The United States Air Force has launched an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) in an effort to demonstrate the military’s nuclear capabilities.
The launch occurred at 12:49 a.m. Monday, August 15 and was part of a “routine and periodic” practice. The test was originally postponed on Aug. 4 due to tensions with China over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
The U.S. Air Force said it has conducted similar tests more than 300 times before and stressed that the test was not “the result of current world events.”
“Our test launches are scheduled well in advance and are not reactionary to world events,” task force commander Major Armand Wong said in a statement.
“A meticulous planning process for each launch begins six-months to a year prior to launch. Our best Airmen from each of the three missile wings worked in conjunction with the 576th Flight Test Squadron to proudly showcase some very technical skills that comprise the heart of our nuclear deterrence mission.”
“Make no mistake – our nuclear triad is the cornerstone of the national security of our country and of our allies around the globe,” Col. Chris Cruise, 576th Flight Test Squadron commander, said in the statement.
“This scheduled test launch is demonstrative of how our nation’s ICBM fleet illustrates our readiness and reliability of the weapon system.” he added
The missile test comes as tensions between the U.S., China over Taiwan has reached its highest level in years following Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.
China’s People’s Liberation Army has conducted a variety of drills and launched multiple test missiles in the aftermath of the visit, which they say violated the long-standing One China Policy.