The name of America’s latest stealth bomber was just announced this morning. And it’s not Bomby McBomberface. The B-21 will be known as the Raider and it’s all thanks to two airmen who submitted the name.
The name was crowdsourced by the Air Force, but the contest was only open to airmen and women and their families. The Air Force received over 4,600 entries before they closed the contest in May. Gizmodo submitted a Freedom of Information Act request for the list of names, which had been denied.
The name was announced by Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James at the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space & Cyber conference, south of Washington, D.C. this morning. It’s become a bit of a game in military circles to come up with silly possible names for the B-21.
The B-21 Raider‘s official budget is a secret, but it’s rumored to cost over $42 billion. Senator John McCain has been a vocal opponent of the secrecy around the B-21's budget.
Despite the fact that Gizmodo’s FOIA request was denied and the Air Force will reportedly be releasing the list of names that were “officially considered,” we’ll still be pursuing the story of why the name for the B-21 was crowdsourced.
Update 12:03pm: The two airmen who submitted the name “Raider” were Jaime Hernandez and Derek White.
From an Air Force press release, that curiously now says only “2,100 unique names were submitted,” contradicting a May press release that said over 4,600 names were submitted:
B-21 naming contest selected members:
· Lt. Col. Jaime I. Hernandez, 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron commander, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas
· Tech. Sgt. Derek D. White, emergency management craftsman, 175th Civil Engineering Squadron, Maryland Air National Guard