A scheduled unarmed operational test Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch took place at 6:35 a.m. on June 22 from Vandenberg AFB.
Inclement weather and an interruption in communication with the Airborne Launch Control System led to delays in the countdown, but were overcome allowing for a safe launch within the established window of 3:01 to 9:01 am.
“We train constantly working through scenarios such as those we faced real-time this morning,” said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing vice commander and launch decision authority.
The missile traveled approximately 4,200 miles to a pre-determined target near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The entire ICBM community, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, will use the data collected from this mission for continuing force development evaluation.
“The launch process requires tremendous teamwork and involves months of preparation,” said Col. David Bliesner, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. “The data gained from these launches allows us to maintain a high readiness capability and ensures operational effectiveness of the most powerful weapons in the nation’s arsenal.”
Vandenberg’s next launch is another Minuteman III test scheduled for July 27.