and partners currently operating in the Grand Forks region that can play an important role in the Department of Defense strategy for countering UAPs.

“Given the recent challenges of UAPs, it is vital that our nation develop an effective strategy for defending our airspace and homeland. As the head of NORTHCOM and NORAD, General VanHerck is in charge of securing our national airspace,” said Hoeven. “We had a good meeting and think that North Dakota has a lot of resources that could be brought to bear in terms of countering UAPs. We’ll continue to work with General VanHerck and others on addressing this very important defense issue for our country.”

Specifically, Hoeven outlined important capabilities and assets in Grand Forks, including:

  • The early warning radar at Cavalier Space Force Station.
  • The RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 40, based at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
  • The MQ-9 Reaper, based at Hector Field in Fargo.
  • An MQ-9 variant flown by Customs and Border Protection out of Grand Forks.
  • Expanded radar coverage of North Dakota airspace in support of unmanned aircraft operations near Grand Forks and eventually across the state.
  • Unmanned aviation system (UAS) partnerships through the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.
  • University of North Dakota research and development of counter-UAS measures.