|A non-nuclear explosion for illustration purposes only.|
Photo by Spc. Casey Collier (2009) via DVIDS.
The Sandia National Laboratories press release stated that, “Initial data showed the March 14 test was a success.” But the officials conducting the test experienced a unique interruption prior to completing it.
An F-16C from Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, chosen to drop the test unit representing a B61-12, began with a dry run over one of the lake beds. But during his next pass for the planned release, he had to roar off after a small group of wild horses ambled onto the lake bed.
A video feed from a remote camera in the area showed the horses trotting away to safety, herded by wranglers: security officers in a white pickup, its headlights and rack lights pulsing. “That’s a first for us,” said test director Joe Simile of Sandia. “We’ve never had to chase horses away from the target.”
The Sandia National Laboratories website says that it “is operated and managed by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation” and that it operates “as a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and supports numerous federal, state, and local government agencies, companies, and organizations.”