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Air Force Successfully Test Launches Missile From Central Coast

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(Photo by USAF Staff Sgt. Brittany Murphy)
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An unarmed Minuteman III missile takes off from Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday morning

The Air Force successfully test launched an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile from Santa Barbara County early Wednesday morning.

A Minuteman III missile was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base at 2:42 a.m.  The missile was equipped with a test reentry vehicle which was deployed more than 4,000 miles away in the South Pacific.

It's the latest in an ongoing series of tests to check the readiness of launch crews and equipment.  A team from the 90th Missile Wing, stationed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming handled launch duties.  It's one of three missile bases around the country which are a key part of the nation's defense capability.