Changes to the Air Force’s special-duty program taking effect on Oct. 1 will require airmen to receive a nomination and go through a vetting process, announced Air Combat Command officials. Under the new procedures, commanders and those in leadership roles will recommend top-performing airmen for positions previously filled on a volunteer basis, such as military training instructors, airman and family readiness noncommissioned officers, and enlisted accessions recruiters, states ACC’s Sept. 5 release. “The Air Force is looking for the best-qualified airmen who have qualities of a leader and will be able to prosper in these positions,” said CMSgt. Michael Helfer, chief enlisted manager for manpower, personnel, and services. Airmen nominated for these special-duty positions will still have to meet basic eligibility requirements and specific criteria for the position, states the release. The Air Force will still take qualified volunteers, in some cases, if there are vacancies to fill. (Langley report by SSgt. Candice C. Page)
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."