Hoeven: NDAA Strengthens Minot Air Force Base Missions

Senator Worked to Secure Authorization for New Helicopters, Updates to ICBM and B-52

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today held a roundtable meeting with Minot military and community leaders to outline provisions he worked to secure in the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will support the missions at Minot Air Force Base (MAFB). The bill authorizes funding to begin replacing the Huey helicopters, research and develop the next generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), continue upgrades and modernization to the B-52 bomber and develop a new nuclear cruise missile to carry on the B-52.

Hoeven was joined by Minot Mayor Chuck Barney, Minot Chamber of Commerce President John MacMartin, 5th Bomb Wing Commander Colonel Matthew Brooks, 91st Missile Wing Commander Colonel Colin J. Connor, as well as members of Task Force 21 and the Minot Chamber Military Affairs Committee.

“The Defense Authorization legislation provides our troops with the resources they need to succeed in their missions. That includes strong provisions to update and improve our nuclear forces,” said Hoeven. “As home to two legs of our nuclear triad, these initiatives are particularly important to the missions at Minot Air Force Base. That’s why we worked hard to secure funding to replace the Huey helicopters and to make important upgrades to the B-52 bomber and its cruise missile.”

Specifically, the bill includes:

• $18 million in authorized funding for the Air Force to begin replacing the UH-1N Huey helicopter that provides security for the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) located around Minot Air Force Base
• $114 million authorized for research and development on a next generation ICBM to replace the existing Minuteman III
• Continuing upgrades to the B-52’s internal weapons bay and authorizing new projects to modernize the B-52, which includes developing a new advanced radar system and equipping Line of Sight Tactical Data Link (TDL); currently the B-52 is the only combat aircraft without Line of Sight TDL
• $95 million authorized for research and development on a new nuclear cruise missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52

Congress passed NDAA late last week and sent the bill to the president to be signed into law.

Hoeven today also led the Senate ICBM Coalition in calling on the next administration and Congress to support nuclear deterrence and support modernization of the nuclear triad, including replacing the existing land-based ICBM fleet.