Skip to main content

Already a subscriber? Make sure to log into your account before viewing this content. You can access your account by hitting the “login” button on the top right corner. Still unable to see the content after signing in? Make sure your card on file is up-to-date.

The United States military has confirmed that they test-fired two unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles this week.

These tests, carried out by the Air Force and Space Force, took place on June 4 and June 6 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. According to Air Force Global Strike Command, these exercises are not influenced by “current world events.” The command oversees one segment of the United States’ nuclear triad, which also includes submarine- and bomber-launched nuclear weapons.

Colonel Chris Cruise, head of the 377th Test and Evaluation Group, highlighted the significance of these tests in a June 4 announcement. He stated, “The US nuclear enterprise is the cornerstone of security for our allies and partners across the globe. Today’s test launch is just one example of how our nation’s ICBMs, and the professional Airmen who maintain and operate them, demonstrate the readiness and reliability of the weapon system. It showcases our commitment to deterrence as we stand on continuous alert, 24/7/365.”

Each missile’s reentry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles to the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Reentry vehicles are designed to carry nuclear warheads, detach from the missile, travel through space, and reenter Earth’s atmosphere to strike their targets.

Some background:
Originally operational in the 1970s, the Minuteman III ICBM system was intended for a decade-long service but continues to be utilized nearly 50 years later, with plans for use into the 2030s.  


Keep up to date with our latest videos, news and content