Hoeven Outlines Growing Need For Modern Nuclear Deterrent, Efforts To Advance MAFB Priorities At Task Force 21 Conference

Through Appropriations Committee, Senator Secured Strong FY 2019 Funding for Minot Missions, Including New B-52 Engines, Missile Replacements & Helicopter Facility

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today outlined the growing importance of a modern nuclear deterrent and his efforts to secure critical funding for upgrades to the nation’s forces, including the dual-nuclear mission at the Minot Air Force Base. Hoeven delivered the remarks at the 2018 Triad Conference, an annual event hosted by Task Force 21. Earlier this year, the senator joined members of the task force at the Pentagon to advance the priorities of the Minot base with Air Force officials, including Matt Donovan, Under Secretary of the Air Force, and Lt. Gen. Jack Weinstein, Deputy Chief of Staff of Strategic Deterrence and Nuclear Integration.

“As we continue to face rogue regimes and instability around the world, the efforts of the men and women at the Minot Air Force Base become ever more important,” Hoeven said. “That’s why we’ve worked hard to revitalize our nation’s nuclear forces. This is a goal toward which we continue to make tremendous progress, having secured strong funding this year for new B-52 engines, the missile replacement programs, warhead refurbishment and improved helicopter security for our missile fields. We appreciate the persistence and determination of all of our partners, both from local organizations like Task Force 21 and in the administration, in moving these priorities forward. But there is still more to do, and I will continue my efforts to ensure our nuclear deterrent has the capabilities needed to protect our nation against threats for years to come.”

Hoeven serves as a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, as well as the committees overseeing appropriations for energy development and military construction. Through these roles, the senator successfully included the following priorities in the Fiscal Year 2019 funding bills, which were recently passed by Congress and signed into law:

  • Nearly $665 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) carried on the B-52. This is $50 million above the administration’s request and allows the program to continue moving ahead of schedule.
  • $655 million to extend the life of the W80 warhead, which flies on the ALCM at Minot Air Force Base and will transfer to the LRSO replacement missile.
  • Nearly $540 million to sustain the existing fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • $414 million for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) program to replace the Minuteman III.
  • $400 million for upgrades to the B-52, including the procurement of new engines
  • $258 million to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopters used to secure the ICBM silos.
  • $66 million for a new helicopter facility at the Minot Air Force Base. The existing facilities are aging and will not accommodate new helicopters that will replace the Hueys.
  • $53 million to refurbish the W78 warheads that fly on the Minuteman III and will transfer to the replacement missile following the GBSD program.