Sunday, September 22, 2013

Minuteman III test missile launches from Vandenberg

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched during an operational test at 3:01 a.m. (PDT) today from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, included members from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., and 90 Missile Wing, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo.

"The test launch is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation." said Col. Lance Kawane, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. "The invaluable data we collect helps us to validate the functionality and performance of system components."

The ICBM test launch program supports U.S. strategic deterrence policy as outlined in the 2010 Department of Defense Nuclear Posture Review, by demonstrating the operational credibility of the Minuteman III.

Agencies across the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy will use the data collected from this mission to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. The United States' ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent is a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and friends.

The next test launch of the Minuteman III from Vandenberg is scheduled for Sept. 26.