B-21 “Raider”

The new B-21 bomber will be named the “Raider,” in honor of the Doolittle Raiders of World War II. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, speaking at ASC16, called 101-year-old last surviving Doolittle Raider Lt. Col. Dick Cole to the stage to announce the name, which was suggested in a contest by both Lt. Col. Jaime Hernandez, commander of the 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Dyess AFB, Texas, and TSgt Derek White of the 175th Civil Engineering Squadron of the Maryland ANG. James, saying this was possibly her last keynote address, noted her efforts to increase Air Force endstrength and keep the Air Force’s largest modernization programs–the B-21, F-35 fighter and KC-46 tanker–on track. James said it’s a near-certainty that there will be a Continuing Resolution on the fiscal year 2017 budget, which will hurt USAF efforts on all its modernization programs. She urged Congress to act before the end of December to approve the budget so as to inflict the least damage on those programs.