Speaking Feb. 9 at the Reserve Officers Association’s national convention in Washington, D.C., Lt. Gen. Charles Stenner, Air Force Reserve chief, said he’s open to re-examining—and implicitly extending—the five-year legal limit on a deployed reservist retaining reemployment rights with an employer given the enduring contingency operations in Afghanistan and Iraq with reservists supporting them every step of the way. Stenner subsequently told the Daily Report that “it’s theoretically possible” that some airmen could exceed the five-year limit, and this situation “may continue for some years.” And just as reservists’ commitments extend, so, too, do the contributions of civilian employers “who are key partners,” he said. Accordingly, there may be some portions of the USERRA law of 1994 that “could be slightly modified to better accommodate their needs,” offering them more repeatability, and hopefully predictability, and sustainability, he said.
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."