Hoeven Secures Commitment from Chair of Joint Chiefs of Staff General Brown to Continue Nuclear Modernization, Maintain ISR Capabilities

Senator Working to Support Dual Nuclear Mission at Minot and Grand Forks ISR Mission

WASHINGTON – At a hearing of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee this week, Senator John Hoeven secured a commitment from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown to continue modernizing the U.S. nuclear deterrent, especially the intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that make up the land-based leg of the nuclear triad, and to ensure the U.S. maintains its advantages in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.

“With challenges and growing unrest around the globe, it’s more important than ever that our men and women in uniform have the capabilities and tools necessary to deter our enemies and keep us safe,” said Hoeven. “We secured a commitment from General Brown to continue modernizing our nuclear deterrent, including our ICBMs, which is vital to Minot Air Force Base. At the same time, General Brown also agreed that we need to field advanced ISR capabilities, which Grand Forks Air Force Base is leading the way in providing, to support our forces worldwide. These are vital missions for our state and the defense of our nation.”

Specifically, Hoeven outlined the importance of:

  • Continuing the modernization of U.S. nuclear forces, including the dual-nuclear mission in Minot.
    • In particular, Hoeven pressed General Brown to support the modernized intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
    • This follows Hoeven’s efforts to secure full funding in fiscal year (FY) 2024 for the Sentinel ICBM program, updates to the B-52 bomber and its engine, developing the Long-Range Standoff Weapon (LRSO) carried on the B-52, warheads for the new ICBM and LRSO and continued procurement of the Grey Wolf helicopters.
  • Securing the future of ISR missions, like those led by the Grand Forks Air Force Base.
    • As part of annual defense funding and authorization bills, Hoeven has repeatedly passed a prohibition on retiring the Global Hawk fleet and worked to ensure full funding for the mission.
    • The senator secured a commitment from General Brown to support ISR and prevent future gaps in U.S. ISR capabilities.