Hoeven Statement on Confirmation of Air Force Secretary Barrett

During Confirmation Process, Senator Outlined Importance of ND Nuclear and UAS Missions, Invited Barrett to State

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, released the following statement after the Senate confirmed former Ambassador Barbara Barrett as the Secretary of the Air Force. During her confirmation process, Hoeven met with Barrett to outline the importance of North Dakota’s nuclear and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) missions and invited her to come to the state. 

“With two legs of the nuclear triad and vital UAS missions, North Dakota plays an incredibly important role in our nation’s defense,” said Hoeven. “We outlined these important missions to Secretary Barrett during her confirmation process. Now that she’s been confirmed, we look forward to working together to continue advancing nuclear modernization efforts and to ensure that the Air Force utilizes North Dakota’s leadership in unmanned aviation to advance our nation’s capabilities.”

As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven has worked to secure funding in the FY2020 Senate Defense Appropriations Bill to advance North Dakota Air Force priorities, including:

Modernizing the Nuclear Deterrent

  • $712.5 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52. 
  • $660 million for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent to replace the Minuteman III, which is $65 million above the administration’s request to ensure the effort stays ahead of schedule.
  • $330 million for upgrades to the B-52, including the procurement of new engines. 
  • Nearly $171 million to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.

Advancing UAS Capabilities & Integration

  • Fully funds the Global Hawk mission, including the RQ-4 Global Hawk in Grand Forks. Further, the bill provides $25 million to support spare sensors for the RQ-4, enabling it to better meet the broad demand for this platform’s capabilities.
  • Includes $4 million above the administration’s request for UAS research at the Department of Defense (DoD), which supports Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) work at the Northern Plains UAS Test Site.