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The throaty growl of B-52s will soon return to Minot AFB, N.D., following the recent opening of a rebuilt runway at the Air Force Global Strike Command base. The Sept. 29 ribbon cutting ceremony ended a three-year, $200 million project that included a new base operations building and control tower in addition to a complete replacement of the 57-year-old runway, states a release. Reopening the runway will allow the 5th BW’s Stratofortresses to return from their temporary home at Ellsworth AFB, S.D. A B-52 made a low pass over the new runway as part of the ceremony. Special guests at the ceremony were North Dakota’s US Senators, John Hoeven and Heidi Heitkamp. Minot “plays an important role in our nation’s defense and we want it to continue to play that role well into the future,” said Hoeven, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee’s military construction panel. Heitkamp stressed Minot’s critical role in the strategic nuclear deterrence Triad, which she said, “keeps our country safe.”