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​Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) met with Adm. Bill Gortney, US Northern Command boss, to make the case for using Grand Forks Air Force Base to support US military operations in the Arctic, announced the senator’s office. NORTHCOM oversees those activities. “The Department of Defense is working to build the Arctic mission, which is very important because of Russian activity in the Arctic,” said Hoeven in the June 19 release. “Clearly Grand Forks can play a major role in this effort, so I’ve spoken with Admiral Gortney and invited him to come see what we’re doing in Grand Forks,” said Hoeven of last week’s meeting. Grand Forks is home to Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk remotely piloted aircraft, which are high-altitude, long-range surveillance assets. The Arctic is becoming increasingly important to the United States, and Northern Command “will need the right tools to secure America’s interests and national security in the region,” states the release. “Because Grand Forks is closer to some parts of the Arctic than even Alaska, the base is well positioned for a role in this new military undertaking,” states the release.