Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
3/27/2015 - VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A
team of Air Force Global Strike Command Airmen launched an unarmed
Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with a test
reentry vehicle today at 3:53 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time from Vandenberg
Air Force Base, California.
The test reentry vehicle impacted in a pre-established test area in the
Pacific Ocean near the island of Guam approximately 40 minutes after
All test launches verify 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, Vandenberg AFB, included Airmen from the 341st
Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana and was the second test launch of
a Minuteman III this week. The 576th Flight Test Squadron and 90th
Missile Wing, F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, completed the first unarmed
Minuteman III launch of the week from Vandenberg AFB March 23.
"An operational test launch requires hard work, months of preparation,
and outstanding teamwork between personnel on both bases," said Lt. Col.
Daniel Hays, the 341st Missile Wing Task Force Commander. "These
launches are a visible reminder to both our adversaries and our allies
of the readiness and capability of the Minuteman III weapon system, and
without the dedication of the men and women from both the 576th and the
341st, this test could not have happened."
"The two launches from the past week were a full team effort between the
576th, and the 90th and 341st Missile Wings," said Col. Kelvin
Townsend, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. "Launching multiple
missiles in close proximity to each other adds an extra amount of
realism to the operational test mission we fulfill here. These test
launches occur due to the training and strict attention to detail our
people have; resulting in a reliable test."
Malmstrom and Warren AFBs are two of three missile bases with crew
members standing alert 24-7 year round, overseeing the nation's 450 ICBM
The ICBM community, including the Department of Defense, the Department
of Energy, and U.S. Strategic Command will use the data collected from
this mission for continuing force development evaluation.
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.