Status Report

Minuteman III ICBM Test Launch from Vandenberg Successful

By SpaceRef Editor
February 7, 2001
Filed under ,

Team Vandenberg successfully launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at
1:28 a.m. from North Vandenberg today.

The launch was a team effort by members of the 30th Space Wing and the 576th Flight Test Squadron here and the 341st Space Wing from
Malmstrom AFB, Mont. The spacelift commander for this mission was Col. Richard A. Strathearn, 30th SW vice commander. The mission director
was Lt. Col. Douglas Kelley, 576th FLTS commander. Capt Phillip Opela, 576th FLTS, was the launch director.

“This launch was another great effort by Team Vandenberg and the Malmstrom Task Force,” Strathearn said. “Payload problems forced us to
postpone a Titan II launch last month, so this is our first launch of the year. The success of this launch builds on our 100 percent mission
success rate in 2000. I look forward to continuing this great trend through this year and beyond.”

The mission was a part of the Force Development Evaluation Program. The purpose of this launch was to test the reliability and accuracy of the
weapon system.

Maintenance members from the 341st SW and the 576th FLTS conducted maintenance activities for the launch. Lt. Col. Jodie Bliss was the task
force commander for the team from Montana.

The missile’s three unarmed re-entry vehicles traveled approximately 4,200 miles in about 30 minutes, hitting a pre-determined target at the
Kwajalein Missile Range in the western chain of the Marshall Islands.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Video will be available at the Main Gate Visitor’s Center at 6 a.m. Photos will be sent electronically.

SpaceRef staff editor.