Hoeven: President Signs Defense Authorization into Law
Bill Supports North Dakota Missions & Troops, Includes Hoeven UAS Pilot Amendment
WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today issued the following statement after the president signed into law the Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation provides strong support for North Dakota’s defense missions, helps modernize the nation’s nuclear deterrent and improves pay and benefits for the troops, including authorizing health care benefits for Guard members deployed on pre-planned missions.
Additionally, Hoeven included a provision enabling National Guard unmanned aircraft pilots to receive timely training from civilian contractors, like General Atomics, which has an unmanned aerial systems (UAS) training facility at Grand Sky Technology Park.
“The president has now signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, which provides strong support for the military missions in North Dakota, as well as the pay and benefits our men and women in uniform deserve,” said Hoeven. “The legislation also includes our provision to enable UAS pilot in the National Guard to train using facilities like Grand Sky Technology Park. North Dakota plays a vital role in our national defense strategy with our nuclear deterrent in Minot to the UAS intelligence and targeting in Grand Forks. This legislation authorizes tools and funding to support these missions.”
Support for North Dakota Missions
- Authorizes nearly $300 million for the Global Hawk, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk program at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
- $108.6 million in authorized funding for the Air Force to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopter that provides security for the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) located around Minot Air Force Base.
- $586 million authorized to sustain the existing fleet of ICBMs and $215.7 million for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to develop a replacement for the existing Minuteman III.
- Authorizes $221.4 million for upgrades to the B-52 and $451 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
- Hoeven’s amendment authorizes the National Guard to send unmanned aircraft pilots to a civilian contractor for training if the Air Force lacks the capacity to train pilots in a timely fashion. The amendment ensures that pilots are able to train using UAS training academies, like those at Grand Sky Technology Park, adjacent to Grand Forks Air Force Base. Hoeven played a key role in bringing Northrop Grumman and General Atomics to Grand Sky to establish these training facilities.
Support for the Troops
- Authorizes a 2.4 percent across-the-board pay raise for members of the uniformed services.
- Authorizes health care benefits for members of the National Guard who are deployed for pre-planned operations. This will help members of the North Dakota Guard who deploy to Washington, DC as part of Operation Noble Eagle. Hoeven has sponsored legislation that addresses these benefits.
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