In episode 104 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, The Origins of B-21: Understanding the Imperative, John Baum chats with a key set of individuals who were incredibly involved with the decisions that eventually yielded the B-21 program. Gen Kevin Chilton, USAF (Ret.), was the commander of STRATCOM, Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), serving on the Air Staff, Maj Gen Charlie Lyon, USAF (Ret.) was the lead for future Air Force capability requirements in the Pentagon, and Mark Gunzinger was in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The arrival of the B-21 into America’s airpower arsenal stands as a crucially important step in rebuilding long-range strike capabilities and capacity in support of Combatant Commander demands. The B-21’s December 2nd rollout is a critical juncture on the path to realizing this objective. However, this eventuality was not always a certainty. In the 2000s, in the wake of the Next Generation Bomber cancelation, a group of individuals had to build a case explaining why it was important to build a new penetrating bomber. They had to engage with senior leaders in OSD, the Joint Staff, and Combatant Commands to transform a concept into a program of record. This episode will explore this unique window in time with folks who were there. If you want to understand the B-21 that will be unveiled this coming week, you need to listen to this episode.
Host: Lt Col (Ret.) John “Slick” Baum, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Producer: Shane Thin
Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey
Guest: Lt Gen David Deptula, USAF (Ret.), Dean, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Guest: Gen Kevin Chilton, USAF (Ret.), Explorer Chair, Spacepower Advantage Center of Excellence, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Guest: Maj Gen Charles Lyon, USAF (Ret.)
Guest: Mark Gunzinger, Director, Future Concepts and Capability Assessments, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies