Hoeven Working With Pentagon to Upgrade Nuclear Enterprise

MINOT, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven today said he will use his position on the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee to help modernize and upgrade the nation’s nuclear deterrent. Hoeven was at the Minot Air Force Base (MAFB) this afternoon to host Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James. Hagel and James visited the base today to announce a comprehensive plan to strengthen U.S. nuclear operations and to discuss the plans with servicemembers.

“Our nation’s nuclear deterrent has long been our most cost-effective means of defending our nation,” Hoeven said. “I appreciate Secretaries Hagel and James for taking the time to meet with our servicemembers, whose dedicated work makes our nation safer, and for their commitment to provide the resources we need to address challenges impacting the base and support these important missions. I look forward to working with them in the new Congress to continue strengthening the missions in Minot, ensuring their vital role in our nation’s defense and nuclear deterrence strategy.”

This morning, Secretary Hagel issued a statement in favor of America’s nuclear enterprise and outlined steps the Department of Defense (DoD) will take to enhance the nuclear mission in the next five years. The statement described the nation’s nuclear deterrent as its highest priority mission and included the announcement of $160 million in FY2014 and $150 million in FY2015 for the Nuclear Force Improvement Program (NFIP) as well as an increase of 10 percent over the next five years for the nuclear force’s budget. These funds will support improvements in infrastructure, training, management and equipment for the nuclear force.

Hoeven has been a strong advocate for the nation’s Nuclear Triad and used his position on the Appropriations Committee to strengthen America’s national security, support missions at North Dakota’s bases and secure the future of the missile silos at MAFB. To that end, the senator worked to include provisions in the Fiscal Year 2015 DoD appropriations bill earlier this year, including $21.6 million for the NFIP and Hoeven-authored legislation to block the administration from following through on a plan to eliminate missile silos at the Minot base. The White House subsequently withdrew the plan.

Hoeven also met with Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, commander of the Air Force Global Strike Command, this past June to discuss the NFIP, which the Air Force launched earlier this year to strengthen the Air Force’s nuclear mission. In August, Hoeven announced that MAFB would grow by more than 300 personnel as part of the NFIP.

Over the past four fiscal years, Senator Hoeven has secured more than $181 million in construction funding for MAFB to complete projects, including:

  • Control Tower/Base Operations Facility - $18.77 million
  • B-52 Two-Bay Phase Maintenance Dock - $34 million
  • B-52 3-Bay Conventional Munitions Maintenance Facility - $11.8 million
  • 168-room Dormitory - $22 million
  • Munitions Aero-space Ground Equipment Facility - $4.6 million
  • B-52 Aircraft Maintenance Facility - $15.53 million
  • B-52 Munitions Storage Igloos - $8.3 million
  • Fuel Pipeline Replacement - $6.4 million
  • High Fidelity Trainer Storage - $1.44 million
  • Multi-cube storage structure for conventional munitions - $2 million
  • Runway Replacement - $57 million