VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE (CBS/AP) — The Air Force says an unarmed Minuteman 3 missile has been launched from California’s central coast in the latest test of the intercontinental system.

The missile blasted off at around 5:45 a.m. Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Los Angeles.

READ MORE: Average LA County Gas Prices Up $1.19 From Last Year: AAA

The Air Force says the missile carried a test re-entry vehicle that headed for a target area 4,200 miles away near the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

READ MORE: One Killed, One Injured In Traffic Crash On Freeway In Santa Ana

“This launch, like every operational test launch from Vandenberg, is a vital part of demonstrating the readiness of our nation’s nuclear capabilities,” launch decision authority Col. J. Christopher Moss said.

The Air Force routinely uses Vandenberg to test Minuteman missiles from bases around the country.

MORE NEWS: One Dead In Diamond Bar Crash On 60 Freeway

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)