Hoeven, Northrop Grumman Break Ground at New Grand Sky Tech Park

World-Class Tech Company Expects to Occupy Offices in Late 2016

GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today joined executives from Northrop Grumman and state and local officials to break ground on the global aerospace and defense technology giant’s new office building at Grand Sky, Grand Forks County’s new technology park. In 2012, Hoeven first brought Northrop Grumman leaders to North Dakota to showcase opportunities in the Grand Forks region as part of his work to build the area into a premier hub for unmanned aerial systems (UAS) development.

“Grand Sky was just a concept three years when we first brought Northrop Grumman leaders to the Grand Forks region to highlight the tremendous opportunities here. Today marks a big milestone as that concept moves to construction,” said Hoeven. “We are happy to have Northrop Grumman serve as our anchor tenant at Grand Sky and provide their top-notch UAS expertise. Grand Forks Air Force Base, the University of North Dakota and other partners will provide the right environment to put their knowledge and innovation to good use. This is the kind of partnership that is building this region into a premier hub for UAS.”

The new 36,000-square-foot facility will be used to conduct UAS research, air crew and maintenance training and other operations and is expected to be occupied in late 2016. The company has leased 10 acres of land and committed over $10 million to this initial project at Grand Sky as part of their long-term commitment to North Dakota. Northrop Grumman expects to have up to 100 employees working at the site after the first phase of construction, with additional employees added over time.

Hoeven thanked Northrup Grumman Sector VP and General Manager of Unmanned Systems Janis Pamiljans, who attended the event on behalf of Northrop Grumman, for the company’s commitment to Grand Sky. Hoeven also recently met with Northrop Grumman Chairman, CEO and President Wes Bush to express appreciation for his work and that of Corporate VP and President of Aerospace Systems Tom Vice on the Grand Sky partnership. 

Hoeven worked to build the relationship between the company and Grand Forks. In 2012, the senator brought Northrop Grumman senior executives to meet with Grand Forks stakeholders to see firsthand the opportunities Grand Forks and the region have to offer the company. Two years ago the company and its partners signed a historic strategic alliance agreement with the Grand Forks Base Realignment Impact Committee (BRIC), UND, UND Aerospace Foundation (UNDAF) and Northland Aerospace Foundation to forge the new partnership. In April, Hoeven announced that Northrop Grumman had signed the lease agreement to be the anchor tenant at Grand Sky.

The senator also played a key role in getting approval for an Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) between the U.S. Air Force and Grand Forks County, which was signed in February. The lease enabled the county to build Grand Sky on approximately 217 acres on the Grand Forks Air Force Base, , which in 2012 was designated one of six national test sites for integrating UAS into the National Airspace. Hoeven worked to include language in the 2012 Federal Aviation Administration Authorization bill to create the sites.

Senator Hoeven is a member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee.