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Vandenberg successfully supports MDA interceptor launch

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Vandenberg's sky was lit up for a brief minute when the Missile Defense Agency's OBV FTG-03a interceptor was launched from Launch Facility-23 at 1:16 p.m. on Sept. 28.

The launch, which has been declared successful by MDA officials, is a rebirth from the May 24 launch of a ground-based interceptor designed to intercept and destroy a long-range ballistic missile as part of the ground-based midcourse defense element of the Integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System.

The May 24 launch was dubbed a "no test" due to circumstances of the target that the launch was intended to intercept.

A no-test occurs when there is a target failure or other anomaly not connected with the interceptor, and intercept test cannot be conducted.

In order for us to launch the interceptor here, we have to have a successful launch in Alaska, which did not happen during the May launch said Rick Lehner, the MDA director of public affairs.

The success of the launch hinged on the total support of Team-V.

"This launch was a huge mission success for Vandenberg and involved the continuous efforts of every organization on base," said Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander and spacelift commander for the launch.

Supporting an MDA launch allows Vandenberg to achieve not only its space mission, but to also achieve the overall mission of the U.S. military, to protect the American people.

"The 30th Space Wing, along with MDA and the rest of our mission partners here at Vandenberg, performed flawlessly in executing a launch that will make direct and long-lasting contributions to our national security," said Colonel Tanous.