A New Bomber Contest

The Air Force will hold a service-wide contest to name the new B-21 bomber, Secretary Deborah Lee James announced at AWS16. James said she’s asking all members of the Air Force “family”—uniformed, civilians, and family members alike—to “learn more about the role this platform will play against the real threats that we will face” and submit appropriate nicknames, suggesting that she hopes the effort will lead to more advocacy for the system. James also said to “stay tuned” for more bomber details, which will be revealed to Congress Tuesday at a classified session with a Senate Armed Service Committee panel. James told reporters she and Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh will deliver another “state of the Air Force” briefing March 7, at which she suggested more information about Northrop Grumman team members and other industrial aspects will be revealed. Congress has been given regular classified briefings on the B-21 since last spring, James said, adding that despite the disclosures made and to come, the system will remain highly secret.