Hoeven, TRMC Director Showcase Plans For More Than $500 Million Sky Range Complex at Grand Sky

Senator Outlines Plans for 600,000 Sq. Ft. of Facilities, Will Support More Than 600 Jobs in Grand Forks; Construction to Start in Spring 2024

EMERADO, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven and Test Resource Management Center (TRMC) Director George Rumford today showcased plans for the more than $500 million Sky Range complex to be developed at Grand Sky. Hoeven, who serves as a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, is working with Rumford to fund and advance the construction of the facilities. This follows the senator’s efforts to bring the hypersonic missile testing program to Grand Sky, with Sky Range currently operating out of a temporary hangar at the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technology and business park. Once completed, the Sky Range complex will:

  • Include nearly 300,000 sq. ft. of office space and nearly 300,000 sq. ft. of hangar space.
  • Support more than 600 jobs in the Grand Forks region.
  • Serve as a long-term Department of Defense (DoD) commitment to the Grand Forks area.
  • Attract additional defense contractors and technology companies to the region.

The complex will take approximately 36 months to construct after ground is broken in spring 2024. It will be complemented by a data processing center that TRMC will establish at the existing 119th Wing MQ-9 operations center at Hector Field in Fargo, which Hoeven and Rumford announced yesterday.

“Sky Range is already working to convert our Global Hawk fleet in its temporary hangar, but that’s just the beginning of this game-changing mission. Once completed, the more than $500 million Sky Range complex will be massive, providing the capabilities needed to more efficiently evaluate hypersonic missile tests conducted over the ocean on the other side of the world. This advances national security while bringing long-term investment and job growth to the Grand Forks region,” said Senator Hoeven. “The reality is that very few military installations are asked to support missions beyond their primary focus. There simply is nothing quite like the set of missions and partnerships that we have created with Grand Forks Air Force Base and Grand Sky.”

Standing up Sky Range

Last year, Hoeven and Rumford marked the arrival of all 20 Global Hawk Block 30 aircraft at Grand Sky for the TRMC’s Sky Range program. The transfer was possible due to an agreement that Hoeven secured with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Brown. As a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee, Hoeven:

  • Secured language supporting the Sky Range program and pressing the Air Force to make the Block 30 fleet available to Sky Range.
  • Hosted TRMC Director Rumford in North Dakota in 2021 to see firsthand the opportunities that Grand Sky offers the agency and the Sky Range program.
  • Worked with the Air Force to transfer four Global Hawk Block 20s to TRMC, leading to a contract for Norhthrop Grumman to also convert those aircraft at Grand Sky into Range Hawks for use under the Sky Range program.

Currently, the DoD uses an aging fleet of ships deployed across a Pacific Ocean corridor to test hypersonic missiles. The current process is expensive, takes weeks to set up and signals the testing schedule to America’s adversaries. Sky Range will replace the ships with modified UAS, including RQ-4 Global Hawks, that can deploy quickly and will increase testing capacity.