The Air Force announced April 23 it has tapped Maj. Gen. Donald Alston, headquarters point man for nuclear matters, to take command of 20th Air Force, replacing Maj. Gen. Roger Burg, who plans to retire. Burg has led 20th AF, which, from its base at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., oversees the Minuteman III ICBM force, since August 2007. Alston, who has served as assistant chief of staff for strategic deterrence and nuclear integration since November 2008, is a veteran missileer and has served in command and executive staff positions at various levels. Replacing Alston on the Air Staff will be Brig. Gen. Jonathan George—recently selected for a second star—who has served with the National Security Council as director of strategic capabilities policy since March 2009 and previously served with the National Nuclear Security Administration.
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."