Romney, Fischer Lead Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Bolster Sentinel Program and U.S. Nuclear Deterrence

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, joined by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Steve Daines (R-MT), today introduced the Sentinel Nuclear Deterrence Act of 2023, legislation to strengthen and solidify the Sentinel program, which is vital to U.S. nuclear deterrence. The legislation would provide multiyear procurement authority for LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missiles, help to stabilize key supply chains, and increase program efficiency.

“As China and Russia continue to modernize and expand their nuclear forces, it’s essential that we rapidly modernize our nuclear triad,”said Senator Romney. “The Sentinel program, with a major presence at Utah’s Hill Air Force Base, will make up the land-based leg of our nuclear triad and is vital to our nuclear deterrent. Passing this legislation would demonstrate our firm commitment to the modernization of our nuclear forces at a time when deterrence is of paramount importance, while simultaneously increasing efficiencies.”

“I’ve pushed for years on the importance of modernizing our nuclear triad to keep pace with the growing threats we face. There is no question that the Sentinel project is the most significant and complex weapon system in recent U.S. history. Our bill provides Sentinel with additional support to keep this vital project on schedule,” said Senator Fischer.

“This bill takes proactive measures to bring efficiency and fiscal responsibility to the modernization of the ground-based leg of our nuclear triad. Congress will continue to maintain vigorous oversight of the program, given its indispensable role in securing our homeland,” said Senator Lee.

“As an important part of the United States’ nuclear triad, it is essential that F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne has the newest technologies and tools needed to protect our nation,” said Senator Lummis. “I am proud to join my colleagues to introduce legislation that will push forward the process to modernize our nuclear deterrent.”

“Congress must take action to maintain America’s ability to deliver nuclear weapons from the air, land and sea,” said Senator Barrasso. “Our nuclear deterrent helps keep Americans safe and our country free. If we don’t modernize our ICBM force, we will compromise our national security while our adversaries advance their nuclear programs. Our legislation will keep the Sentinel program on schedule and help strengthen our ability to protect Americans and our allies.”

“The PRC and Russia’s rapid expansion of their nuclear arsenals have brought us into a new era of nuclear competition,” said Senator Ricketts. “Nothing is more essential than ensuring the continued security of our country and safety of Americans, and the Sentinel program is critical to that. I am proud to support this legislation, which will help ensure that we keep Sentinel on schedule while saving taxpayers money in the long run.”

“This legislation is a win for Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana’s airmen and our national security. With the upcoming retirement of the Minuteman III and a new generation of GBSD it’s important to ensure the Sentinel program has sufficient authorities for proper and timely deployment,” said Senator Daines. “Montana is proud to house 150 ICBMS, the most powerful nuclear weapons known to mankind, and this bill will help ensure Malmstrom stays at the forefront of nuclear innovation and help reinforce America’s effective ‘peace through strength’ strategy to deter our adversaries.”


According to the 2022 United States Nuclear Posture Review, the People’s Republic of China “has embarked on an ambitious expansion, modernization, and diversification of its nuclear forces” and the Russian Federation continues to “modernize and expand its nuclear forces.”

The nuclear triad provides nuclear deterrence through land-, sea-, and air-based forces. In order to modernize the land-based leg of the nuclear triad, the Air Force will replace the LGM–30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system with the LGM–35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system.

The Sentinel Systems Directorate is principally located at Hill Air Force Base (HAFB) in Utah. F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, Malmstrom AFB in Montana, Minot AFB in North Dakota, Utah Test and Training Range, Camp Guernsey in Wyoming, and Camp Navajo in Arizona will all play a role in the Sentinel program.