Air Force conducts last ICBM test launch of the year

Air Force Global Strike launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile at 2:10 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time on Aug. 2 from Vandenberg Air Force in California.

The missile was pulled from the 90th Missile Wing’s missile field at F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming. Airmen from the 90th traveled to California to conduct the launch.

According to an AFGSC release, the launch was “not a response to recent North Korean actions,” but the test demonstrated the U.S. nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the U.S. and its allies.

ICBMs are fitted with a reentry vehicle for test launches that contain telemetry packages used for operational testing. The reentry vehicle traveled about 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

“This operational test launch highlights the commitment and outstanding professionalism of the 90th Missile Wing, the 576th Flight Test Squadron and our mission partners in the 30th Space Wing,” said Col. Dave Kelley, the 576th FLTS commander. “These test launches require the highest-degree of technical competence and commitment at every level and provide critical data necessary to validate the reliability, accuracy and performance of the ICBM force.”

F.E. Warren AFB is one of three missile bases with crew members standing alert 24 hours a day, year-round, overseeing the nation’s ICBM alert forces. The other two are Minot in North Dakota and Malmstrom here in Great Falls.

ICBM test launches are conducted about four times per year, and AFGSC told The Electric this morning’s test is the final test for the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.