27 June 2009
 California: Protest Against Space Command ICBM Launch
Missile launch set for Monday
Lompoc Record
 
http://www.lompocrecord.com/articles/2009/06/27/news/centralcoast/news05.txt

This summer, the 576th, along with other ICBM plus bomber units, will move into the newly created Global Strike Command, which will be responsible for overseeing Air Force nuclear operations....“The move to Global Strike Command means that we can re-build the way we do business from scratch.”

-People opposed to ICBMs plan to gather Monday morning at Vandenberg’s Main Gate to stage a protest from midnight until the launch happens....The demonstration is sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and the War Resisters League.

A Minuteman 3 weapon set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Monday morning will be among the last ICBM tests under Air Force Space Command.

The missile is scheduled to blast out of its underground silo on North Base during a six-hour window opening at 3:01 a.m. Monday. Unfavorable weather and technical problems can delay launches from Vandenberg, but weather appears favorable, officials said.

The weapon will carry a “joint test assembly” for the mission, to determine the Minuteman system’s reliability and accuracy.

Upon blastoff, the military will track the intercontinental ballistic missile’s three unarmed “re-entry vehicles” as they travel some 4,200 miles to predetermined targets near the Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

This launch is one of the last Minuteman tests that will occur while Vandenberg’s 576th Flight Test Squadron reports to Air Force Space Command.

This summer, the 576th, along with other ICBM plus bomber units, will move into the newly created Global Strike Command, which will be responsible for overseeing Air Force nuclear operations, created amid the fallout of several snafus involving nuclear forces.

“The move to Global Strike Command means that we can re-build the way we do business from scratch,” said Lt. Col. Lesa Toler, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander and mission director for Monday’s test.

“This is a great opportunity for us to write our future,” he said. “We are already the best at what we do, but now we are currently looking at our processes to see how we can do our job faster and more efficiently.”

As the launch decision authority for this mission, Col. David J. Buck, the 30th Space Wing commander, will give the final green light for blastoff.

To ready for the launch, members of the 576th installed tracking, telemetry and command-destruct systems on the missile to collect data and meet safety requirements.

A task force from the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, N.D., handled maintenance chores, and will provide the crew to perform the steps to launch the weapon.

This launch is the first of three Minuteman test planned for 2009.

People opposed to ICBMs plan to gather Monday morning at Vandenberg’s Main Gate to stage a protest from midnight until the launch happens.

Northern California activists say they expect to arrive by bus for the protest, where Andrew Lichterman of the Western States Legal Foundation is scheduled to speak, organizers say.

The demonstration is sponsored by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and the War Resisters League.


24 June 2009
VANDENBERG SCHEDULES MINUTEMAN III LAUNCH
Vandenberg AFB News Release
 

http://www.spacearchive.info

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile configured with a joint test assembly is scheduled to launch from North Vandenberg Monday between 3:01 a.m. to 9:01 a.m.

The launch is an operational test to determine the weapon system's reliability and accuracy.

The missile's three unarmed re-entry vehicles are expected to travel approximately 4,190 miles, hitting a pre-determined target near the Kwajalein Atoll.

The 576th Flight Test Squadron, which will direct the missile launch, installed tracking, telemetry and command destruct systems on the missile to collect data and meet safety requirements. Maintenance and operations task force personnel from the 91at Missile Wing, Minot AFB, ND are conducting operational tasks leading up to launch.

Col. David J. Buck, the 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority for this mission. Lt. Col. Lesa K. Toler, the 576th FLTS commander, is the mission director. A crew visiting from Minot AFB will launch the missile under the direction of the 576th FLTS.

This launch, the first of three in 2009, comes at a time of change within the missile world, as the Air Force moves closer to combining its nuclear missile and bomber assets into a fledgling Global Strike Command.

"The move to Global Strike Command means that we can re-build the way we do business from scratch," said Colonel Toler. "This is a great opportunity for us to write our future. We are already the best at what we do, but now we are currently looking at our processes to see how we can do our job faster and more efficiently."

The entire ICBM community, including the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy, will use the data collected from this mission for continuing force development evaluation.
 


Global Network