The U.S. Air Force on Wednesday tested an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile during a launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The missile lifted off at 1:13 a.m. Wednesday from the north portion of the base and sent a test reentry vehicle on a 4,200 mile flight over the Pacific Ocean to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Launch authority officials said that the test demonstrates the capability of the intercontinental ballistic missile system that was tailored to deter 21st century threats, though the test was not a response to world events or regional tensions.
The launch was conducted by a team of airmen from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander, was the launch decision authority.
“Here at the 30th Space Wing, we are committed to providing robust range support, which contributes to mission assurance for our partner, Air Force Global Strike Command,” Col. Mastalir said in a statement. “The Western Range is a critical part of the ICBM test and evaluation program, which lends credibility of our Nation’s strategic deterrent.
“Our Airmen can be very proud of their contributions to the security of our country.”