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USAF tests two Minuteman III ICBM vehicles

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A Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile which was launched on June 16, 2010, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Photo: USAF.

BARKSDALE AFB (BNS): Two Global Strike Command missile crews of US Air Force have launched Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test vehicles on June 16th and 30th, respectively, from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

During the launch, teams from the operational missile bases (F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming and Malmstrom AFB, Mont) came to Vandenberg AFB to assemble the missile with the 576th Flight Test Squadron.

"The missile launches have given the crew a unique training opportunity to turn the launch keys that send an actual missile rocketing into the sky," Capt. Isaac Earnhart, the 341st Operations Support Squadron missile combat crew commander, said in a UASF official release.

“The process is careful and deliberate,” officials said.

"Every flight test provides valuable experience to the crew and an evaluation of the missile's accuracy and reliability in its intended operational environment," Col. Carl DeKemper, the 576th FLTS commander added.

According to the officials, the missile components are individually inspected and then tested equipments are installed before a launch took place from any AFB.

The test launches helps to validate maintenance technicians' skills from the operational wings.

USAF has scheduled the next Minuteman III launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base on September 15, 2010, by a missile task force from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.


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