418. Memorandum from Coffin to Bundy, October 301

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  • National Security Action Memorandum No. 150 Use of U.S. Military Engineers on A.I.D. Projects

Following up the June 1 response to NSAM–150, the Departments of State and Defense have engaged in consultations and exchange of views which have led to an improved climate for cooperation. Each has explored its situation in relation to the intent of NSAM–150, and certain concrete conclusions, which it is hoped will be of significance for future cooperation between the two agencies, have emerged.

These main conclusions are that:

1. A new effort should be undertaken to negotiate an AID-DOD participating agency agreement to serve as a basis and framework for arrangements on individual projects. Hopefully, this agreement will provide: (a) more flexible arrangements for engineering personnel assignments, and (b) improved channels of communication to facilitate matching of A.I.D. requirements and military engineering availabilities.

2. A mechanism should be established to give each USAID direct and immediate access to a specific military engineer district headquarters as a source of engineering advice, and, where necessary, of full-time engineering staff.

Accordingly, the Departments of Defense and State are taking action to implement these proposals. A progress report will be furnished by 1 January.

The Department of Defense concurs in this report.

Frank M. Coffin
Acting Administrator
  1. “Use of U.S. Military Engineers on A.I.D. Projects.” Confidential. 1 p. Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Meetings and Memoranda Series, NSAM 150, Using U.S. Military Engineers as Contracting Agents on AID Projects.