The U.S. Air Force launched an ICBM with a test modification for re-entry last week in an effort to demonstrate the military’s nuclear capabilities.
The launch occurred at 12:49 a.m. PT and was part of a “routine and periodic” practice. The test was originally postponed Aug. 4 over tensions with China over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit.
The 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.”
Military tensions have been stressed to the limit between the U.S., China, Taiwan and other nations in East Asia after Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan angered Chinese officials. More U.S. lawmakers made an unannounced visit to the island last weekend.
The 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.
“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.”