VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. - Amid heightened tensions with Russia and now China, the U.S. Air Force launched a missile test from the Central Coast of California.
Air Force Global Strike Command conducted an unarmed Mintueman III intercontinental ballistic missile test launch at 12:49 a.m. from Vandenberg Space Force Base. The ICBM test is the first from Vandenberg since a scheduled minuteman launch was delayed on August 4 due to tensions with China.
Tuesday's test launch is meant as test of the readiness and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear capabilities.
"Tonight's success is due to the hard work and dedication of Guardians and Airmen from across Team Vandenberg whose contributions are vital to our nation's security," 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."
The minuteman missile was randomly selected from the stockpile at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota and transported to Vandenberg. The ICBM traveled 4,200 miles at a speed of more than 15,000 mph to a test range in the Marshall Islands, according to the Department of Defense.
Prior to Tuesday's launch the Russian government was notified that this test would be happening.