A long-planned launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile scheduled for Wednesday is a routine test, and is not related to rising tensions with North Korea, a spokesman for U.S. Strategic Command said.
"The launch is not in response to any real world events," said Navy Capt. Brooke DeWalt.
The operational test launch of a Cold War-era Minuteman III ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force Base, C.A., is scheduled for Wednesday between 12:01 a.m. to 6:01 a.m. Pacific time.
The U.S. has approximately 450 Minuteman missiles on alert in underground silos spread across five states that make up the land component of America's nuclear triad of bombers, submarines and land-based ICBMs.
"The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness, and accuracy of the weapon system," according to a release from Air Force Global Strike Command.
The launch is a way to test the reliability of the missiles, as well as the proficiency of the crews who are trained to launch nuclear wepaons within minutes of receiving a validated president order.
The unarmed Minuteman III will be equipped with a single test reentry vehicle, which contains a telemetry package that will provide data for evaluating the launch.
The last test of a Minuteman was May 3.