A group of Grand Forks city and county officials will take a three-day trip to bases in Langley, Va., and San Antonio, Texas, in the upcoming week.
Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, City Administrator Todd Feland, County Administrator and County Director of Administration Tom Ford, Bruce Gjovig of the Base Retention and Investment Committee, Chamber President and CEO Barry Wilfahrt and EDC President and CEO Keith Lund will leave Sunday and return Wednesday to Grand Forks.
In Virginia, the delegation will meet with Air Combat Command Gen. Mike Holmes, who leads the division in charge of Grand Forks Air Force Base. In Texas, the Grand Forks delegation will meet leaders from the 25th Air Force, which owns bases with Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance capabilities, including Grand Forks.
The group will pay for the trip using a grant for base retention, which North Dakota gives to military communities like Grand Forks, Fargo and Minot.
The group will update Virginia base leaders on Grand Forks’ Global Hawk mission and efforts to enhance quality of life for local personnel.
“We do have other communities that compete with us for this mission,” Ford said. “I think where Grand Forks stands out is we haven’t asked for handouts. We aren’t telling them, ‘Give us this mission because we said so.’ We’re going out there with solutions to problems the Air Force is facing.”