Subscribe for 33¢ / day
080217 vafb launch (copy)

In this Aug. 2, 2017, file photo, an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches during an operational test from Vandenberg Air Force Base. 

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley

Just hours after announcing plans for a test launch of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile, officials from Vandenberg Air Force Base revealed Monday afternoon that the test had subsequently been canceled.

No new date was scheduled for the launch, which had been scheduled to take place sometime between 11:25 p.m. Tuesday and 5:25 a.m. Wednesday.

The launch would have been the first ICBM test at VAFB this year. The test was planned several years ago, according to an Air Force spokeswoman, who stressed that it is not in response to any other nation or action.

The purpose of the ICBM tests is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Get news headlines sent daily to your inbox

The ICBM test launch program demonstrates the operational capability of the Minuteman III and ensures the United States’ ability to maintain a strong, credible nuclear deterrent as a key element of national security and the security of U.S. allies and partners, according to Air Force leaders.

In 2017, VAFB hosted four Minuteman III test launches, which is about the average number of ICBM tests held annually at the base.

Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.