In a meeting at the Pentagon today, North Dakota's Congressional Delegation and members of Minot's Task Force 21 urged Air Force leaders to remain committed to America's nuclear mission, including the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) force based at Minot Air Force Base.
"We are closely watching the implementation of New START and remain committed to working with the Air Force to ensure that America's force structure remains at450 silos and that all of Minot's bombers stay nuclear-capable," the delegation said in a joint statement.
In wake of recent reports that the Pentagon is considering further cuts to America's ICBM force, the Congressional delegation and Task Force 21 are working to highlight the strength of Minot Air Force Base and the importance of its nuclear mission. Minot Air Force Base is currently home to the B-52H Stratofortress bombers of the 5th Bomb Wing as well as the 91st Missile Wing and its fleet of 150 Minuteman III ICBMs.
The North Dakota leaders met today with Lieutenant General Dick Newton, the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, and Dr. Jamie Morin,Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Financial Management and Comptroller,to review the Air Force's latest force structure decisions.
At a time when most Air Force Bases are facing cuts, Minot is doing relatively well. The President's budget for fiscal year 2013 funds only 11 Air Force military construction projects, one of which is at Minot. In addition, while many Air Force programs are facing termination, upgrades to Minot's ICBMs are fully funded and the Air Force is working to ensure B-52 modernization plans remain on track.
"As the nation's only dual nuclear mission base, Minot Air Force Base plays a vital role in America's national defense," the delegation said. "The Minot community has long been an ardent supporter of the Air Force. We look forward to continuing our close collaboration."