The operational test launch of an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, between 3:00 and 9:00 a.m., according to base officials. The launch of the Minuteman 3 missile, originally scheduled for April 14, was delayed due to tensions between North Korea and the United States.
The test will mark the first launch of a Minuteman 3 out of Vandenberg since November 2012, and the first launch of 2013. The missile’s unarmed re-entry vehicle will travel approximately 4,190 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.
The launch team under direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron includes crewmembers of the 91st Missile Wing from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota. The test is intended to demonstrate the readiness of the intercontinental ballistic missile system, explained Col. Richard Pagliuco, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander. The results will provide valuable information about the accuracy, readiness, and effectiveness of the system, he said.