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Missile test launch from Central Coast postponed because of tension between the U.S. and China

A Minuteman III missile test launched from Vandenber Space Force Base in 2020.
Senior Airman Clayton Wear
U.S. Air Force
A Minuteman III missile test launched from Vandenberg Space Force Base in 2020.

Minuteman III launch had been planned for Vandenberg Space Force Base this week.

Tension between the United States and China prompted the U.S. to cancel a planned intercontinental ballistic missile this week on the Central Coast.

The Air Force was set to conduct the latest in a series of routine Minuteman III missile tests from Vandenberg Space Force Base. But, national security officials announced that the flight was postponed indefinitely.

China has been upset over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, which it has long considered to be a part of its territory, and not an independent nation. It dropped communication with the U.S. over a number of issues like climate change, and ramped up military exercises near Taiwan.

National security officials say it is in no one’s interests to further escalate tension, so the Vandenberg test was postponed. The Air Force routinely does several test launches a year to test launch crew and equipment readiness.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.