Another successful missile launch blasts off from Vandenberg AFB

The US Air Force test launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from California today.

"Based on satellite imagery alone, it is unclear if this activity indicates that a nuclear test has been cancelled, the facility is in stand-by mode or that a test is imminent", it said. The Air Force has approximately 450 of the long-range missiles in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Before its launch, the Minuteman III missile was pulled randomly from a silo at Malmstrom and transported to Vandenberg, where it was reassembled, according to the Air Force.

Every missile launch conducted by North Korea since 1984. But, in this test, the missile will be unarmed, just like it was in the previous tests, and the US Air Force have placed special precautions to conduct this test. However, President Trump has suggested that if China does not act to stop North Korea's provocative missile tests, the United States would.

"The goal of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command", Air Force officials wrote Saturday (April 29) in a statement announcing the test launch.

30th Space Wing commander colonel Chris Moss said: "The dedication and expertise of the combined 341st Missile Wing, 576th Flight Test Squadron and 30th Space Wing team is simply incredible".

Both come at a time when the US has expressed concern about North Korea's nuclear capability.

The South Korean and United States governments say THAAD is critical to deal with a growing missile threat from the North.

"We deployed a group of 15 active duty members, government civilians and contractors to launch, fly and recover up to eight BQM-167A targets over three days", said Lt. Col. Matthew Garrison, 82nd ATRS commander.

The US designates North Korea as one of its top national security concerns.

Air Force officials said that launch was an operational test to show the country's nuclear deterrent capability.

  • Joey Payne