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Defense Secretary Esper to visit Minot AFB

Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer announced on Friday they will join U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as he visits Minot Air Force Base on Wednesday for a tour of the base and its facilities.

Hoeven and Cramer invited Esper to the state during the secretary’s confirmation process last year and will join him to review the base’s missions and address the servicemembers stationed there.

“The Minot Air Force Base plays a critical role in the defense of our nation, as it is home to two legs of our nuclear triad,” said Hoeven, a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Committee. “Secretary Esper’s visit to Minot will provide him with firsthand knowledge of the good work of our servicemembers in the area, as well as the importance of the upgrades we continue to advance for our nuclear forces. Modernizing our bombers, cruise missiles and ICBMs is essential to maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent, and we invited the secretary to the state to help keep these needed upgrades on track.”

“I look forward to joining Secretary Esper as he experiences firsthand the impressive work the Airmen at Minot do,” said Cramer, the first ever North Dakotan to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Minot Air Force Base is our nation’s shield. Its very existence makes our world a safer place. The Secretary visiting in February this early into his term demonstrates Minot’s important role in protecting our country.”

The senators’ invitation to Esper comes as part of their efforts to secure strong support for the state’s missions, including the two nuclear missions in Minot. Through their respective committee assignments, Hoeven and Cramer have worked to authorize and fully fund the modernization of the nation’s nuclear forces and keep these much-needed upgrades on, or ahead of, schedule.

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