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Updated Sep 13, 2012 - 9:12 am

Missile streaks across Valley skies

PHOENIX -- Three New Mexico missiles created a spectacular predawn light show Thursday in the Valley.

Calls flooded the 92.3 KTAR Newsroom phone lines after the trail of fuel and smoke was lit up by the sunrise.

Drew Hamilton with the White Sands Base in New Mexico said a Juno missile was launched from Fort Wingate near Gallup toward White Sands and a pair of missiles brought it down.

"We were testing the Patriot Advanced Capability 3. The Juno was the target and they fired two Patriots from White Sands to successfully intercept it."

Hamilton said the tests are infrequent.

Vandenburg Air Force Base, three hours north of Los Angeles, is also missile-testing Thursday, according to 2nd Lt. Kaylee Ausbun at that base.

An Atlas V is scheduled to launch 2:39 p.m. The missile may or may not be visible in the Valley.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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