Minuteman Aloft

Air Force Global Strike Command successfully launched an inert Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Tuesday, the command announced. AFGSC conducts live Minuteman launches twice a year from Vandenberg out over the Pacific Ocean to assure the readiness of the US nuclear ICBM fleet. Missileers from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., fired the Minuteman III Dec. 17 from Vandy’s launch facility 4 at 4:36 a.m. Pacific Time. They were assisted by Vandenberg’s 576th Flight Test Squadron, stated a release. “Our Airmen maintain and operate this weapon system year round in some challenging environments, and today’s test is a result of their tireless devotion to this mission,” said Maj. Gen. Jack Weinstein, interim commander of 20th Air Force, which oversees the training and management of the Air Force’s ICBM force.