US Test-Launches ICBM Off California To Show Ability To ‘Defend Against Attacks’

news
An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
U.S. Air Force photo

An unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Wednesday to test the weapon’s reliability to “defend against attacks on the United States and its allies,” the Air Force said.


The Minuteman III missile was fired at 2:10 a.m. local time from the base northwest of Santa Barbara, Calif., according to the Air Force Global Strike Command. The missile, equipped with a single test re-entry vehicle, traveled 4,200 miles to a test range near the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

The strike command said the test was “not a response to recent North Korean actions.” Rather the launch “demonstrates that the United States’ nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective” and can protect against strikes, the command said.

The test comes after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday — the second in less than a month. The two-stage missile crashed off the coast of Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. Independent defense analysts say such a missile may be capable of reaching California and other parts of the West Coast.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. government would agree to a dialogue with North Korea if it relinquishes its nuclear program.

“We are trying to convey to the North Koreans: ‘We are not your enemy, we are not your threat. But you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond,’” he said.

Wednesday’s launch was conducted by Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing team, the 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming and the 576th Flight Test Squadron, the Air Force said. The 90th Missile Wing is one of three bases overseeing the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile forces.

The test is the fourth ICBM launched from the base this year.

“These test launches require the highest degree of technical competence and commitment at every level and provide critical data necessary to validate the reliability, accuracy and performance of the ICBM force,” Col. Dave Kelley, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, said in a statement.

In February, a test missile was launched from the base. That missile was also equipped with a nonexplosive payload and traveled to the Marshall Islands.

Another test was conducted by the Air Force Global Strike Command’s team on April 26. Air Force officials said that launch was an operational test to show the country’s nuclear deterrent capability.

Days later, a third test missile launched from the base. The unarmed Minuteman III missile was launched just after midnight on May 3 from the base to test the weapon’s reliability and ensure an “effective nuclear deterrent,” according to the Air Force.

On May 30, the Missile Defense Agency conducted a flight test exercise of a ground-based interceptor that was also launched from the air base. The interceptor successfully targeted and destroyed an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile launched from the Marshall Islands.

———

©2017 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.

It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.

Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.

Read More Show Less

No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.

Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.

"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.

Read More Show Less
A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

Read More Show Less

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

Read More Show Less
Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Read More Show Less