Vandy Test Launches Minuteman III

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at 2:42 a.m. Pacific Time on May 1, 2019, at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Air Force photo by SSgt. Brittany E. N. Murphy.

The Air Force test launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile early Wednesday from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The missile, launched by a crew from the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., flew 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The test, which was planned more than six months in advance, was to “verify the accuracy and reliability” of the missile, according to an Air Force Global Strike Command release.

“The test launch is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation that involve multiple partners,” Col. Dave Kelley, commander of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, said in the release. “I couldn’t be more impressed with the team that we partner with to successfully execute this mission.”

The Air Force regularly tests the missiles from Vandenberg with crews from the service’s three ICBM bases. During a previous test in August, the ICBM experienced an “anomaly” and was destroyed.