AERIAL RECONNAISSANCES OF COMMUNIST CHINA

Created: 3/12/1965

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MEMORANDUM TOR: Deputy Director for Science andAortal Reconnaissance of Communist China

la copy of Memorandum for the Record of aMcCene had with Secretary McNamara and Secretary Vance on

arch. Alio attachedemorandum for me forwarding the prior reference for neeeeeary action.

Informal dleeuaaion of thie matter with Coloneltelephoned Colonel Geary who stated that hs had been called ona briefing on thia subject for Secretary Vance aad that hethe process of discussing the matter with Or. McMillan. ha Intended to stick entirely to the support phase of theif operational considerations came up, would suggest thathe briefed by Colonel Ledford. Geary said that alreadyOkinawa was fuel, communications, an operations building andrunway. Not availableangar or any other meansthe birda under cover. Geary feltctoberwould be the earliest that could be met. Oeary said he hadaeked to look into the matter of putting the drivers back Intobut allowing them to keep the same rate of compensation. agreed that the pilots would not accept any each rigged-up deal

like thia even If it were possible. Oeary aald that going into thia whole operationemporary basis ahould be looked upon aa only the initial move and that we ahould make the facility permanent. Ne aald we are talking about aeveral million dollars of faculties. Oeary alao aald itallacy to think the pilots have more protection If theyniform on.

thenall for Secretary Vance but was unable to Later In the day, Geary Informed me that he, too, hadto see Vance ao he hademorandum to himthe following general points:

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Th* operation la feasible from Okinawa. Three aircraft could ba moved In and ba operational iaut thia would baraafa baala and would roaoltirtual shutdown of I h would be the earliest possible operation date under the present extensive modification program. Modification and teatlng of the entire facility to assure necessary range and operational readiness would take thia length of time. During thia period, tha Okinawa Base would be raaurvayad. Geary would want toew hangar, increase else of the fuel farm, start proeeaaing and move the additional support personnel required, military or otherwise, adjust SAC tanker assets to provide1 figure for three refuelinga and add to the aide aa necessary. Gearythe initial airlift coat would be2 million for eoaentlal equipment to set up the program and there wouldontinual annual airlift coat ofillion. Air Force supportund* would beonth. Tha additional hangar wouldillion dollar*.

That waa the gist of Geary's memorandum to Vance aa reported to me by Geary. Geary also reported that tha Air fore* Judge Advocate General aald it waa legally impossible to reimburse the pilots over and above normal military pay if thay returned to their blue suit status. It took two pages for thia Judge to say that, hut the ana-war waa an"no, it cannot be done. "

ubsequently talked to Secretary Vance and offered to giveriefing on the operational aapeota of making thee* flighta from Okinawa.

ACTION to DD/SfcTi Plaaee arrange with Secretary Vaace'a office to give thia briefing aa aooa ae possible.

S. Ia going into thia matter and taking all the various actions necessary aad indicated by thia memorandum and by Mr. MoCono'a memorandum of conversation, the following ahould be borne In mind;

ecision has been made to take all the naceaaary preparatory atepa to put Into Okinawa whatever construction and relatedare needed to be able to operate the OXCART in operational flights over Communist China. (If tt la eonaldered eeaeatlal to

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No decision hu bean taken lo mov. uy OXCARTS to Okinawa. Thia decision would probably ba made by the Preeldent

No dacliion haa been taken to uneheepdlp. or to return to blue aulta, CIA plleta. Thia decision would probably be made by tha President.

No decision haa been takan to fly tha OXCART operationally over Communiat China. Thia decision can only ba made by the President.

(a) Me decision haa been taken aa to whether or net tha aircraft aad plleta would be military *ith military markinga and military plleta, or civilian with deniable aharactorlattaa of aircraft aad pilot. Thia dedalon can only be takan ay the Pre at dent.

o decision haa bean takea aa to whether tha operations will be coadopted by SAC or CIA. Tata decision can only ho taken by tha President la light of tha severalrati one noted above.

i. There la an anomaly hera that bcggara analysis. Vance and McNamara have been adamant In opposing the aaa ml's and U.ilitary pilots over Communiat China. Thay have bean harder agalnat thia than the State Department. Vet, at tha aame time, thay now propose atlllatng military aircraft and military pilotsuck leas deniable and mach mora flagrant violation of normal overflightt should ha borne la mind that tha Pre aide at and only lha Precldeat aaa maha tba decision aa to whether we will aaa TJ. S. military pilots,with Air Force markings, or civilian pilots, prosumably with no markings. Thia obviouslyecision of the Bteatcit Importer, involving national policy at tha highest level.

4. Finally. If the operation la to be conducted sacratly, whether or not It la to oa denied or deniable, than tha Agency position la that only the Agency can properly conduct tha operation. If tha operation

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la Co ba conductedlausibly deniable bail* orblank atarebasts, evca though II la apparent thai tha Chineaa will ba aware al tha over flight a, then It ia Agency poaltion that tha operation can ba conducted In thia mannar only by tha Agency.

7. Until sash time that tha Pre aidant has made lha conscious aad firm aaa la ion that tha United States Government will admittedly overfly Communist China In military aircraft with military pilotsm talking hare about OXCART) then It la tha lira position ol the Agency that any other overflights ever denied territory will ba conducted by the Agency la accordance with paat procedures.

I. PI ease review this memorandum and Mr. McCoaa'a memorandum la great detail and giveisting ol tho various actions you propose to take.

ISigneaU Marshall S- Cart**

Marshall S. Carter Lieutenant General. USA Deputy Director

Atteehmeate

Distribution) OrigD/ffcTD/OOADCJ

CyCI (Mr. Elder)

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Cy HER vU the Dir

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