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Hoeven responds to bill that would defund next-gen missile system

A bill introduced by Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., on March 26 would defund the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent and redirect a portion of the funding for coronavirus vaccine development.

“By halting the replacement for the Minuteman III ICBM, this legislation would leave our country at a severe disadvantage at a time when our adversaries continue to invest in strengthening their nuclear capabilities,” said Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. “Our nation’s nuclear forces, including the ICBMs in Minot, are the most cost-effective aspect of our nation’s defense and are critical in protecting us and our allies against threats across the globe. In order to maintain a credible deterrent, I’ve worked through my role on the Defense Appropriations Committee to fund the modernization of our nuclear triad and keep these efforts on schedule.

“We need to have a modernized nuclear deterrent to bolster our conventional forces. Credible nuclear forces will prevent any adversary from believing they could defeat us by choosing to escalate a conventional conflict to a nuclear one,” Hoeven added.

GBSD is the next-generation missile system that is scheduled to replace the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base is one of the Air Force’s three intercontinental ballistic missile wings. ICBM wings are also located at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, and Malmstrom AFB, Montana.Progress is well on its way on the next generation ICBM program to replace the existing one at Minot Air Force Base and the two other Air Force bases.

“In September, the GBSD program office awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for the GBSD program’s Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase,” said Leah Bryant, chief of Public Affairs and Legislative Liaison for Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.

“Development activities are progressing and on track toward the EMD phase’s first major milestone, an Integrated Baseline Review, to be held in spring of this year,” Bryant told the The Minot Daily News on Jan. 11.

The Investing in Cures Before Missiles bill has been referred to the Senate Armed Services Committee for consideration, according to Hoeven’s office.

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