North Dakotans understand the importance of military service, and our proud sense of service is evident in the state’s Air Force bases, National Guard units, veterans clinics, and VA medical center.
North Dakotans serve in the National Guard at a rate four times greater than the national average. It’s a telling statistic, demonstrating our state’s dedication to serving in the Guard and beyond. Senator Heitkamp believes we need to stand up for our servicemembers, and make sure they have the support they deserve on and off the battlefield.
Air Force Bases
North Dakota is home to Minot and Grand Forks Air Force bases, two of the finest bases in the country. Senator Heitkamp is fighting to make sure both get the resources they need to continue doing their jobs and living up to the high standards they have set.
Minot, with its intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and B-52 bombers, represents the only Air Force Base in the country to host two of the three legs of our nation’s nuclear triad, the delivery systems that underpin deterrence of major threats.
Senator Heitkamp is also proud of the critical mission set and the range of responsibilities the Air Force has given the airmen at Grand Forks Air Force base. The 69th Reconnaissance Group operates the Global Hawk, flying combat support missions as well as training and sensor operating missions that benefit combatant commanders across the globe. The High Frequency Global Communications System conducts 24/7 operations protecting the communications of the President, cabinet members, Defense Department agencies, as well as aircraft and ships. The base also hosts a strong interagency presence, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Operations, which works to secure the Northern Border.
Senator Heitkamp has also fought to expand Grand Forks’ expertise in remotely piloted aircraft by supporting Grand Sky business and aviation park, an emerging training hub and the first facility of its kind in the nation.
North Dakota National Guard
The North Dakota National Guard continues to excel each and every day – standing up in times of emergency in our state and country, and courageously serving abroad. The 119th Air National Guard Wing, which trains MQ-9 Reaper pilots to make critical contributions to national security, is also at the forefront of the military’s work in defending against threats to cyberspace and cyber infrastructure. Cyber threats represent a growing challenge for our military and nation.
Standing up for Defense Communities
Senator Heitkamp co-founded the U.S. Senate Defense Communities Caucus, and has fought to support defense communities around the state. This Caucus works to elevate the unique issues our returning and transitioning service members and their communities face.
Senator Heitkamp is also a proud and active member of the U.S. Senate’s ICBM Coalition, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators who advocate for the efficiency and effectiveness of ICBMs as an essential piece of our nation’s nuclear deterrence and global security. Senator Heitkamp also is a member of the U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus.