407. Memorandum From the Secretary of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Wentworth) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Radford)1

SUBJECT

  • JCS Actions with respect to the Middle East Situation agreed upon at JCS Meeting 29 October 19562

At their meeting on 29 October 1956 the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed to take the following actions with respect to the Middle East situation:

1.

General.

Dispatch a message to all unified commanders outlining the present situation, including the latest Watch Committee report, and informing them of actions being taken by the JCS.

2.
Army.
a.
Alert one regimental combat team in Europe for possible movement.
b.
Alert one regimental combat team from the Continental United States for possible movement.
3.
Navy.
a.
Direct CINCNELM to establish command headquarters on the U.S.S. Pocono by 2 November 1956. (Defense and State clearance required.)
b.
Order one hunter killer group3 (consisting of one CVS, six DD, and two SS) from the west coast of Europe (Rotterdam) into the Mediterranean, to report to Commander, Sixth Fleet. (Defense and State clearance required.)
c.
Cancel Sixth Fleet participation in NATO exercise “Beehive”, and order carrier strike force to positions east and southeast of Cyprus and within six hours’ sailing distance of Cyprus.
d.
Cancel the amphibious exercise in the Atlantic and issue instructions to plan for loading out one Marine battalion landing team.
4.
Air Force.
a.
Alert one C–124 wing in the Continental United States for movement to the Middle East.
5.
Marine Corps.
a.
Alert one battalion landing team in the Continental United States for possible movement to the Middle East.

Wentworth
  1. Source: JCS Records, OCJCS 091 Palestine (Jun 56–Dec 56). Top Secret.
  2. According to the history prepared by the JCS Historical Office, this meeting was held shortly after the Israeli Government issued its communiqué concerning the invasion of Sinai. (See “The Suez Canal Crisis”, pp. 19 20, Chapter X in The Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Security, 1953–1956; JCS Historical Office Files)

    At 6:43 p.m. on October 29, Rountree telephoned Dulles and informed him of most of the measures described in this memorandum. Rountree told Dulles that they were decisions taken by the Navy and that he had learned of them from Herbert D. Riley of Admiral Boone’s office. (Memorandum of telephone conversation by Bernau; Eisenhower Library, Dulles Papers, General Telephone Conversations)

  3. A naval unit equipped for anti-submarine warfare.