533. Telegram From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Certain Specified and Unified Commanders1

JCS 912988. From JCS. Exclusive for General Armstrong, Admiral Wright, General Harrison, General Partridge, General Gruenther, General Lemnitzer, Admiral Stump, Admiral Boone,2 General Lemay. Ref JCS 912901.3 The JCS have directed the following actions to improve the state of readiness of United States forces in addition to [Page 1036] the actions listed in JCS 9124634 and JCS 912773.5 Specific implementing orders will be issued through executive agents.


Continental Air Defense Command.

Assume status of “increased readiness” as defined in CONADR 55–3.6


Sixth Fleet.

Sail the USS Forrestal, the Franklin D. Roosevelt, one cruiser and three divisions of destroyers toward the Azores.

Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.
Send additional picket ships to DEW Line extensions.
Send additional antisubmarine warfare units to sea.
Prepare to reinforce the Seventh Fleet with 2 CVA’s, 1 CA and 1 Desron.
Deploy submarines to reconnaissance stations.
Alert SOSUS.

Tactical Air Command.

Place all heavy troop carrier wings in the ZI on 12-hour alert and suspend training and routine support operations of these wings as directed.

The JCS consider that the above actions plus increased alertness on the part of intelligence personnel and general vigilance on the part of addressees and their subordinate commanders will satisfy readiness requirements at this time.
At the time this dispatch leaves Washington there is reasonable chance that U.N. action in obtaining a cease-fire in Egypt may reduce or eliminate the chances of overt Soviet military action which would enlarge hostilities. JCS expect that over-all knowledge of actions directed in paras 1 thru 4 will be limited in each command [Page 1037] and that in carrying out specific actions commands will limit knowledge to those who need to know. It is probable that certain movements of preparatory action will become public knowledge. In such cases if queried answer that certain redeployments are being made to improve our defensive capabilities.
  1. Source: JCS Records, OCJCS 091 Palestine (Jun 56–Dec 56). Top Secret; Operational Immediate; Noforn. The source text indicates that the message originated with Admiral Radford.

    During a White House meeting which began at 12:33 p.m. on November 6, the Joint Chiefs of Staff presented to President Eisenhower a series of recommendations to improve the U.S. military state of readiness. The record of the President’s Daily Appointments at the Eisenhower Library lists the following participants: Eisenhower, Hoover, Nixon, General Nathan Twining, Admiral Arleigh Burke, General Williston Palmer, Allen Dulles, Radford, General Randolph M. Pate, Goodpaster, and 10 others. No memorandum of this meeting has been found at the Eisenhower Library, although Eisenhower gives a brief account of it in Waging Peace (p. 91). A memorandum listing the original recommendations agreed upon by the JCS during the morning of November 6 is attached to a memorandum from Wentworth to Radford of November 6 in JCS Records, OCJCS File 091 Palestine (Jun 56–Dec 56). The message printed here contains those recommendations approved by the President to be implemented immediately. The President did not approve a recommendation to improve the readiness of the Strategic Air Command and he deferred immediate action on a recommendation for all Services to recall all personnel from regular leave.

  2. Admiral Boone had established a temporary headquarters for the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Fleet at Port Lyaute, Morocco.
  3. Not printed. The message to certain Unified and Specified Commanders directed that they exercise special vigilance in light of the recent Soviet notes. (JCS Files)
  4. Document 415.
  5. See footnote 4, ibid.
  6. The JCS memorandum of November 6 noted that an improved state of readiness for CONAD would involve an increase in the number of interceptor aircraft on advanced state of alert; an increase from two aircraft on five-minute alert at each station to four aircraft, and a halt in training in all areas in which it interfered with increased readiness.