The U.S. military on Wednesday launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from California in a display of the U.S. nuclear forces’ readiness.
The Air Force Global Strike Command launch was successfully carried out at Vandenberg Space Force Base at 1:26 a.m. PDT.
“The Airmen and Guardians who perform this vital mission are some of the most skilfully trained and dedicated personnel in America’s Air Force,” said Col. Bryan Titus, Space Launch Delta 30 vice commander. “These test launches demonstrate the readiness of U.S. nuclear forces and provide confidence in the lethality and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.”
Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters during a press conference Tuesday that the United States had transmitted a prelaunch notification to the Hague Code of Conduct and that it has notified the Russian government in accordance to existing bilateral obligations.
The Vandenberg Space Force Base is home to Air Force Global Strike Command’s 576th Flight Test Squadron, which is the only dedicated ICMB test squadron in the United States.