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Vandenberg AFB supports missile flight test

missile

A flight test of a prototype conventionally-configured ground-launched ballistic missile occurred at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

On Dec. 12, 2019, the Air Force, in partnership with the Strategic Capabilities Office, conducted a flight test of a prototype conventionally-configured, ground-launched ballistic missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The test missile exited its static launch stand and terminated in the open ocean after more than 500 kilometers of flight. Data collected and lessons learned from this test will inform the Department of Defense's development of future intermediate-range capabilities. (U.S. Air Force video by Michael Stonecypher)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) --

A flight test of a prototype conventionally-configured, ground-launched ballistic missile occurred at Vandenberg Air Force Base Dec. 12.

The 30th Space Wing provided extensive and efficient range support to the test conducted by the Strategic Capabilities Office, part of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. The wing facilitated the successful launch, which made possible the collection of data that will inform the Defense Department's development of future capabilities. The joint government-industry team began work after the U.S. suspended its Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty obligations in February 2019, and executed the launch within nine months of contract award, a process that typically takes 24 months.

"The Western Range plays an integral role in testing new capabilities with our mission partners by providing the infrastructure, personnel and range assets needed to carry out efficient missile testing from conception to evaluation," said Col. Anthony Mastalir, 30th Space Wing commander. "The National Defense Strategy provides very clear direction to restore our competitive edge in the reemergence of great power competition, and we owe it to our nation to rapidly evolve and develop our capacity to defend. Our Airmen should be extremely proud of their contributions to their country today."

This test marked the second of a prototype conventionally-configured, ground-launched missile system since the U.S. withdrew from the INF Treaty in August. On Aug. 18, the SCO, in conjunction with the U.S. Navy, successfully demonstrated a prototype ground-launched cruise missile during a test at San Nicolas Island, California.

"The men and women of Vandenberg (AFB) work diligently to execute launches efficiently, and we remain committed to providing robust support to our mission partners," said Col. Bob Reeves, 30th Space Wing vice commander and launch decision authority for the test. "Overseeing today's launch operations in the Western Range Operations Control Center reminded me of just how remarkable our Airmen and partnerships are. To every member of “Team V” that had a hand in ensuring this launch ran smoothly, from planning to execution, I am honored to have worked alongside every single one of you."

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