Space and astronomy news and information for the American Southwest. Coverage includes Vandenberg AFB rocket and missile launches.

Inspection Under Way at Vandenberg AFB

Story courtesy KCLU public radio

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2008 January 18

An arms control inspection is under way at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. KCLU's Brian Webb reports the visiting inspection team isn't American it's from the former Soviet Union.

The inspection will help verify U.S. compliance with the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty or START. The agreement sought to reduce the number of strategic nuclear weapons and their delivery systems such as long-range bombers and missiles.

Vandenberg undergoes START inspections about once a year because of the base's role in testing U.S. strategic missiles. The team can inspect 12 sites plus a missile silo at Vandenberg to count the number of Minuteman and Peacekeeper missile first stages and Minuteman missile transporters.

In addition to Russian officials, the team may include representatives from the Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazahkstan, former Soviet republics that inherited strategic nuclear weapons when the U.S.S.R. dissolved. Brian Webb, KCLU news.

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