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Vice President Pence to visit North Dakota air base

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks in Las Vegas City Hall following a Unity Prayer Walk in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., October 7, 2017. REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus

MINOT, N.D.—Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit Minot Air Force Base on Friday.

Details of the visit aren't available at this time.

When Pence arrives at Minot AFB, he will be visiting the Department of Defense's only dual-wing, nuclear-capable installation.

The 5th Bomb Wing has the B-52 bombers. The 91st Missile Wing has Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles in underground facilities in several counties.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's office said she will not be able to attend Pence's visit to the base on Friday. Information is not available yet whether Gov. Doug Burgum, Sen. John Hoeven and Congressman Kevin Cramer will be at the base for the event.

Numerous distinguished visitors, many of them high-ranking military members and civilians in high-level positions, have visited Minot AFB.

Recent visitors include Gen. James Mattis, secretary of defense; Heather Wilson, secretary of the Air Force; Gen. Robin Rand, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; and Maj. Gen. Anthony Cotton, commander of 20th Air Force.

It has been a number of years since a vice president has visited the Minot area. It is believed the last time a vice president visited the area was in September 1970 when Vice President Spiro T. Agnew came to Minot to give a speech at the Minot Municipal Auditorium. Agnew was in Minot to support Thomas Kleppe who was running for a U.S. Senate seat.

President Donald Trump visited North Dakota most recently in September when he spoke at the Andeavor Oil Refinery in Mandan.

One of the most famous presidential visits for Minot was in June 1953 when President Dwight Eisenhower traveled to North Dakota for the dedication of the Garrison Dam. Eisenhower arrived at the Minot airport and stayed at the Clarence Parker Hotel in downtown Minot.

Royalty has also visited Minot AFB. The base had a royal visitor overnight when Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, in July 1984. The stop was made for customs clearance from Manitoba to Los Angeles and the prince and 10 other people on the plane stayed overnight at the base.

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