Hoeven says Grand Forks is on the short list along with Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington, Travis Air Force Base in California and Joint Base McGuire-Dix in New Jersey.
He says the Air Force expects to announce its preferred base next winter.
The Grand Forks base was home to KC-135 tankers for 50 years before losing the mission during a round of military base closings and realignments. The last of those tankers left the base in 2010. The base is now home to a drone mission.