Hoeven Reviews Minot's Dual Nuclear Missions with USAF Chief of Staff, Global Strike Commander, Bipartisan Group of Senators

Senator Working to Ensure Strong Congressional Support for Nuclear Modernization, Secure Full Funding to Keep Efforts on Schedule

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, along with U.S. Air Force (UASF) leaders and a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues, today reviewed the dual nuclear missions of the Minot Air Force Base (MAFB). The officials included:

  • General Charles Brown, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, who has now toured both the Minot Air Force Base and the Grand Forks Air Force Base in his first year as chief.
  • General Timothy Ray, Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.
  • Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, respectively.
  • Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. 
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), a member of both Senate Armed Services and the Senate Defense Appropriations Committees.

Hoeven stressed the importance of ensuring these leaders see and learn about the nuclear missions firsthand, especially as the U.S. is working to modernize its forces in order to maintain a credible deterrent and stay ahead of the capabilities of its adversaries. The visit builds on Hoeven’s work to ensure nuclear modernization efforts have strong support in the administration and Congress, are fully funded and stay on schedule.

To this end, the senator also recently made the case for nuclear modernization to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. Additionally, Hoeven is pressing the administration to conduct a Nuclear Posture Review, which would include military assessment of the value of our nuclear deterrent in the face of challenges like China, Russia and North Korea.

“We need to complete these nuclear modernization efforts so we can continue to counter emerging threats from around the globe,” said Hoeven. “Today’s visit included key figures from the Air Force and senators from both sides of the aisle, as we continue working to secure the support we need to adequately fund updates for the B-52s, cruise missiles and ICBMS and keep these programs on schedule. I appreciate General Brown and General Ray for the time and attention given to these critical issues, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to ensure our nation has a credible nuclear deterrent for years to come.”

From his position on the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to secure more than $2.3 billion to keep nuclear modernization efforts on schedule in Fiscal Year 2021. This includes:

  • Long Range Stand Off Missile: $385.4 million for the LRSO missile to replace the aging ALCM carried on the B-52.
  • Ground Based Strategic Deterrent:$1.45 billion for the GBSD to replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • Minuteman III Sustainment and Modernization: $590 million for maintenance, sustainment and continued incremental upgrades for the Minuteman III ICBM.
  • B-52: $512 million for modifications and upgrades to the B-52, including the new engine program.
  • UH-1N Replacement: $194 million to purchase the first 8 MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopters to replace the Hueys.