March 8, 2021
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LLNL’s Tringe provides final OK for Minuteman launch

Michael Padilla, padilla37 [at] llnl.gov, 925-341-8692

Col. Joe Tringe, a group leader at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and an Air Force reservist, served as the final decision authority during the recent successful unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. See the video.

As launch decision authority, Tringe worked closely with the mission director from the 576th Flight Test Squadron and the 2nd Range Operations Squadron commander to ensure that system and range conditions were appropriate for a safe launch event that met all mission requirements.   

The purpose of the launch was to validate and verify the safety, security, effectiveness and readiness of the weapon system.

“This first launch of the year demonstrates our ability to provide safe, secure range operations to our launch partners while maintaining a continuous state of readiness,” Tringe said following the launch. “The outstanding teamwork of the airmen and guardians at Vandenberg is a true testament to the future of space operations on the Western Range and our ability to defend the United States and our allies.” 

Tringe has served in the Air Force Reserve since 2003, and has been assigned to the 30th Space Wing as the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA) to the Wing Commander since July 2020. Immediately prior to this assignment he worked at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles Air Force Base, and at the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

Tringe said he is grateful for the opportunity to advance the important missile test mission in this operational role and that he appreciates LLNL’s outstanding backing of reservists’ duties.

“Through its robust support of reserve activities, LLNL has helped me all through my career to provide substantial and timely contributions to Department of Defense missions,” he said. “My experiences have helped me be a better leader at LLNL and in my Air Force assignments. I’ve been able to apply my technical knowledge while helping to guide teams to successful outcomes across a broad range of problems, from nanostructured materials development to space launch.”

As leader of LLNL’s Nondestructive Evaluation Group, Tringe provides advanced nondestructive characterization technical solutions for numerous Laboratory programs and strategic partnership projects. He has authored more than 35 peer-reviewed publications and has five U.S. patents. He holds a Ph.D. in materials engineering from Stanford University.

A joint test assembly designed by Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national labs was onboard last week’s launch. See story here.