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Local News

Missile Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base Fails

A multiagency missile defense test at Vandenberg Air Force Base failed Friday for unknown reasons.

A Ground-Base Interceptor missile, which launched from North base at 11:35 a.m., did not intercept its desired test target, according to the Defense Department.

Vandenberg’s 30th Space Wing, Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Northern Command and Joint Functional Component Command were conducting an integrated exercise and flight test Friday of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) element of the nation’s Ballistic Missile Defense System.

The primary objective was the intercept of a long-range ballistic missile target launched from the Army’s Reagan Test Site on Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

“Program officials will conduct an extensive review to determine the cause or causes of any anomalies which may have prevented a successful intercept,” Pentago officials said in a statement.

According to an MDA spokesperson, the operationally configured interceptor is designed to intercept and destroy a ballistic missile warhead as part of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense element of the integrated Ballistic Missile Defense System.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, was the launch decision authority.

“Both the 30th Space Wing and the Missile Defense Agency worked hard to get the team ready for (Friday’s) launch,” he said. “This was my first MDA launch as the wing commander, and I was impressed by the professionalism each member of this team embodied.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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