Just as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz hinted in December, the Pentagon’s newly issued Quadrennial Roles and Missions Review Report, or QRM for short, offers no revelations—at least we can’t find any. Essentially, the report (full document; caution large file) says the Department of Defense and services will keep on as they have been, albeit with renewed commitments to seek better joint synergy and less duplication of effort. Otherwise the report, released on Jan. 29, endorses existing roles and missions, such as letting both the Air Force and Army operate C-27 intratheater transports and allowing all of the services to have a hand in cyberspace activities (see below) and unmanned aerial vehicles. One major area that is cited for improvement reaches across all services: “We must improve our soft power,” writes Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the report’s introduction. There are also calls to do more to institutionalize irregular warfare across the department. The roles and missions review, is now required by law to take place every four years as a precursor to the Pentagon’s broader quadrennial defense review. We’re still waiting on each service to release the list of their core functions, which were laid out during the QRM process.
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."