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080217 Minuteman III test.jpg (copy) (copy)

In this Aug. 2, 2017, file photo, airmen from F.E. Warren and Vandenberg Air Force bases successfully launch a Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from VAFB. A similar test is scheduled for early Tuesday morning at VAFB.

An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled to be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base early Tuesday morning as part of an operational test, according to the 30th Space Wing.

The launch is scheduled for a window between 12:01 and 6:01 a.m. from north VAFB. The launch was announced by 30th Space Wing public affairs Friday afternoon.

Operational test launches of Minuteman III missiles, according to the Air Force, provide valuable data to planners and holistically test the system, procedures and airmen, from the initial mission planning to the final weapons employment phases.

"These tests are not related to any real-world events," read a portion of the release from the 30th Space Wing, which noted that the Air Force typically conducts four such tests per year and that the planning for each test takes about six months.

The most recent test launch involving an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM, from VAFB occurred May 14.

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This report was prepared by Willis Jacobson. He can be reached at wjacobson@leecentralcoastnews.com.

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