Gov. Doug Burgum today welcomed Vice President Mike Pence back to North Dakota and joined him as he addressed and thanked personnel at the Grand Forks Air Force Base for their important role in national security.
Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum greeted Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence as they deplaned Air Force Two, along with U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer and his wife, Kris. Speaking to airmen, vice president expressed his gratitude to 319th Air Base Wing Commander Col. Benjamin Spencer for his leadership and to members of the wing and their families for their service, including their support of the Global Hawk unmanned surveillance aircraft’s high-altitude mission.
“We’re deeply grateful to Vice President Pence for recognizing the essential role that the dedicated men and women of the 319th Air Base Wing play in keeping our troops safe and our nation secure,” said Burgum, who also welcomed Vice President Pence to Minot Air Force Base last October. “In addition to being a critical component of our national defense, the Grand Forks Air Force Base also supports North Dakota’s economy, and it was great to hear Vice President Pence say how impressed he was with the base and North Dakota’s leading efforts in unmanned aerial systems and counter-UAS, including the partnership between the base and Grand Sky commercial UAS business and aviation park. We thank the administration for their continued strong support of our military, ensuring peace through strength.”
Helgaas Burgum accompanied Second Lady Pence to a roundtable discussion with military spouses, as well as a tour of Dietzler Honey in Larimore.
During the roundtable with 11 military spouses, held at the Airman and Family Readiness Center, Helgaas Burgum and Karen Pence hosted a dialogue to understand the greatest challenges faced by spouses on the Grand Forks Air Force Base. Topics included licensure reciprocity, education, and workforce and employment opportunities.
“The issues and concerns of military spouses are important to North Dakota,” Helgaas Burgum said. “Proactive dialogue can help us identify opportunities to improve the lives of military families living on base and in our communities, and I’m thankful for Second Lady Pence’s attention to this issue.”
Following the conversation, Second Lady Pence and Helgaas Burgum toured Dietzler Honey, learning more about honey production and sustaining a strong apiary industry in North Dakota.
“The Governor and I are major advocates of North Dakota’s apiary industry, and I’m grateful for the commitment and attention Second Lady Pence has given to the apiary industry,” Helgaas Burgum said.