North Dakota's congressional delegation met Thursday with members of Minot's base retention committee, Task Force 21, and Pentagon leadership to consider ways to enhance the future of Minot Air Force Base.
Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., said significant investments in the base are the single best indicator of the base's positive future.
The administration's budget proposal targeted $67.9 million for three new projects at the Minot base, including another dorm, a maintenance dock for B-52s and a conventional munitions maintenance facility. The dorm would be the fourth dorm funded for Minot in recent years.
According to a news release from the congressional delegation, Pentagon officials provided detailed briefings on military construction, privatized housing and the future of Air Force Global Strike Command for the delegation and the representatives from Task Force 21.
As the nation's only dual nuclear mission base, Pentagon officials also emphasized the key role Minot AFB would play in the implementation of the New START treaty. The treaty serves as a blueprint for reductions to the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals and preserves America's powerful nuclear triad intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.
Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, commander of Global Strike Command with headquarters at Barksdale AFB, La., confirmed to Conrad that the Minot runway repair is funded in the next three years through Operations and Maintenance funding. In total, Air force officials said the fiscal year 2012 military construction at Minot AFB represents 4.5 percent of the Air Force's total military construction request.
"Task Force 21 and the community of Minot have done an outstanding job of supporting Minot Air Force Base and its mission over the years, and we are committed on the federal level to doing all we can to make sure its mission continues to receive the support it deserves," the delegation said in the news release.