U.S. Air Force aircraft line up on the runway during a capabilities demonstration at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Nov. 22, 2022.

U.S. Air Force aircraft line up on the runway during a capabilities demonstration at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Nov. 22, 2022. U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Jessi Roth

The Air & Space Brief: KC-46 marathon; Boeing reorg; No more BEAST mode; and more…

Welcome to the Defense One Air and Space newsletter. Here are our top stories this week:  

Marathon mission. The U.S. Air Force recently flew a KC-46 for 36 straight hours—from New Hampshire to the Pacific and back, a total of 16,000 miles—just to prove it could, Defense One’s Marcus Weisgerber reports. During the flight, the tanker refueled Hawaii-based F-22 fighter jets and was itself refueled three times. 

Boeing reorganization. The Chicago-based aerospace giant is cutting some of the top executives in its defense and space business unit, and is consolidating eight divisions into four, Weisgerber reports. “These changes will help accelerate operational discipline and program quality and performance, while stabilizing our development and production programs,” BDS CEO Ted Colbert said in a statement. Read more, here

Boot camp overhaul. Air Force basic training will no longer include the “BEAST”—the four-day Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training exercise—but will include an exercise called PACER FORGE, which incorporates agile combat employment and the concept of the “multi-capable airman,” the Air Force announced. BEAST had been a part of USAF Basic Military Training since 2006. 

Dragon launch. SpaceX Dragon’s C211 rocket is to fly to the International Space Station today: the first flight of what the company has said is the third and last reusable cargo rocket it intends to build, SpaceNews reported. It was originally scheduled to launch Monday, but officials moved the expected liftoff to 3:54 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday. 

Sign up to get The Air & Space Brief every Tuesday from Jennifer Hlad, Defense One’s news editor. On this day in 1988, the first Northrop B-2A prototype was rolled out of the factory at Palmdale, California.

From Defense One

Air Force Flies New Tanker for 36 Hours Straight // Marcus Weisgerber

It's part of a Pentagon trend of wringing surprising performance out of existing weapons.

Boeing Defense to Cut Execs, Consolidate Divisions // Marcus Weisgerber

The reorganization is part of a wider culture change pushed by the business unit's new CEO.

Ukraine, Irregular-War Changes Are Reshaping Pentagon's Info-Ops Strategy // Lauren C. Williams

Civilians reporting military movements and a return to proxy war will inform the first IO update in seven years.

Polish Military Chief Says Russia is Escalating on NATO's Border // Patrick Tucker

After missile debris kills Poles, Ukrainian officials say "air shield" talks with allies are underway.