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Minuteman III test launch scheduled

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for Nov. 14 between 1:44 a.m. and 7:44 a.m. from North Vandenberg.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

"Team V Hawks, working with AFGSC, are poised to provide safe launch operations to ensure a secure and effective combat ready ICBM force,'" said Col. Brent McArthur, 30th Space Wing vice commander. "It's a pleasure to work with our military, government civilian and contractor mission partners."

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, includes crew members from the 341st Missile Wing, Malmstrom AFB, Mont. Maintenance and operations task force members from the 341st Missile Wing have also conducted operational tasks in support of the launch.

The 576 FLTS is responsible for installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile, which collect data and ensure safety requirements are met.

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.

For more information about the flight test, call Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs at (318) 456-1305 or after hours at (318) 456-2151.