An unarmed Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) was launched earlier today from the Vandenburg Air Force Base in California. The Minuteman III was randomly pulled from one of the F. E. Warren AFB and transported to Vanderburg AFB where it was launched.
According to the Air Force Global Strike Command website, the test was to confirm the readiness and operability of the Minuteman III program:
“A lot of work and preparation goes in to an operational test launch from the teams on both bases,” said Lt. Col Tytonia Moore, 90th MW, Task Force commander. “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.”
“The role we play here is vital to the testing and evaluation of the Minuteman III program,” said Col. Kelvin Townsend, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. “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 approximate range of the Minuteman III ICBM is 13,000km. However, the operational range is classified.
The unarmed Minuteman III ICBM successfully landed in a test range near the Island of Guam.