The ICBM test recently launched off the California coast is an important exercise in testing the nuclear missiles that the nation has in it’s arsenal. More importantly, this ICBM test also sends an unwritten message to the rest of the world with nuclear missiles in their possession. The unarmed Minuteman 3 nuclear missile took off from the California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying a load of test instruments, but it also relayed quietly that the U.S. is not a nation to tangle with.
Fox News reports on February 27, that the missile successfully hit its target in 30 minutes. That target was an area of water around an island chain about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii. This missile launch comes “amid tensions with North Korea and Russia,” reports Fox.
The United States boasts quite the arsenal of nuclear missiles that are kept in three different states. There are 450 Minuteman missiles operated by the Air Force and they are evenly divided between Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana, with 150 missiles housed in each state.
These missiles were first deployed in 1970 and they are so old that some of the missile’s most vital parts are no longer in production. Despite the age of the nuclear missiles, they still remain one of the most accurate and reliable on the globe.
A few times a year, one of the missiles are pulled out of storage and put through a test launch without its nuclear warhead. Besides this offering up a bit of practice for the Air Force, the government has no problem revealing that it is also done as a deterrence.
If the countries who have nuclear missiles of their own see for themselves that the U.S. is ready for war at all times, then the theory dictates “no adversary would dare start a nuclear fight,” reports Fox.
News Oxy reports that Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work, who witnessed the ICBM launch said:
“We and the Russians and the Chinese routinely do test shots to prove that the operational missiles that we have are reliable. And that is a signal … that we are prepared to use nuclear weapons in defense of our country if necessary.”
Work said that the U.S. has launched these test at least 15 times a year since January 2011. He said “That’s exactly why we do this,” Work told reporters before the launch in California that these missile tests are done to send a message that Washington has a nuclear arsenal ready to go at any time if ever needed.