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City of Grand Forks, Grand Forks Air Force Base looking forward to future engagements after CFIUS decision

In October, the base issued a statement announcing it would be refraining from official engagement with city officials while the CFIUS review was underway

Grand Forks Air Force Base.png
File photo of the Grand Forks Air Force Base
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GRAND FORKS – Following a wrapped up review by a federal committee, Grand Forks Air Force Base will continue working with city officials to “maintain the valuable relationship the base and city have enjoyed since 1954," Col. Tim Curry, 319 Reconnaissance Wing commander with the base, said in a statement sent to the Herald.

“Airmen of the 319 Reconnaissance Wing will continue to prepare to compete, deter and win against any and all threats,” the statement continues. “Our national security and defense strategies make it clear that China is our most consequential strategic competitor, based on its increasingly coercive actions to reshape the international system to fit its authoritarian preferences.”

The statement comes after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States determined that the proposed Fufeng Group wet corn mill land deal does not fall under its jurisdiction .

In an email, Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski said the city will continue monitoring investments in the community.

“The city of Grand Forks looks forward to future engagements and the continued partnership that is nationally recognized for its strength and resilience,” Bochenski said. “The city will continue to monitor investments in our community with a heightened sense of scrutiny under our municipal authority. We are unwavering in our support of the Grand Forks AFB and our Airmen.”

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In October, the base issued a statement announcing it would be refraining from official engagement with city officials while the CFIUS review was underway. During that time both Lea Greene, public affairs chief for the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, and City Administrator Todd Feland said maintaining the relationship between the base and the city of Grand Forks was a top priority.

National security and potential security risks to the base have remained a top concern among opponents to the project including both U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and John Hoeven, R-N.D. In an interview with Newsmax , Cramer said he is seeking more information regarding the review.

"I personally think that there is information that some of the agencies gleaned," Cramer said during the Newsmax interview. "That’s why I’ve asked for a classified briefing from the Treasury Department, which is the head of CFIUS, and from the Department of the Air Force, if not the entire Department of Defense, because they’re the entities that I’m most concerned about. Hopefully, I’ll at least learn with my clearance what (CFIUS) learned during this review. My sense is that there are serious concerns.”

Hoeven also indicated that he is pursuing more information about the review in a statement his office sent to the Herald.

“As we cautioned, we understand that CFIUS has concluded the project is not within its jurisdiction but has not offered an opinion or released any details about potential security issues," the statement said. "We will get additional briefings from CFIUS and provide any additional information if we can, but we continue to have security concerns with this project, given its proximity to the Grand Forks Air Force Base.”

READ MORE FUFENG NEWS
More than a year after it was first announced, the council on Monday voted 5-0 to move away from the Fufeng project. Council members Kyle Kvamme and Tricia Lunski did not attend the meeting.

Related Topics: FUFENG
Meghan Arbegast grew up in Security-Widefield, Colorado. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from North Dakota State University in Fargo, in 2021.

Arbegast wrote for The Spectrum, NDSU's student newspaper, for three years and was Head News Editor for two years. She was an intern with University Relations her last two semesters of college.

Arbegast covers news pertaining to the city of Grand Forks/East Grand Forks including city hall coverage.

Readers can reach Arbegast at 701-780-1267 or MArbegast@gfherald.com.

Pronouns: She/Her
Languages: English
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“The Department of the Air Force deferred to the Department of the Treasury during the (CFIUS) review to assess potential risks associated with the proposed project,” the spokesperson said.