WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) urged Defense Department officials to help keep nuclear modernization efforts on track during a Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) hearing today. Commander of the U.S. Strategic Command Admiral Charles Richard and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord both expressed their support for the effort and confidence it will move forward successfully.
“North Dakota has two of the three legs of the nuclear triad. I appreciate you [Admiral Richard] being there so quickly after your confirmation. I have been to the Minot Air Force Base with Vice President Pence, Secretary Esper, and Secretary Brouillette. It is clear modernization is a very high priority for this administration,” said Senator Cramer. “I want to be confident we are on track, we will remain on track, and we will be aware of anything that could put that in jeopardy.”
Today’s hearing follows the Air Force earlier this month awarding a $13.3 billion contract for the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD) intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program. The GBSD is the scheduled replacement for the Minutemen III ICBMs, which are housed at bases like Minot Air Force Base. As he did today, Senator Cramer has been urging the Air Force and high-ranking Defense Department officials to keep the GBSD timeline on track.