VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) - The Air Force has
successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missile from the California coast to an area in the Pacific Ocean some 4,200 miles away.
Lt. Geoffrey Raymond says the ICBM was launched from Vandenberg
Air Force Base at 3:01 a.m. Monday and carried three unarmed re-entry vehicles to their targets near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
The missile, configured with a National Nuclear Security Administration Test Assembly, was launched under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron.
The Air Force says the launch was an operational test to check the weapon system's reliability and accuracy, and the data will beused by United States Strategic Command planners and Department of Energy laboratories.