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Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile tested in U.S. California

The U.S. Air Force launches an unarmed Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile during an operational test at the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, the United States, Sept. 7, 2022. (Photo credit: Vandenberg Space Force Base)

The test's purpose was to validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness, and readiness of the weapon system, the Air Force Global Strike Command said.

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Air Force launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in the Vandenberg Space Force Base, 260 kilometers north from Los Angeles downtown, early Wednesday.

"An Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launches during an operational test at 1:13 A.M. PDT, Sept. 7, at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif.," the Air Force confirmed on Twitter.

The test's purpose was to validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness, and readiness of the weapon system, the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) which directed the operation, said in a statement Wednesday noon, adding "the ICBM's reentry vehicles traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands," which provided valuable data to ensure a continued safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent.

"Such tests have occurred more than 300 times before, and this test is not the result of current world events," it noted.

Airmen from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, and 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota, supported the Wednesday's test launch, AFGSC said. ■