The Air Force Wednesday celebrated the service contributions of 24 exceptional airmen during the ninth Portraits in Courage ceremony in Arlington, Va. With airmen ranging from EOD techs to aviators to a fuel specialist and a paralegal, CMSAF James Cody told the audience assembled in the auditorium of the Women in Military Service for America memorial at Arlington National Cemetery, “I promise you, over the last 13-plus years [of continuous fighting], there has not been a career field out there that has not … faced insurmountable odds” in combat. Five airmen—Capt. Jeremy Powell, MSgt. Ivan Ruiz, TSgt. Austin Hardin, TSgt. Daniel Wilson, SrA. TJ Brantley—told their stories, which ranged from Powell’s contributions as part of a team that acted swiftly to provide close air support to troops on the ground and get medical attention for Afghan and American troops wounded by insurgents to Wilson’s heroics in saving 12 airmen and his military working dog Dan in an ambush. The full list of airmen included five teams and seven individual airmen.
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."