----- Original Message -----
From: senator@conrad.senate.gov
To: rainman@polarcomm.com
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 5:15 PM
Subject: North Dakota Continues to Play Key Role in National Defense

 

Dear Thomas:

North Dakota has had a good year supporting our nation's defense. 


In September, Minot Air Force Base stood up a second B-52 squadron in response to the Air Force's renewed commitment to our country's nuclear arsenal.  I've spoken multiple times to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force urging them to ensure we dedicate the necessary resources to this vital mission.  This new squadron shows they are paying close attention.  We also have a new dormitory for our junior airmen in Minot funded by the economic stimulus bill. 


We have also just gotten great news about Grand Forks Air Force Base.  After repeatedly urging the Air Force's senior leadership to expand the UAS mission there, they have announced that Global Hawk Block 20s will be based at Grand Forks-with 180 new personnel.  These Global Hawks provide a communications relay vital in the mountains of Afghanistan. 


Our North Dakota National Guard continues to serve our country well and make me proud.  The delegation and I hosted supporters of the 119
th Wing from Fargo at the Pentagon this September where we met with the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force.  The Air Force's leaders praised the wing's daily work flying UAS missions overseas and reaffirmed their commitment to bring C-27J Joint Cargo Aircraft to Hector field next year. 

We have more than 700 North Dakota National Guardsmen deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan today.  They are in my prayers daily as I'm sure they are in yours, especially during the holidays.


Finally, the North Dakota congressional delegation also secured four military construction projects in a recently passed bill:  a new security forces facility in Grand Forks, a new control tower and missile training complex at Minot, and a readiness center in Bismarck for our Guardsmen. 


I'm proud of these accomplishments and look forward to working just as hard next year to support North Dakota's efforts to improve our national security. 


Sincerely,

KENT CONRAD
United States Senate


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