U.S. Fires ICBM Test Launch To Deter Foes And Display Readiness

(Brightpress.org) – The U.S. fired off a test intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) late Thursday evening, February 9th, from a military base in northern California to test the readiness and efficacy of their targeting systems, officials announced Friday morning.

The test launch originated from Vandenberg Space Force Base, and the missile flew 4,200 miles to its target in the Marshall Islands where the U.S. maintains another base specifically for the purpose of testing its missiles.

The announcement suggested the launch was routine and had been planned months in advance. General Thomas Bussiere, commander of the facility, explained that the purpose of the test was not only to ensure launch capability and readiness, but also to deter America’s enemies.

The missile carried a test reentry vehicle instead of a warhead, which allowed the military to record valuable data and ensure the payload ended up exactly where it was supposed to.

The timing of the test is convenient for the U.S. and its allies, as a Chinese spy balloon was shot down just a few days prior off the coast of the Carolinas. Additionally, it follows a North Korean display of force, which included a military parade featuring 12 of their Hwasong-17 ICBM launchers.

Department of Defense press secretary Brigadier General Patrick Ryder spoke to reporters on Wednesday, saying that the U.S. had been aware of the Chinese balloon program for “several years,” but that their awareness of the scope and capability of that program had increased. He continued to point out that Chinese balloons are flying over “at least five continents,” and that highlights the need for the DoD to “stay focused” on China.

U.S. officials notified the Russian government of the test launch in accordance with treaty obligations and to prevent any accidental retaliation. Given the tense nature of the U.S. relationships with Russia and China, one can imagine the need for such early notice. A previous test launch occurred in September 2022.

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