The first publicly announced missile test of the Air Force’s 30th Space Wing happened overnight when the U.S. launched an unarmed Minuteman III from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This marks the first test launch since the 30th Space Wing became a part of the United States Space Force.
The launch happened at 12:33 am local time (3:33 am ET) and the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) fled through 4,200 miles across the Pacific Ocean. The landing went smoothly, and the ICBM landed near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander has talked about the event by saying, This launch marks a very special moment in our nation’s history, providing the range support needed to facilitate this launch showcases how the Space Force will continue to support and integrate into the joint fight to ensure national security for our country."
This video released by the 30th Space Wing office of Public Affairs shows the launch in action on Wednesday morning.
In service since the 1970s, The Minuteman III missile has a range of 8,000 miles which means that it can target virtually anything around the Earth. However, the old-man missile is estimated to get phased out during the 2020s.
These developmental testings provide valuable data for the modernization and sustainment of the IBCM weapon system. They not only show the accuracy and reliability of the weapons but also provide valuable information to ensure a safe and effective nuclear deterrent.