The Secretary of Defense ( Marshall ) to the Secretary of State

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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.

Faithfully yours,

G. C. Marshall
  1. Ante, p. 1042.