Air Force Conducts Missile Test in CA 04/26 06:23
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) -- An unarmed Minuteman 3
intercontinental ballistic missile has been launched from a U.S. Air Force Base
in California on a flight to a target in the Pacific Ocean.
The missile lifted off at 12:03 a.m. Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force
Base, 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
An Air Force statement said the mission was part of a program to test the
effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system.
The 30th Space Wing commander, Col. John Moss, said Minuteman launches are
essential to verify the status of the U.S. nuclear force and to demonstrate the
national nuclear capabilities.
In a Minuteman test, a so-called re-entry vehicle travels more than 4,000
miles downrange to a target at Kwajalein Atoll near the Kwajalein Atoll in the
"Team V is once again ready to work with Air Force Global Strike Command to
successfully launch another Minuteman III missile," Moss said. "These Minuteman
launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and
to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities. We are proud of our long
history in partnering with the men and women of the 576th Flight Test Squadron
to execute these missions for the nation."
The 576th Flight Test Squadron will be responsible for installed tracking,
telemetry, and command destruct systems on the missile.