The U.S. Air Force has released a picture that it says shows airmen aboard an E-6B Mercury ‘doomsday plane’ initiating the launch of an LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. The Air Force, in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, fired the unarmed Minuteman III as part of a routine test earlier this month. By all indications, this image is roughly the same as what it would look like if a Mercury’s crew ordered a real, potentially world-ending nuclear strike.
Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) led the test launch of the Minuteman III on April 19. The service used a test silo at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California to actually fire the missile, which was commanded by a team of Air Force and Navy personnel flying onboard the E-6B over the Pacific.
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[ Editor’s Note: We are blessed with some amazing professional men and women guarding the homeland. Pray these strategic weapons are never used in battle. ]