Lt. Gen. Philippe Steininger, head of the French air force’s Strategic Air Force Command, led a contingent of French air force officials that visited Whiteman AFB, Mo., to get a close look at the B-2A bomber mission and meet with Air Force Global Strike Command boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson. During the May 26-27 visit, Steininger had the chance to fly in a B-2, a rare opportunity for visitors, and discussed operations and procedures regarding strategic deterrence with Wilson, according the base’s release. “Our weapons are different, our systems are different…. But our challenges are exactly the same,” said Steininger. It marked his first visit to an AFGSC base since taking command of the French strategic air forces, states the release. Since AFGSC stood up in 2009, command officials have worked to build a relationship with their French counterparts through a series of exchange visits, participation in joint exercises, and attendance at events. “We want to continue to build upon an already great relationship and that’s why these exchanges are really important,” said Wilson.
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."