FUTURE PLANS FOR PROJECT AQUATONE/OILSTONE

Created: 7/29/1957

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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FOR(

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY. C.

of the Director

July7

MEMORANDUM FOR: General Thomas D. White Chief of Staff United States Air Force

Plans for Project AQUATONE/OILSTONE

A variety of circumstances make it necessary at this time to go forward with plans and preparations for the future of Project AQUATONE/OILSTONE This matter wasonuly by the DDCI with the Vice Chief of Staff In confirmation of their conversation, this memorandumthe considerations which lead us to believe that the present Joint Project should be continued next year and our plans for its continuation. We willuch firmer basis for such judgments as thisew weeks and it goes without saying that any decisions made at this time may have to be modified.

A decision od the future of this Project clearly should be based on our joint estimate of tho probability that overflight operations will bo permitted next year by the political authorities and of the advantages they see in having such operations conductedivilian agency using civilian pilots rather thanilitary organization Whether overflights are permitted will, in turn, depend largely on: the risk of loss of an aircraft by enemyor otherwise; and the risk of strong Russianor political reaction to such activities. Our present views on these points are as follows:

a. As to risk of loss, we have as yet seen no hard evidence that the Russians have developed an interception capability effective0 feet and we believe that therehance that electronic counter-measures may reduce thoof such an interception capability when We estimate therefore, that the risk of interception will be low enough to be acceptable. The risk of loss through malfunction is always present but will be no greater than heretofore and appears to be acceptable.

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As to risk of diplomatic protest, we are still hopeful that the experience of tho current season will demonstrate that at least occasional overflights of the USSR can bo conducted without eliciting embarrassing diplomatic protestsew of the most highly sensitive areas (such aa Moscow itself) are avoided and provided overflights of the USSR are not tracked by one or more of the Satellite governments to the embarrassment of the Russian military establishment. Wo also hope that the Russian tracking ability will bo Impaired by electronic countermeasuresoint where they will not have solid evidence on which to base protests.

c. As to sponsorship, It is our understanding that the political authorities prefer to have this mission performed under civilian sponsorship as at present, and that such sponsorship thereforethe likelihood of obtaining permission to operate.

We conclude from tho foregoing that sporadic overflight activity, at least, is quite likely to be permitted by our political authorities but that there is little prospect for an Intensive overflight program. Accordingly, wethe presont joint project should be continued for another season In order to maintain an overflightin what wo believe to be the most acceptable font, buteduced scale appropriateariable, and on the average low, level of activity.

To give effect to these conclusions, we propose.to maintain only two Detachments at reduced strength Instead of three as at present. On the basis of this planning,of tho two units now stationed in Europe will be phased out in7 and the other will be based at Glebol-stadt. The Detachment now In the Far East will remain at Atsugi HAS at least until8 and probably longer. Should it be deemed feasible for political or security .reasons to move this unit out of Japan, it will beto Edwards AFB or some other suitable base in the ZI. Any continuing research and development will also be conducted at Edwards AFB. We plan certain changes in both organizational arrangements and ground support equipment designed to maximize the mobility of the two remaining

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Detachments so they will be ready on short notice to stage through advanced bases in the Far East and and will be able in this way to obtain coverage ol any part of the Soviet Bloc accessible from friendly territory.

This contomplated reduction In scale willumber of aircraft and other items of equipment surplus to this program. It appears that an initial transfer of five aircraft can be made In November of this year. transfers will of course be made as and whenaircraft and other items become surplus. It is our hope that we can arrive at an agreemont with you whereby equipment turned over to the Air Force by this Project can be borrowed backater dateequirement for it should arise.

The execution of these plans obviously depends onAir Force support. They are based on theIndicated above, that this Project will be able tothe facilities now occupied by itAir Force Base and possibly to obtain some facilities at Edwards AFB. If feasible, arrangements be made to leave certain supplies and ground equipmentat and at a or other Far Easternto obtain the temporary use of certain facilitiesbases when required for staging operations. Ithe burden that the provision of this supportthe Air Force but hopo it will be appreciablythe planned reduction in the scale of this activity.

The Air Force hasull partner in thisfrom tho beginningill of course be happy to discuss any of these points with you if you soill look forward to roceiving your comments.

(Signed) Allen W. Dulles

Original document.

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