Rapid City, S.D. – Kristi Noem today endorsed S.B.40, saying the legislation will strengthen the community’s ability to support national security missions performed at Ellsworth and preserve the base’s regional economic impact. Noem recognized the step as a move in the right direction, but also committed to further community enhancements, if elected governor.
“Ellsworth Air Force Base is critical to our national security and an economic engine in western South Dakota,” said Noem. “While a land transfer may seem like a minor, technical change, the move enhances the area around Ellsworth and helps ensure the base’s long-term viability. If elected governor, I will work hand-in-hand with the Ellsworth Development Authority to expand on these efforts, ensuring South Dakota continues to play a major role in protecting and defending the United States of America.”
The Ellsworth Development Authority, Governor Daugaard, the South Dakota Congressional Delegation, and other stakeholders have worked closely to protect and enhance the value of Ellsworth Air Force Base. The Ellsworth Development Authority has previously been named Defense Community of the Year by the Association of Defense Communities.
As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and former member of the House Armed Services Committee, Noem has consistently opposed a new round of Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) that previously sought to close Ellsworth. She also fought for the expansion of the Powder River Training Complex (PRTC) and upgrades to the B-1 bomber, while aggressively opposing the retirement of aircraft from the B-1 bomber fleet.