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.
Senator Heitkamp believes we need to stand up for our servicemembers, and make sure they have the support and resources 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 carry out their missions and keep North Dakota communities strong and safe.
Minot Air Force Base, 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 successfully led a bipartisan effort to secure funding for needed B-52 engine upgrades.
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 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. Senator Heitkamp, a member of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, successfully pushed the FAA to approve the authorization to help advance UAS technology in the Grand Forks community to keep the nation safe and strengthen North Dakota’s role in the development of UAS research, training, and innovation.
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.
Senator Heitkamp has fought to make sure National Guardsmen have the federal support they need, and she has successfully pushed to promote equal access to educational opportunities and has worked to improve the National Guard officer promotion process.
Standing up for Defense Communities and North Dakota Military Families
Senator Heitkamp co-founded the U.S. Senate Defense Communities Caucus, and she has fought to support military families across 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 and Long-Range Strike Caucus, bipartisan groups of U.S. senators who advocate for the efficiency and effectiveness of ICBMs and B-52s as essential pieces of our nation’s nuclear deterrent and global security. Senator Heitkamp also is a member of the U.S. Senate National Guard Caucus.