All enlisted airmen are now eligible to apply to become RQ-4 Global Hawk pilots. The move expands the pool of possible aviators to the entire service; previously, only career-enlisted aviators were eligible to apply. Airmen have from Sept. 1 to Oct. 14 to take the computer-based Air Force Enlisted Pilot Qualifying Test and the Test of Basic Aviation Skills, according to an Air Force release. Board packages are due by Dec. 16. Applicants must be a staff sergeant through senior master sergeant and retainable for six years after graduation. Even though all Air Force Specialty Codes are now eligible for the program, a career field manager release is required for airmen who already receive a critical skills retention bonus. The results of the first Air Force Enlisted RPA Pilot Selection Board will be released in late February 2017.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."