Hoeven: Senate Passes Final FY2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, Funds Military Pay Raise & Advances North Dakota Priorities

Senator Worked to Include Nuclear Upgrades, Global Hawk BACN Funding

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today joined the Senate in passing the conferenced Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Defense funding legislation. As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven worked to ensure the final bill advanced North Dakota’s priorities, including:

  • Fully funding a 2.6 percent pay raise for military members. 
  • Modernization of the nation’s nuclear forces by providing new engines and other upgrades for the B-52 as well as replacements for the nation’s cruise missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) at Minot Air Force Base. 
  • Strong support to advance unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations in the state, including $100 million to support the Global Hawk Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) at Grand Forks Air Force Base, allowing for the procurement of an additional aircraft.

“This funding legislation will help ensure our men and women in the armed forces are able to continue excelling in their missions,” Hoeven said. “This includes updating the capabilities of our nuclear arsenal by procuring new engines for the B-52 and developing replacements for our cruise missiles and ICBMs. Further, we continue to advance our state’s leadership in UAS by investing in the Global Hawk mission. This funding will help meet the increased demand for the Global Hawk BACN system, which is urgently needed to provide communications support for operations around the world. This is all about providing the support that our military members need and deserve.”

Modernizing the Nation’s Nuclear Forces

  • Nearly $665 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52. This is $50 million above the administration’s request and allows the program to continue moving ahead of schedule.
  • Nearly $540 million to sustain the existing fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • $414 million for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent 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 that provide security for the ICBM silos.

Advancing UAS Operations

  • $386 million for the Global Hawk, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk program at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, including $100 million for the Global Hawk BACN mission.
  • $7.8 million for research into unmanned traffic management, $4 million above the administration’s request.

Additional Priorities

  • $5 million to adapt the lightweight cargo loading system produced by UTC Aerospace Systems in Jamestown for the CH-52 and V-22 platforms.
  • $4 million for a helicopter pilot training initiative, similar to the ROTC flight school funding that Hoeven secured in FY2018.
  • Significant investments in research and development funding, which will allow North Dakota State University, UND and North Dakota companies to compete to work on Department of Defense (DoD) priorities. This includes:
    • $25 million for Army advanced materials development.
    • $12 million for the DoD Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).
    • $10 million for coating technologies for the Air Force.
    • $10 million for the Navy to research UAS payloads and performance.
    • $5 million for augmented reality systems for Army land vehicles.