The Secretary of Defense (Marshall) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: I refer to your letter of 6 February,1 regarding the desire of the Government of Saudi Arabia to have a combat air force. The questions of permanent base shop facilities in Saudi Arabia, an ammunition allowance to provide a five-year reserve, and the need for over-all military training were also associated with the issue of a Saudi Arabian combat air force.
The views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with respect to the points raised by the Deputy Under Secretary of State, are as follows:
- There is no objection to a small fighter force for legitimate defense purposes. The determination of actual types and quantities of aircraft and other material should be accomplished by a small United States joint military group which will visit Saudi Arabia to make detailed arrangements in implementation of the over-all agreement.
- Approval should be given for inclusion in the Military Assistance Program of permanent base shop facilities to the extent desired by the Saudi Arabian Government.
- Approval should be given to the request for a five-year reserve supply of ammunition.
- The maximum training commitments in connection with the
proposed Dhahran Air Base Agreement are:
- Establishment of a joint military advisory mission in Saudi Arabia composed of: Army, 25–50 officers and 60–100 enlisted men; Navy, 3 officers and 8 enlisted men; and Air Force, 13 officers and 19 enlisted men.
- Training of Saudi Arabians in United States Service schools, not to exceed the following totals during the first phase of the program: Army—244; Navy—25; and Air Force—160.
- First phase of training program to extend for five years, but program to be reviewed near the end of that period in the light of conditions then existing; some training assistance to continue throughout the life of the agreement.
- The training program should include tactical unit training as well as the training in equipment uses.
- The details of the program should be worked out by the U.S. Joint Military Group after negotiations for United States rights have been satisfactorily consummated.
I suggest that Ambassador Hare be authorized to negotiate within the framework of the foregoing comments.