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​An unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launches from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., during an operational test on May 3, 2017. Air Force photo by 2nd Lt. William Collette.

​A group from the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., managed the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., early Wednesday morning. The test launch was the second in a week because the April 26 test had been rescheduled due to brush fires on the range, according to an Air Force Global Strike Command spokesperson. The Air Force routinely selects a Minuteman III missile from its fleet and a crew from across AFGSC to conduct a test launch. “It’s efforts like these that make nuclear deterrence effective,” said Col. Craig Ramsey, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, according to a press release.