USAF base launches unarmed Minuteman III ballistic missile

5 February 2020 (Last Updated February 5th, 2020 15:15)

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a developmental test from the Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB).

USAF base launches unarmed Minuteman III ballistic missile
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during a developmental test at Vandenberg AFB. Credit: US Air Force / Senior Airman Clayton Wear.

The US Air Force (USAF) has announced the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a developmental test from the Vandenberg Air Force Base (AFB).

Conducted by Air Force Global Strike Command, the missile launch was carried out with Vandenberg’s support.

The Minuteman III launch is the first one hosted by the Vandenberg AFB since it became a part of the US Space Force.

USAF 30th Operations Group commander Kris Barcomb was the decision authority for the missile launch.

Barcomb said: “We are very proud to have accomplished this operation with our long-standing mission partner, Air Force Global Strike Command.

“We look forward to building on this launch as we continue to provide robust, safe and reliable capabilities critical to the testing and evaluation of the ICBM programme, and many space and range programs to come.”

The 30th Space Wing offers critical technical capabilities supporting space launch and test customers to include telemetry and radar, command and control, optics, and communication.

USAF 30th Space Wing commander Anthony Mastalir said: “Our airmen remain laser-focused on the flawless execution of our launch and range missions.

“I am extremely proud of the continued collaboration between the 30th Space Wing and the 576th Flight Test Squadron, culminating in another successful demonstration of our steadfast commitment to mission success.”

With the launch of Minuteman III missile, the airforce will be able to test its systems and procedures.

In November 2018, the US Air Force (USAF) announced plans with regard to the testing of Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from the Vandenberg AFB.

The Minuteman weapon system was conceived in the late 1950s, which was followed by the deployment of the Minuteman I in the early 1960s.