The final force development evaluation launch of the year was conducted from North Vandenberg on Wednesday morning
ABOVE: VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. – An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches from here Sept. 14. The launch was conducted to ensure the weapon system is operationally effective. (Photo by Rodney Jones) BELOW: US Navy E-6B Looking Glass
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VANDENBERG AFB, Calif. – Airmen successfully conducted the final force development evaluation launch of the year from North Vandenberg at 1:01 a.m. Sept. 14.
The unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile was launched as part of continuing tests to ensure the weapon system is operationally effective.
The event was a team effort by members of the 625th Missile Operations Flight, 30th Space Wing and the 576th Flight Test Squadron here and the 91st Space Wing from Minot AFB, N.D. The launch was executed through the 625th's Airborne Launch Control System aboard a U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury aircraft under the command of Maj 'Spank' Carlson and Capt Sean Lavigne, the launch director was Capt. Rasheem Wright, 576th FLTS.
Members of the 576th FLTS performed pre-launch maintenance activities, including missile emplacement and installation of unique missile tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems to collect test data and meet safety requirements.
The missile’s single unarmed re-entry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles in about 30 minutes, hitting a pre-determined target at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll in the western chain of the Marshall Islands.
This operational test launch, designated GLORY TRIP 189GM, continues a long history of Western Range launches used to verify, validate and improve the capability of the nation’s ICBM force – a key component to continued global stability.