By CBSLA Staff

NEAR LOMPOC (CBSLA) – The launch of a test missile from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County was aborted Wednesday morning.

The ground abort of the unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile occurred just prior to the launch, which was scheduled for 6:15 a.m., according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

The cause of the ground abort is under investigation.

“The Air Force adheres to strict protocols while performing operational test launches, only launching when all safety parameters with the test range and missile are met,” AFGSC said in a statement.

Test launches of unarmed ICBMs are conducted multiple times a year from Vandenberg. The last took place in February.

They are conducted in order to “validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system,” according to AFGSC.