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MINUTEMAN III LAUNCH SCHEDULED

Release Number: 050216

An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled between 11:00 p.m. PST Thursday, Feb. 25 and 5:00 a.m. PST Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose 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.

Col. J. Christopher Moss, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

"The launch process requires tremendous teamwork and involves months of preparation," said Moss. "The data gained from these launches allows us to maintain a high readiness capability and ensures operational effectiveness of the most powerful weapons in the nation's arsenal."

The launch team, under the direction of the 576th Flight Test Squadron, includes crew members and maintainers from the 91st Missile Wing, Minot AFB, North Dakota.

The 576th FLTS is responsible for installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile, which collect data and ensure safety requirements are met.

For information call Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs at (318) 456-1305 or after hours at (318) 532-1215.