The United States has test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile from a facility in California in a move to relay a message of nuclear capability to the world.
The US Air Force fired the unarmed Minuteman III missile from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Monday, according to a statement by the Air Force.
The test-launch program “demonstrates the operational credibility of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of US national security and the security of US allies and partners,” read the statement.
“With these launches, we not only verify our processes and the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) weapon system, we provide a visual to the world that the Minuteman III is capable of striking pretty much anywhere with extreme precision,” Lt. Col Tytonia Moore said.
The California facility has conducted multiple missile tests over the years, most recently in September 2014.
The latest was tested along with massive NATO war games across Eastern Europe as the alliance plans to expand its military presence in the region amid the conflict in Ukraine.
In 2014, NATO forces held some 200 military exercises with the alliance’s General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg having promised that such drills would continue.
The US and NATO war games have been conducted amid tensions between the US and Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
Western governments accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine by supporting pro-Russian forces there. Moscow, however, denies the allegation.
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