121. Memorandum From the Commander in Chief, Pacific (Felt) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff 1

CINCPAC 3010. Ser. 00447-63


  • Revised Plan for Republic of Vietnam


  • (a) JCS msg 9820 DTG 091805Z May 19632
  • (b) CINCPAC msg DTG 102246Z May 19633
  • (c) USAF AFSMSB 60437 DTB 091639Z May 1963 NOTAL4
  • (d) CINCPAC msg DTG 110017Z May 19635


  • (1) Outline Revised Plan for Republic of Vietnam
Pursuant to directives by the Secretary of Defense during the conference held in Honolulu on 6 May 1963 and guidance in reference (a), an outline revised plan has been prepared. The details of the plan will be developed within the guidelines of a force structure that the RVN budget can support with minimum U.S.MAP assistance, acceleration of RVNAF training for earlier takeover of U.S. equipment and functions, a realistic demobilization program to prevent economic chaos, and minimum forces necessary to cope with reinsurgency and permit timely introduction of U.S. forces in the event of overt aggression.
The insurgency can be controlled by the end of CY 1965 (mid-FY 66). Note: In my view, it is overly optimistic to assume that insurgency can be controlled as early as FY 65 as hopefully expressed in reference (a).
The necessary training aircraft (9 additional UH-19’s and 25 Cessna 185’s) and supporting U.S. training personnel will be available in RVN no later than 1 July 1963 to improve the in-country training capability.
The USAF and/or USN will provide 44 spaces during FY 63 for training T-28 pilots rather than slipping this program to FY 64 as proposed in reference (c). Reference (d) requested that USAF take necessary action in this regard.
Equipment required by RVNAF, such as AC&W, troposcatter, USMC helicopters, C-123 aircraft, and liaison aircraft, including spare parts and supporting equipment for operation of these items, will be turned over in place without cost to MAP as U.S. forces withdraw.
The Secretary of Defense will ensure that sufficient ammunition is provided on a timely basis from other than MAP resources as necessary to cover reductions which have been made in ammunition funding requests in compliance with SecDef directive. This situation applies also to other categories of supply such as expendables/consumables.
Operational support of the troposcatter system (funded, installed and currently operated by the U.S. military services) will be assumed by AID in FY 66.
The Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps will revert to the Minister of Interior once the insurgency is under control.
A bilateral defense agreement will be made between the U.S. and the RVN to permit the reduction of RVN forces on the scale outlined in enclosure (1).
The primary limiting factor affecting early withdrawal of U.S. special military assistance is the capability of RVN to provide sufficient personnel during FY 64-65 with required aptitudes for training as pilots, and technicians to operate and maintain equipment turned over to RVNAF.
Plans for development and support of a National Police Force should be formulated now by AID for utilization of Civil Guard and Self Defense Corps assets to assure an orderly transition from martial to civil law. Paragraph 2g. is valid only if this is accomplished on a timely basis.
The FY 64-69 force structure and priority list for FY 64 were developed in consultation with COMUSMACV and CHMAAG Vietnam. The costing data was developed by representatives of CHMAAG Vietnam in coordination with my staff.
It is recommended that the Outline Revised Plan for Republic of Vietnam be approved as the basis for the refinement of the FY 64-69 MAP.

[Here follows an 18-page enclosure giving statistical projections dealing with fiscal year 1964 operating costs, a priority investment list for fiscal year 1964, South Vietnamese force structure objectives through fiscal year 1969, and the cost of the military assistance program for South Vietnam for fiscal years 1965 through 1969.]

H. D. Felt 6
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OSD Files:FRC 69 A 3131, Vietnam 091.3 MAR. Secret. A marginal note on the source text indicates that a copy was sent to Secretary McNamara and he saw it.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 111.
  3. In CINCPAC telegram 102246Z to RUEAHQ/HQ USAF, May 10, CINCPAC surveyed programs designed to build up the capabilities of South Vietnamese forces to permit the early release of U.S. units from Vietnam. These programs included helicopter training and liaison pilot training. (Washington National Records Center, RG 319, U.S. Army Message Center Microfilm, Reel 11331)
  4. Not found.
  5. In CINCPAC telegram 110017Z to RUEAHQ/HQ USAF, May 11, CINCPAC instructed the Air Force command to prevent an anticipated “slippage” in the training program for South Vietnamese pilots. (Washington National Records Center, RG 319, U.S. Army Message Center Microfilm, Reel 11331)
  6. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.