The Air Force is in the midst of a series of strategy meetings to figure out how it would function if the government shuts down, Secretary Michael Donley said Tuesday. Members of Congress have so far failed to reach a compromise either to approve a Fiscal 2011 spending bill or extend the current continuing resolution that expires on Friday. “The Department [of Defense] is using a template that was last used in 1995,” when the government last went through a shutdown in the midst of a budget battle, said Donley. USAF is struggling with “the definition of exempt and non-exempt personnel, how that would be applied, how that would be potentially implemented,” he explained. The discussions have thus far not yielded an action plan, he said. Military operations and military personnel supporting those operations comprise “one category of likely-to-be-exempt personnel, but there are variations on that,” said Donley. He said it’s not clear how the civilian or contractor workforce involved in operations would be affected.
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."