Even though NATO and US train and assist operations continue in Afghanistan, the larger USAF presence at Bagram Airfield is steadily growing smaller, according to an Air Forces Central Command release. Airmen assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron’s traffic management office are preparing shipments of everything from classified information to hazardous materials for transport from Afghanistan while still supporting ongoing operations. The unit’s TMO is playing a key role in getting sensitive materials out of the country, as well as hazardous gases, engines, and other items. “A lot of the stuff we move will stay in theater,” said SrA. Kionne Lewis, a cargo specialist with the 455th ELRS. Many of Bagram’s former tenants are sending their equipment and assets to other locations in US Central Command or back to the continental United States. The USAF footprint has shrunk significantly in Afghanistan since the end of Operation Enduring Freedom, but TMO plans to stay busy until the mission drawdown is slated to end by December 2016. “We still have a while here, so all the parts we receive are crucial for the mission,” said Lewis.
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."