Vandenberg AFB News Release
2008 May 22
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile configured with a National Nuclear Security Administration joint test assembly was launched at 3:04 a.m. today from North Vandenberg.
The launch was an operational test to determine the weapon system’s reliability and accuracy.
The missile's single unarmed re-entry vehicle traveled approximately 5,250 miles before hitting its pre-determined target in a broad ocean area 230 nautical miles southwest of Guam.
Col. Steve Tanous, 30th Space Wing commander, was the spacelift commander. Lt. Col. Lesa K. Toler, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, was the mission director for this test launch.
“This mission was unique in its use of the extended range assets from the Navy’s Mobile Instrumentation System on a T-AGS class ship” Colonel Toler said. “Inter-service coordination was phenomenal resulting in a seamless operation and collection of the necessary data for a successful test.”
The data collected will be used by the entire ICBM community, including the United States Strategic Command planners, the System Program Office at Hill AFB, Utah, and the NNSA/Department of Energy laboratories: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and Sandia National Laboratories.
“For the past 50 years Vandenberg has been at the forefront of testing and improving American ballistic missiles,” Colonel Tanous said. “Thanks to the hard work of the 30th SW and the 576th FLTS, we continue a proud legacy of assuring the readiness and reliability our ICBM fleet.”
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