Global Strike Conducts Second Minuteman Test Launch This Month

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 12:40 Pacific Daylight Time on May 9, 2019, at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Air Force photo by A1C Hanah Abercrombie.

The Air Force, for the second time in about a week, test launched a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

At about 12:40 a.m. local time May 9, a crew from F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., launched the unarmed missile, which traveled about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The missile was outfitted with a test re-entry vehicle, with a “high-fidelity package used for operational testing,” according to an Air Force Global Strike Command release.

The test follows the May 1 test of an ICBM, also launched by a crew from F.E. Warren.

The Air Force builds its launch calendars three to five years in advance, planning for each individual launch beginning at least six months in advance, according to Global Strike.