Minuteman III Flies from Vandy

Crew aboard an E-6B Mercury Airborne Command Post initiated the test launch of an inert Minuteman III ICBM from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., last week, Air Force Global Strike Command announced. Missileers and personnel of the 90th Missile Wing from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., and the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron from Offutt AFB, Neb., conducted the test-shot on May 20—the third this year, according to a release. The telemetry instrumented test re-entry vehicle flew some 4,200 miles to splash-down in the Kwajalein Atoll test range in the Marshall Islands. The operational Minuteman was randomly selected from a silo at Warren to “verify the reliability of our ICBM weapon system and processes,” 90th MW taskforce commander Maj. Jacqueline Sartori said. Vandenberg conducted two back-to-back Minuteman test launches earlier this year, and plans one more ICBM test-shot before year’s end.