As reported on Tuesday evening, overnight the US Air Force conducted a test launch of an unarmed Minuteman III ICBM from Vanderberg Air Force base near Lompoc in California, in what was a clear signal of nuclear deterrence aimed squarely at North Korea.
Col John Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, who oversaw the launch of the long range missile, said that "Team V is once again ready to work with Air Force Global Strike Command to successfully launch another Minuteman III missile. These Minuteman launches are essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities. We are proud of our long history in partnering with the men and women of the 576th Flight Test Squadron to execute these missions for the nation."
As Vanderberg confirmed overnight, the missile launch was conducted as planned, and was successful, with the ICBM travelling approximately four thousand two hundred miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
This is the statement Vanderberg released shortly after the launch:
On April 26 airmen from F.E. Warren, Offutt And Vandenberg Air Force Bases conducted an operational test launch of an unarmed Minuteman Three missile. Today’s test launch used an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile pulled randomly from a silo on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, which was then transported and reassembled at Vandenberg, and launched by crew members of the 625Th strategic operations squadron aboard the U.S. Strategic Command Airborne Command Post Navy E6B Aircraft.
The ICBM was equipped with a test reentry vehicle, and traveled approximately four thousand two hundred miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
These ICBM test launches verify the accuracy and reliability of the weapon system, providing valuable data to ensure a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.
It also released the following video of the ICBM launch, which we are confident will be closely watched by everyone in the Kim Jong-Un administration.