Senator John Hoeven today spoke to more than 180 military, defense industry and U.S and foreign government leaders and called for the U.S. to preserve and maintain a robust nuclear triad -- land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and nuclear-capable heavy bomber jets. Hoeven, who is a member of the bipartisan Senate ICBM coalition, said the nuclear triad provides a strong and credible deterrent, is cost effective and must be maintained.
"Given the threats we face and the responsibilities we have to the American people and to our allies, we must retain the nuclear triad," said Hoeven. "Each leg of the triad provides unique capabilities to counter current and emerging threats, and together provides a credible and strong nuclear deterrent. Our nuclear triad is a cost-effective investment in national security for today and tomorrow."
Historically, nuclear forces have consumed less than 5 percent of the Department of Defense budget. In light of this, the senator said the ratio of nuclear costs to deterrent benefits strongly favors maintaining a robust nuclear triad.
Minot Air Force Base is the home of two major wings: the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing, two legs of the nuclear triad. Currently, the base hosts 150 Minuteman III missiles and is of major strategic importance as one of only three missile bases in the country.
"North Dakota plays an important role in these efforts with the men and women at Minot Air Force Base providing vital defense to our nation. Their dual missions, manning a B-52 fleet and hosting Minuteman missiles, are vital to our national defense strategy," said Hoeven.