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Vandenberg conducts Minuteman III flight test

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A scheduled unarmed operational test Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch occurred here at 3:03 a.m., Sept. 17 from Launch Facility-09. The missile's single reentry test vehicle traveled approximately 5,300 miles to a pre-determined target about 200 miles southwest of Guam. ICBM analysts, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, will use the data collected to ensure the readiness and capability of the ICBM fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A scheduled unarmed operational test Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch occurred here at 3:03 a.m., Sept. 17 from Launch Facility-09. The missile's single reentry test vehicle traveled approximately 5,300 miles to a pre-determined target about 200 miles southwest of Guam. ICBM analysts, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, will use the data collected to ensure the readiness and capability of the ICBM fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Launch team members from the 576th Flight Test Squadron conduct pre-flight operations for a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch here Friday, Sept. 17, 2010. The launch tested the missiles operational effectiveness, readiness and accuracy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Launch team members from the 576th Flight Test Squadron conduct pre-flight operations for a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch here Friday, Sept. 17, 2010. The launch tested the missiles operational effectiveness, readiness and accuracy. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A scheduled unarmed operational test Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launch occurred here at 3:03 a.m., Sept. 17 from Launch Facility-09.

The missile's single reentry test vehicle traveled approximately 5,300 miles to a pre-determined target about 200 miles southwest of Guam. ICBM analysts, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, will use the data collected to ensure the readiness and capability of the ICBM fleet.

"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."

The launch was a combined effort of the 576th FLTS here; 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.; 625th Strategic Operations Squadron, Offutt AFB, Neb.; and the 30th Space Wing here.


Click here for launch video