WASHINGTON — The US Air Force will announce the name of the next-generation B-21 bomber during the Air Force Association's annual conference in September, the service said Tuesday.

Active, Guard, Reserve and civilian airmen submitted more than 4,600 possible names as part of the contest announced by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James during AFA's Air Warfare Symposium in February, and Air Force Global Strike Command leadership narrowed down the list to 15 options, according to the May 10 announcement.

James and the Air Force chief of staff will spend the next few months selecting the winner.

"We received an overwhelming number of nominations, which to me is a testament to how invested our Airmen are in the future of their Air Force," James said. "Thank you to everyone who submitted, and we're looking forward to announcing the B-21's name in the fall."

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