Minot AFB tests Minuteman III missile with launch from Vandenberg

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A team of Air Force Global Strike Command airmen from the 91st Missile Wing at Minot Air Force Base launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile equipped with test reentry vehicles Wednesday at 11:39 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The ICBM’s reentry vehicles, which contained telemetry packages used for operational testing, traveled about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the ICBM weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

“I am exceedingly proud of the maintainers and operators from the 91st Missile Wing, including those that supported this mission from the onset. This Task Force worked flawlessly alongside the absolute professionals from the 576 FLTS (Flight Test Squadron) to make this mission a success,” said Maj. Neil Copenhaver, GT221 Task Force commander.  “Promoting the deterrence, assurance and strike capability of the Minuteman III, along with the insight it provides to force readiness, could not be done without the dedication, professionalism and teamwork of the men and women throughout the 91st Missile Wing.”

Minot AFB is one of three missile bases with crew members standing alert 24 hours a day, year-round, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces.

Watch the Minot Daily News for more.