The Minot Air Force Base is home to two of the three major weapons used in war by the U.S., making it a hot spot for attention. Wednesday was no exception as Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper made a stop at the base.
Esper made a stop in Minot to get a closer look at how the base operates, and all that it carries.
“The nuclear strategic triad is the most important part of our military. It is key to our nation’s defense,” says Esper.
Minot Air Force Base is home to B-52 bombers and Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic (ICBM) missiles. Esper also spoke about the defense budget and he said it reflects the importance of air bases like Minot.
“Modernization of our strategic nuclear forces are priority number one. So we made it priority number one in our budget,” said Esper.
The Secretary of Defense stopped by a missile alert facility that houses ICBMs and a launch control center where he met missileers and security personnel, along with Sens. John Hoeven and Kevin Cramer, who said his visit shows just how much he cares not only about the nation’s safety, but the people who protect it as well.
“He sees what we’re doing. He supports it, but also he talks to these airmen and airwomen and really supports what they are doing,” said Sen. Hoeven.
In past years, the air base has seen its share of distinguished guests like Vice President Mike Pence. One Airman said it gives them a sense of pride.
“The men and women here all work very hard every day to make that mission a reality. Anytime we get a chance to showcase that to anybody, to include the Secretary of Defense, it’s just an awesome opportunity,” said Commander Scott Maytan, 5th Operations Group.
Esper said he plans to visit the base in the near future to see some major upgrades that are happening on base in the Magic City.
Thursday, Esper will travel to Nebraska’s Offutt Air Force Base to meet with U.S. Strategic Command. He will tour the highly classified Nuclear Command, Control and Communications Enterprise Center.