An unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile will be launched Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base to test the weapon’s effectiveness, accuracy and readiness, according to the Air Force Global Strike Command. The Minuteman III missile test launch will occur between 12:01 and 6:01 a.m. from the north end of the base near Lompoc, according to Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing.

The 576th Flight Test Squadron, which will help oversee the operational test launch, is responsible for telemetry, tracking and command destruct systems on the missile. In a statement, Col. Chris Moss, Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing commander, said missile launches are “essential to verify the status of our national nuclear force and to demonstrate our national nuclear capabilities.” READ MORE