FY 2021 United States Defense Bill supports nuclear modernizations at Minot AFB


Staff member
The fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act approved by the U.S. Senate on Thursday ensures continued nuclear modernizations that support the missions at Minot Air Force Base.

According to Senators John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, the defense bill includes:

– Authorizing upgrades to the B-52, including the new engine program.

– The Long Range Stand Off missile, a new nuclear cruise missiles, to replace the Air Launched Cruise Missile carried on the B-52.

– $1.5 billion in funding authority for the new Ground Based Strategic Deterrent, the replacement for the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Hoeven included an amendment to prevent delays in deploying the GBSD stating all nuclear weapons must be capable of withstanding electro-magnetic pulses. The amendment requires the Air Force to report on how the GBSD will be protected from EMPs to keep the replacement on schedule.

– Directs the Air Force secretary, in consultation with the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, to provide a report on the transition from the Minuteman III to GBSD.

– Prohibiting the drawdown or reduction of ICBMs to any lower than the currently deployed 400 missiles.

– Funds the MH-139 Grey Wolf helicopter to replace the aging UH-1 helicopters that provide security for the ICBM silos.

– Funds $66 million in military construction for a consolidated airfield operations building at Minot AFB.

The defense bill also includes provisions for Grand Forks AFB and its unmanned aerial systems, North Dakota National Guard missions and Cavalier Air Force Station’s mission.