Air Force tests Minuteman III missile with launch from Vandenburg AFB

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. A team of Air Force Global Strike Command personnel from the 90th Missile Wing (headquartered at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming) launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) equipped with a single test reentry vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on August 2 at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017, at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley/Released.)

The ICBM's reentry vehicle, which contained a telemetry package used for operational , traveled approximately 4,200 miles to a target area at the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. This and similar test launches provide valuable data to verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system.

F.E. Warren Air Force Base is one of three U.S. missile bases with crew members on alert 24 hours a day throughout the year, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces.

Col. Dave Kelley, commander of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, said of the Minuteman III test: “These test launches require the highest degree of technical competence and commitment at every level and provide critical data necessary to validate the reliability, accuracy and performance of the ICBM force."

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