Hoeven: Vice President Pence to Visit Minot Air Force Base, Review Nuclear Missions

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs and co-chair of the Senate Air Force Caucus, today announced that Vice President Mike Pence will visit the Minot Air Force Base Friday morning. Hoeven plans to join Pence to review the dual-nuclear missions of the air base, which is home to both B-52 bombers and Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) silos. The Vice President will meet with the base leadership and address the airmen. Details regarding media availability will be provided by the Vice President’s office later this week.

“As we continue to face instability and threats around the world, our nuclear deterrent remains a critical part of our national defense strategy,” Hoeven said. “It’s important for the administration to be familiar with the good work of our airmen and understand the importance of maintaining a credible and modern nuclear force to counter threats like North Korea and Iran. I welcome the Vice President’s visit to Minot, and I look forward to advancing this important priority with him.”

Hoeven has worked throughout his tenure to ensure the Minot airmen have the tools they needs to be successful in their missions. As part of these ongoing efforts, Hoeven helped secure the following provisions in the Senate’s recently-passed FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

  • $617 million authorized to sustain the existing fleet of ICBMs and $215.7 million for the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent program to develop a replacement for the existing Minuteman III.
  • $221.4 million authorized for upgrades to the B-52 and $451 million for the Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) missile to replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.
  • $108.6 million authorized for the Air Force to replace the UH-1N Huey helicopter that provides security for the ICBMs located around Minot Air Force Base.

In addition, both Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Defense Secretary James Mattis visited the Minot Air Force Base this month, following invitations from Hoeven. The senator stressed the importance of these officials seeing the work of the base’s airmen firsthand as they work to ensure the nation has a credible nuclear force to deter aggression against the U.S. and counter rogue nations, like North Korea. Hoeven built on these visits by calling upon General Robin Rand, the Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command, to support the nuclear missions at the base.

The visits come as part of Hoeven’s ongoing efforts to modernize the nation’s nuclear arsenal and provide for stronger security at the Minor Air Force Base. Hoeven recently secured $27 million in the Senate’s Fiscal Year FY18 funding legislation for an indoor firing range at the Minot Air Force Base. The senator continues working to ensure strong support for the Minot Air Force Base in the final appropriations measure.