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Countdown: Weather permitting, the Air Force plans today to fire a Minuteman III ICBM from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., as part of a routine test to verify the reliability and accuracy of the strategic nuclear weapon system. This test comes almost 40 years after the maiden flight of the Minuteman III, the Air Force said in a release. Vandenberg’s 576th Flight Test Squadron is overseeing the launch, which will send the missile on a 4,200-mile course over the Pacific Ocean to the Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll. The Lompoc Record reported Aug. 11 that the Minuteman III chosen for the test was randomly selected from the inventory of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont. The previous Minuteman shot from Vandenberg took place in May. (Includes Vandenberg report by SrA. Erica Stewart)