625th STOS helps AFGSC test ICBM launch

  • Published
  • By Charles J. Haymond
  • 55th Wing/ Public Affairs

A joint team of Air Force Global Strike Command Air Force and Navy personnel launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile armed with a test reentry vehicle at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, from an Airborne Launch Control System Aug. 16., 2022.

Team Offutt members from the 625th Strategic Operations Squadron were onboard the U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury aircraft along with crew members from the Navy’s Strategic Communications Wing One to determine the reliability and effectiveness of the ALCS system. The 625th STOS oversees the operation of the ALCS weapon system, which is a vital component because it is the only alternate launch capability for the Minuteman III. They directed all the training and certification of the ALCS operations crews and test team members. The squadron also controls the ICBM targeting operations used to configure all operational sorties in their test configuration.

“The 625th STOS built the targeting data for the mission, and this is telling the missile where and how to fly,” said Maj. Hayden McVeigh, 625th STOS test and analysis flight commander. “The squadron also built the range safety corridor for the missile flight path.”

625 STOS made sure that the missile did not deviate from its flight path. Safety officers would have destroyed it if necessary. The test successfully showed the capability of the nation’s rapid leg of the nuclear triad.

“They should sleep very well at night knowing our nation’s strategic forces are silently hard at work, knowing full well that if the time came to use them, these weapons will work,” McVeigh said.

McVeigh felt it was an honor to participate in the test.

“One of the proudest moments of my career,” McVeigh said. “Words can’t express how proud I am of the entire team, and it was an amazing feeling seeing that missile flying toward its target after the months of long days and late nights that went into planning this mission.”