Vandenberg Air Force Base, California - A team Airmen from Air Force Global Strike Command, launched an unarmed LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a test reentry vehicle March 23, from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Every test launch verifies the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent. The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, at Vandenberg AFB, included Airmen from the 90th Missile Wing at F. E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.
"A lot of work and preparation goes in to an operational test launch from the teams on both bases," said Lt. Col. Tytonia Moore, the task force commander for the 90th MW. "With these launches, we not only verify our processes and the ICBM weapon system, we provide a visual to the world that the Minuteman III is capable of striking pretty much anywhere with extreme precision."
F. E. Warren is one of three missile bases with crew members standing alert 24/7 year round, overseeing the nation's 450 ICBM alert forces.
The ICBM community, including the Defense Department, the Department of Energy, and U.S. Strategic Command will use the data collected from this mission for continuing force development evaluation.
"The role we play here is vital to the testing and evaluation of the Minuteman III program," said Col. Kelvin Townsend, the commander of the 576th Flight Test Squadron. "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."The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational credibility of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States' ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of U.S. national security and the security of U.S. allies and partners.