Hoeven: Senate Passes NDAA, Includes Strong Support for North Dakota Missions & Servicemembers

Legislation Includes Hoeven-Cosponsored Provisions to Address Delays, Disparities in National Guard Promotions and Benefits

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee as well as the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019. Hoeven worked to include important priorities for North Dakota in the legislation, including measures he cosponsored to address delays and disparities in the promotions and benefits received by members of the National Guard. Further, the bill authorizes funds for the state’s nuclear missions, unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations, new engines for the B-52 and a 2.6 percent pay raise for all military members.

“The NDAA is a vital piece of legislation for our men and women in uniform, who take on the responsibility of protecting our nation,” Hoeven said. “This bill helps provide the tools our servicemembers need to be successful in their missions. This includes our dual-nuclear missions at the Minot Air Force Base and the intelligence and surveillance missions conducted with the Global Hawk out of Grand Forks, both of which continue to increase in importance as we counter rogue regimes around the world. On top of this, we secured provisions from bills I cosponsored to ensure our National Guard members are recognized for their tremendous service and receive the pay and benefits they have earned.”

Hoeven’s National Guard Provisions

The NDAA includes provisions from the National Guard Promotion Accountability Act, bipartisan legislation Hoeven cosponsored that addresses delays in the federal recognition of promotions for National Guard members and provides compensation for raises missed during the federal waiting period.

The bill also includes provisions from the Hoeven-cosponsored National Guard and Reserves Benefits Parity Act. Specifically, this will allow National Guard members to receive a high-deployment allowance for lengthy and numerous deployments as well as frequent mobilizations. Further, the bill ensures servicemembers who also work as federal employees will not receive a reduction in their pay grade due to deployments in the uniformed services or National Guard.

Support for North Dakota’s Missions

Hoeven also worked to ensure the NDAA contains provisions and authorized funding in support of North Dakota’s missions, including:

  • A 2.6 percent pay raise for all military members.
  • $700 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52. 
  • A Hoeven-sponsored amendment requiring the Air Force and the National Nuclear Security Administration to submit a report every six months describing progress both to develop a new nuclear cruise missile and to refurbish the nuclear cruise missile warhead. The senator’s amendment will help ensure that these efforts stay on schedule.
  • $575 million to sustain the existing fleet of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).
  • $414 million for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent to replace the Minuteman III.
  • More than $400 million for upgrades to the B-52, including the procurement of new engines.
  • Nearly $300 million for the Global Hawk, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk program at Grand Forks Air Force Base.
  • $288 million to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.
  • $66 million for a new helicopter facility at the Minot Air Force Base. The existing facilities are aging and will not accommodate the anticipated replacement of the Huey helicopters deployed at the base.
  • $32 million for a Readiness Center in Fargo to house, support and train three Army National Guard units – the 141st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, the 191st Military Police Company and the 112th Aviation Regiment.