WEATHER »

Secretary of Air Force Visits Launch


Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James visited the Central Coast this week for the first launch of the Minuteman III, which deployed Tuesday morning from the Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lifting off at 7:45 a.m., the unarmed rocket headed for a target thousands of miles across the Pacific in the vicinity of the Marshall Islands. Calling the experience “truly amazing,” James, who was appointed to the top position late last year, said in a statement that Tuesday was her first time observing a Minuteman III take off. “This test launch is a testament to the hard work, skill, and dedication of our nuclear airmen. They work every day to provide the nuclear deterrent capability that keeps our nation safe and secure, and I was privileged to witness their commitment to this mission firsthand,” James said.

Deborah Lee James
Click to enlarge photo

Courtesy Photo

Deborah Lee James

Officials called the mission a “100 percent” success. “We constantly focus on flawless execution of our launch, range, and expeditionary missions. I am extremely proud of the collaboration between the 30th SW [Space Wing] and the 576th FLTS [Flight Test Squadron],” said Colonel Keith Balts, the 30th Space Wing commander. Air Force Global Strikes Command spokesperson Charles Ramey stressed the reason for these operational launches is to maintain the safety and security of the defense weaponry. The tests are scheduled on an as-need basis and are not preannounced far in advance. A version of the Minuteman III has been the U.S. nuclear deterrent for more than 50 years.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Volunteers Canvas Montecito’s ‘Red Zones’

Door-to-door outreach delivers storm-readiness info.

Sometime S.B. Resident Ryan Zinke to Step Down

All roads to lead to Santa Barbara — even Trump’s.

Highway Patrol Bears Gifts to Unity Shoppe

Officers collect and deliver donated children's toys to support service.

Adam Brothers Farm Identified in E. Coli Outbreak

Santa Maria farm recalls romaine and additional produce.

Goleta Swears in New City Leadership

New mayor and new councilmembers step onto the dais.