North Dakota Presses Case Minot:

The North Dakota Congressional delegation—Democrats Kent Conrad, Byron Dorgan, and Earl Pomeroy—and Minot city officials met with Air Force and Air National Guard leaders this week to talk about plans for Minot Air Force Base that ranged from the 17 attrition reserve B-52s that USAF want to retire to ICBMs and a potential new Air Guard mission. According to a joint statement, the delegation is not inclined to let the BUFFs go any more than they are to let USAF forgo modernization of the ICBM force. (Minot gets to keep its missiles, while USAF will strip 50 from Malmstrom AFB, Mont.) The delegation learned that the Air National Guard plans to install a security forces unit at Minot to augment the active security forces. ANG plans to start hiring for the new slots in April.