Global Strike Command conducts long-delayed Minuteman III ICBM test

By Shelley K. Mesch / August 16, 2022 at 10:44 AM

Air Force Global Strike Command launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile off the coast of California in the early morning hours Tuesday, conducting a test of the missile that has been delayed amid international conflict and posturing.

The missile launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base at 12:49 a.m. local time, and the test re-entry vehicle traveled 4,200 miles to an atoll in the Marshall Islands, according to a GSC news release.

The Defense Department had planned tests in both March and earlier this month.

The ICBM test in March was canceled as Russia continued to threaten nuclear strikes in the early days of its war in Ukraine.

The test scheduled for Aug. 4 was delayed as China conducted military exercises in the Taiwan Strait following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.

GSC called the test a routine way to ensure the weapon is safe, secure, reliable and effective in deterring modern threats.

"Our test launches are scheduled well in advance and are not reactionary to world events,” said Maj. Armand Wong, Task Force commander. “A meticulous planning process for each launch begins six months to a year prior to launch.”