Hoeven Working to Keep Nuclear Modernization Efforts on Track

Senator Highlights Growing Threats from China & Russia, Bipartisan Support for Nuclear Deterrent at Task Force 21 Symposium

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven today outlined efforts to keep the nation’s nuclear modernization programs on track, stressing that:

  • The U.S. must ensure its nuclear deterrent remains effective for years to come, as China, Russia and other adversaries continue to advance new nuclear capabilities.
  • Nuclear modernization enjoys broad bipartisan support.
  • The deterrent is considered a critical national security priority by the vast majority of Americans, according to a recent study from the Mitchell Institute.
  • The administration’s ongoing Nuclear Posture Review should reflect these realities and affirm the value of the nuclear deterrent.

Hoeven made the remarks at the D.C. Triad Symposium, an annual event hosted by Task Force 21, which works to support the missions of the Minot Air Force Base (MAFB). The senator also met with Task Force 21 earlier this week, where he outlined his efforts as a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee to advance the following priorities to strengthen the nation’s nuclear missions:

  • Long Range Stand Off (LRSO) Missile: The LRSO will replace the aging Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) that flies on the B-52.
  • B-52 Modernizations: The B-52 modernization includes developing a new engine, replacing the radar and upgrading the communications systems.
  • Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD): The GBSD will replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
  • MH-139 Grey Wolf Helicopter: Hoeven has been pressing the Air Force to secure FAA certification and continue procurement of the Grey Wolf helicopter, which will replace the Huey at nuclear bases.

“There is no topic more important to our national security than the preservation of strategic deterrence,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate Task Force 21’s dedicated efforts and advocacy on behalf of our nuclear missions, including the ICBM and B-52 missions at the Minot Air Force Base. We are working right alongside them to ensure these modernization programs are properly funded and stay on schedule. It is imperative that the U.S. rises to meet the real and growing threat from China, Russia and North Korea.” 

Today’s conference follows Hoeven’s efforts to ensure the Biden administration continues prioritizing nuclear modernization, having raised the matter with multiple administration officials. To this end, Hoeven reviewed operations at the Minot Air Force Base with General Charles Brown, Air Force Chief of Staff; General Timothy Ray, Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; and a bipartisan group of senators from the Armed Services and Senate Defense Appropriations Committees. The senator also made the case for nuclear modernization to Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall and Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.