Successful Missile Test — On 2 August, 2017, the United States Air Force Global Strike Command launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) equipped with test reentry vehicle from Vandenberg AFB, California. The ICBM’s reentry vehicle traveled approximately 4,200 miles to Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. The Air Force sometimes calls Kwajalein “the catcher’s mitt”, but that’s not really an apt description, as those incoming missiles are bound for a concrete pad that serves as a target on one of the little islets that the military rents from the RMI. Incoming missiles are filmed with ultra high-speed cameras as they approach the target and if the strike occurs within 12 inches of the target (as it usually does), the test is regarded as a success.
While the above test is not a response to North Korean missile tests or provocations, the ICBM test demonstrated the U.S. nuclear enterprise is safe, secure, effective and ready to deter, detect and defend against attacks on the U.S. and its allies. Test launches involving Minuteman missiles are scheduled months in advance with the missile randomly selected from among the 450 ICBMs on alert 24/7/365. The ballistic missile test range hosted by the RMI is an indispensable, if little known asset.
(Extracted from an Air Force press release.)