12. Memorandum for the Record1

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, in their meeting with the President today, told him that the B-52G is being tested, but that they, on February 4th, resumed the 12 sorties a day level of airborne alert.

They also told the President that the Defense Department goal is 1/8 of the B-52 forces on continuous alert—that is the goal for this year.

General Lemnitzer said that Secretary McNamara, after his visit to Omaha and SAC this week end, is asking whether or not they can go to 1/4 on continuous alert and he has asked for the estimate of additional costs in men and money.

They assured the President that 1/3 of the total forces are on 15-minute ground alert and emphasized that this is the major emphasis at this time for security.2


Brig. Gen., U.S. Army
Military Aide to the President
  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, JCS General 1961. Top Secret. Drafted by Clifton.
  2. In an August 8 memorandum to McNamara, Lemnitzer stated that SAC had put 50 percent of its forces on ground alert as of July 15. (Washington National Records Center, RG 330, OASD/ISA Files: FRC 64 A 2382, 1961 General, 381 8 Aug 61)