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Vandenberg support successful missile defense exercise, flight test

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency (MDA) interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency (MDA) interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Joe Davila)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.--  A Missile Defense Agency (MDA) interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg.  The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile 
designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic 
missile attack.   (U.S Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency (MDA) interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Airman 1st Class Andrew Lee)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Staff Sergeant Vanessa Valentine)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Staff Sergeant Vanessa Valentine)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Matthew Plew)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif.-- A Missile Defense Agency interceptor missile is successfully launched on Dec. 5, at 12:21 p.m. from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack. (U.S Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Matthew Plew)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A Missile Defense Agency interceptor missile successfully launched at 12:21 p.m. today from North Vandenberg. The launch was part of an exercise and flight test involving the intercept of an intercontinental ballistic missile by a ground-based interceptor missile designed to protect the United States against a limited long-range ballistic missile attack.

For this exercise, a threat-representative target missile was launched from the Kodiak Launch Complex, Kodiak, Alaska. Approximately 20 minutes later, an operationally-configured interceptor missile was launched from the Ronald W. Reagan Missile Defense Site here.

"The nature of today's launch presented some incredibly unique challenges," said Col. David Buck, 30th Space Wing commander and launch decision authority for today's launch. "The team here at Vandenberg masterfully manages the Western Range, but today we had to synchronize our efforts with Kodiak, which raises the bar. What happened here today was the product of outstanding teamwork, split-second decision making and flawless execution. As always, I am amazed at the professionalism and dedication of this wing and its mission partners."

Based on initial indications, this was a successful mission. Program officials will continue to evaluate system performance based upon telemetry and other data obtained during the test.