Hoeven: More than 300 Personnel Coming to Minot Air Force Base

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today announced that Minot Air Force Base will grow by 303 positions under the Air Force’s Nuclear Force Improvement Program. The 5th Bomb Wing host unit is expected to increase by 69 positions in areas including operations and maintenance. The 91st Missile Wing will grow by 234 positions. Those Airmen will primarily serve in jobs such as operations, maintenance, and security forces.

Hoeven met in June with Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command to discuss the Nuclear Force Improvement Program (NFIP), which the Air Force launched earlier this year to strengthen the Air Force’s nuclear mission.

Wilson told Hoeven that as a result of the new initiative, he expects more than 1,000 personnel will be added to Global Strike Command, which is comprised of five bases, including the Minot Air Force Base. The general could not provide a figure at the time, but he said many will be stationed in Minot, which is home to both a missile wing and the B-52 bomber wing.

A number of the new personnel will be senior NCO positions, which require skills in security, maintenance and operational logistics. Wilson also said he expects the program to make investments in facilities at Global Strike Command’s five bases, including Minot.

Overall, the goal of the NFIP is to make organizational changes in the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) force, improve facilities at nuclear bases and revise and improve nuclear training and evaluation procedures.

“The summary objective of the Nuclear Force Improvement Program is to modernize and strengthen the nation’s nuclear forces,” Hoeven said. “Minot Air Force Base, with both a bomber wing and a missile wing, is clearly a vital part of that mission, which this increase in personnel signifies.”

Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, worked to include provisions in the Fiscal Year 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) Appropriations bill that will strengthen America’s national security and support missions at North Dakota’s bases. That includes $21.6 million for the Nuclear Force Improvement Program to refurbish ICBM launch control centers, improve access roads, and replace and upgrade basic equipment used by ICBM and nuclear security forces personnel.