Hoeven tours Air Force base in N.D. with DOD Secretary

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Feb. 19 toured the Minot Air Force Base in Ward County, N.D., where they reviewed the base’s missions and spoke with U.S. military service members stationed in the region.

“We appreciate Secretary Esper’s willingness to come meet with our servicemembers and see their good work firsthand, not only because we’re so proud of their service, but also because of how critical it is to the security of our nation,” Sen. Hoeven said. “That understanding will be important as we continue working with the Defense Secretary to keep our nuclear modernization programs on schedule.”

Sen. Hoeven, a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, highlighted the central role of the base in the nation’s defense strategy, noting it is home to two legs of America’s Nuclear Triad, which the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) defines as a “compilation of platforms and weapons that serve as the backbone of America’s national security.”

The triad, says DOD, works with assigned forces to provide 24/7 deterrence to prevent catastrophic actions from adversaries, “and they stand ready, if necessary, to deliver a decisive response.”

Sen. Hoeven leveraged the DOD Secretary’s visit to help advance the modernization of the country’s nuclear forces, stressing the importance of the upgrades, including for the B-52s, cruise missiles and intercontinental ballistic missiles housed at Minot, toward maintaining the nation’s ability to be a credible deterrent and counter aggression force around the world, according to his office.

“Our adversaries are always working to overcome our capabilities, and by making these upgrades, we can ensure our nuclear deterrent is credible for decades to come,” said Sen. Hoeven. “That’s a key investment in our ongoing security and gives our servicemembers the support they need to be successful.”