Vandenberg AFB conducts successful Minuteman III missile test

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was tested early Monday morning at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. | Courtesy of the U.S. Air Force
F.E. Warren Air Force Base officials in Wyoming said an unarmed Minuteman III Intercontinental missile was successfully tested on Monday.

The test took place at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The test missile had been stationed at the Warren base. F.E. Warren is one of three Air Force bases that oversee intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) on a 24-hour basis.

"The role we play here is vital to the testing and evaluation of the Minuteman III program," Col. Kelvin Townsend, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, said. "We ensure the facilities and framework are in place to conduct operational test launches in a safe and secure manner, with multiple team players contributing to the reliability of the test."

These tests are carried out to determine whether ICBMs are performing at full capacity in terms of accuracy and safety as nuclear deterrents. Data from these tests is utilized by the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy and U.S. Strategic Command in the development of enhancements to the ICBM program.

"With these launches, we not only verify our processes and the ICBM weapons system; we provide a visual to the world that the Minuteman III is capable of striking pretty much anywhere with extreme precision," Lt. Col. Tytonia Moore, 90th MW, task force commander, said.

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