Minuteman Test Flight

The Air Force launched an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., out over the Pacific Ocean yesterday. The mission was one of the several operational tests conducted annually to ensure that the Minuteman fleet remains both reliable and accurate. The missile, which was pulled from an operational silo at Minot AFB, N.D., carried three unarmed re-entry vehicles approximately 4,190 miles to their pre-determined targets near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. “Testing an operational asset pulled from the missile field at Minot provides us confidence our weapon system is capable of performing when needed,” said Lt. Col. Lesa Toler, commander of Vandenberg’s 576th Flight Test Squadron and mission director for the launch. (Vandenberg report by 1st Lt. Raymond Geoffroy)