Hoeven: Senate Approves National Defense Authorization Act with Hoeven Priorities

Senator Worked to Support ND Defense Priorities, Including Satellite Missions for GFAFB, Nuclear Modernizations for MAFB, Guard Education Benefits

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, today outlined provisions he was able to secure in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was approved by the Senate today.

“We need to support the men and women who defend our nation, and that’s exactly what this NDAA does,” said Hoeven. “We worked to end the Defense Department’s COVID vaccine mandate as part of this legislation and to provide our troops with a pay raise. At the same time it authorizes modernization of our nuclear systems for Minot Air Force Base, the Global Hawk and satellite missions at Grand Forks, and our Guard’s Reaper mission. Now, as a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, we’ll work to fund these vital programs.”

Hoeven worked to include priorities to:

  • Authorize a 4.6% percent pay raise for all servicemembers.
  • End the Defense Department’s COVID vaccine mandate.
  • Authorize $350 million for the procurement of 12 MQ-1C Gray Eagles to be fielded in the Army National Guard.

The NDAA includes Hoeven authored amendments, including: 

  • Air Force Weapons Generation Facilities:  A provision directing the Air Force to provide Congress with a detailed schedule for the construction of Weapons Generation Facilities across its nuclear installations and instructing the Air Force to submit a plan to modify existing Weapons Storage Areas to handle modernized nuclear weapons systems.
    • This helps ensure Minot Air Force Base has the facilities necessary to maintain and store future nuclear weapon systems, including the new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and the new nuclear cruise missile in coming years.
  • Task Force True North:  Language to strengthen the Air Force’s Task Force True North program and increase servicemembers’ access to mental health care services.
  • Air National Guard Federal Tuition Assistance: Requiring a briefing on the Air National Guard’s Federal Tuition Assistance pilot program and the Department’s future plans to provide tuition assistance to Air National Guardsmen. This follows Hoeven’s successful efforts in last year’s NDAA to codify the ability of National Guardsmen and Reservists to concurrently use federal tuition assistance and Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve education benefits, similar to active duty servicemembers. 


Hoeven Secured North Dakota Priorities in the FY 2023 NDAA 

Grand Forks Air Force Base

The NDAA supports missions at Grand Forks by authorizing:

  • The Space Development Agency’s Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite program, which will operate from Grand Forks.
  • Operation of the Block 40 Global Hawks based at GFAFB.

Minot Air Force Base

The NDAA fully authorizes critical nuclear modernization programs, including:

  • A new ICBM known as Sentinel
  • A new Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) nuclear cruise missile.
  • B-52 upgrades, including new engines.

North Dakota National Guard  

The NDAA includes provisions important to the missions of the North Dakota National Guard, including:

  • Support for MQ-9 Reaper operations, including the operations of the Air National Guard’s 119th Wing in Fargo.
  • Requiring Government Accountability Office (GAO) to identify the number of behavioral health providers participating in the TRICARE network.

Cavalier Space Force Station

The NDAA authorizes funding to begin modernization of Cavalier’s radar system.