50. Draft Memorandum From Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Kennedy 0


  • Recommended Department of Defense FY’63 Budget and 1963-67 Program

I recently completed a preliminary review of the Department of Defense FY’63 Budget and a projection of the Department’s Programs for the years 1963-67. Based on this review, I have reached certain tentative conclusions regarding force levels. The detailed financial budgets for the Department are now being prepared, based on these conclusions, and [Page 159] will be submitted to you on December 1 for approval. In the meantime, you may wish to review the major elements of the budget which I propose to recommend—the purpose of this memorandum is to outline those elements for you.

We have divided the budget into the following nine programs corresponding to broad mission areas or to support areas that cannot be allocated to the forces:1

I. General War Offensive Forces (long-range delivery systems),
II. General War Defensive Forces (continental air defense forces and warning systems),
III. General Purpose Forces (forces primarily intended for overseas theater operations),
IV. Sealift and Airlift,
V. Reserve and National Guard Forces,
VI. Research and Development,
VII. Service-Wide Support,
VIII. Department of Defense (DoD agencies, OSD, etc.),
IX. Retired Pay.

The budget has been prepared on the assumption that the Berlin Crisis will have eased by the beginning of FY’63. Alternative plans are being prepared on other assumptions.

The costs of the program I am recommending, and the difference between the costs of that program and those recommended by the individual Services are shown in the following table. As the table indicates, the Services proposals average about $15 billion per year, or about $74 billion over the period 1963-67, more than the programs I am recommending.

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Department of Defense Financial Budgeta (Obligational Authority in Billions of Dollars) FY 1962 FY 1963 FY 1964b FY 1965b FY 1966b FY 1967b
General War Offensive $9.26 +.62 $8.93 +1.46 $8.02 +1.62 $5.57 +3.04 $4.72 +2.16 $4.10 +1.41
General War Defensive 2.86 +.18 3.03 +.58 3.26 +.80 3.64 +1.05 2.87 +2.50 2.58 +2.10
General Purposes 17.21 -.06 18.81 +3.31 18.92 +3.74 19.85 +3.65 19.38 +4.17 19.96 +3.54
Sealift and Airlift 1.14 0 1.27 +.21 1.15 -.10 1.38 -.13 1.17 0 .87 -.11
Reserve & Natl. Guard 1.78 -.05 1.80 +.66 1.80 +.72 1.80 +.72 1.80 +.69 1.80 +.68
Research & Development 4.29 +.24 5.42 +1.72 5.96 +1.73 6.56 +2.36 7.21 +4.13 7.93 +3.99
Service-Wide Support 10.82 +.01 11.06 +1.97 11.06 +1.71 11.06 +1.55 11.05 +1.67 11.07 +1.63
Department of Defense .56 0 .68 +.06 .64 +.06 .63 +.07 .61 +.06 .61 +.05
Retired Pay .92 0 1.01 0 1.15 0 1.29 0 1.43 0 1.57 0
MAP 1.60 0 1.70 0 1.70 0 1.70 0 1.70 0 1.70 0
Miscellaneous 0 .50 .50 .50 .50 .50
Gross Total 50.44 +.94 54.21 +9.97 54.16 +10.28 53.98 +12.31 52.44 +15.38 52.69 +13.29
Net reduction to be obtained from refinement of cost estimates and elimination of non-essentials 0 -3.00 -3.00 -3.00 -3.00 -3.00
Net Total 50.44 +.94 51.21 +12.47 51.16 +12.78 50.98 +14.81 49.44 +17.88 49.69 +15.79

a Column I lists the amounts recommended by the Secretary of Defense. Column II shows the amounts by which the recommendations of the Services exceed those of the Secretary of Defense.

bThe financial estimates for the proposed force levels for the years 1964 through 1967 may be understated because they do not provide for increases in military pay and allowances and they may not include adequate allowances for new projects to be initiated during these years. To some extent, such increases should be offset by savings from increased efficiency throughout the Department.

[Page 161]

The FY 1963 manpower implications of the recommended forces are shown in the following table.

Authorized Strength
End-FY 1962 End-FY 1963
Jan. Budget As Amendeda Service Proposals Sec/Def Recommendations-
Army 870,000 1,008,000 1,092,700 929,000
Navy 625,000 657,000 685,000 640,600
Marine Corps 175,000 190,000 194,259 190,000
Air Force 822,900 881,307 886,000 848,000
Totals 2,492,900 2,736,307 2,857,959 2,607,600

a Does not include the 2 National Guard divisions and supporting forces, with a total strength of approximately 74,000 men, called to active duty on October 15, 1961.

As the table indicates, the manning levels I am recommending are lower than the Service proposals for FY 1963. In part, this is because my recommended programs for FY 1963 call for fewer combat units than the Service proposals. It also reflects my judgment that unit manning levels slightly lower than those proposed by the Services are adequate.

Because a program review of this character and the establishment of a five-year program is an innovation in the Department of Defense, many of the cost estimates used in arriving at these totals are approximate, and in some cases high. They will be carefully refined during the budget review in October and November, and I expect the totals to be reduced somewhat. Moreover, until the program is actually executed, it is to be considered as tentative and for planning purposes only, and I will recommend changes as circumstances demand. I believe, nevertheless, that it is important to have at all times a framework of realistic 5-10 year programs, however tentative, to insure that the Services and agencies of the Department are working on common assumptions in conformity with national policy and objectives.

In this memorandum, I discuss the force levels I am recommending, and the reasons for my decisions, program by program. The tables which introduce each section summarize my recommendations. In those cases in which the program I am recommending differ from those proposed by the Services, the latter are shown in red beneath mine.2

[Here follow a table and notes identical to the table entitled “Recommended Forces” in Document 46.]

In addition to these forces, I will recommend at a later date that the Air Force be authorized to procure and operate a secure command and [Page 162] control system for SAC. Except for 20 KC-135’s which will be available for use as airborne command posts, the cost of this system has not been included in the figures on page 2.

The forces I am recommending have been chosen to provide the United States with the capability, in the event of deliberate Soviet nuclear attack to do the following: first, to strike back against Soviet bomber bases, missile sites, and other installations associated with long-range nuclear forces in order to reduce Soviet power and limit the damage that can be done to us by vulnerable Soviet follow-on forces; while, second, to hold in protected reserve forces capable of destroying Soviet urban society, if necessary, in a controlled and deliberate way. With the recommended forces, I am confident that we will be able, at all times, to deny the Soviet Union the prospect of either a military victory or of knocking out the U.S. retaliatory force.

The forces I am recommending will provide major improvements in the quality of our strategic posture: in its survivability, its flexibility, and its ability to be used in a controlled and deliberate way under a wide range of contingencies.

Over the five years 1963-67, the cost of the aircraft and missiles recommended by the Air Force and the Polaris recommended by the Navy exceeds the cost of the forces I am recommending by approximately $10 billion. However, the extra capability provided by the individual Service proposals runs up against strongly diminishing returns and yields very little in terms of target destruction. In my judgment, it is not an increment worth the cost of $10 billion over the five year period.

Because of the special importance of these forces, I am including a detailed analysis of their capabilities as Appendix I to this report.3

II. General War Defensive Forces

Recommended Forces and Programs

End Fiscal Year
1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
Air Defense Interceptors 900 863 851 839 821 807
906 843 787 702 684 642
Nike-Hercules Battalionsa 34 34 34 34 34 34
Nike-Zeus Batteries 12
Bomarc Squadrons 8 8 8 8 8 8
12 15 15 15

a Includes Army National Guard Battalions.

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Moreover, I recommend the following program decisions:

Disapproval of an Air Force proposal to buy 200 additional F-106 interceptors, at a cost of more than $600 million, to replace 10 F-102 squadrons.
Continued operation of the Seaward Extensions of the DEW Line throughout the period. The Navy had proposed phase-out of the patrol aircraft and picket ships in 1964 and 1965.
Continuation of the Ground Environment (control and warning system), though with maximum reorientation to meet the defense problems of the mid-1960’s. The cost of this program will be about $888 million in 1963, declining to $813 million in 1967.
Continuation of the BMEWS missile warning system as proposed by the Air Force.
Approval, for planning purposes, of a $400 million a year Civil Defense program.

Basis for Recommendation

The existing continental air defense system is based on a concept developed in the early 1950’s and was designed to meet the threat anticipated in the mid and late 1950’s, that is, mass raids of many hundreds of bombers. By itself, it is inadequate to defend the United States in the mid-1960’s because it deals with only part of the threat. Moreover, two developments have rendered it inappropriate as an anti-bomber defense system for the mid-1960’s—the mass bomber threat has failed to materialize, and the ICBM has become the major danger.

It now appears that the largest likely raid size that we might have to face will be on the order of 200 to 300 bombers. This is a consequence of several factors, including, first, the size of the Soviet bomber force which now comprises about 150 heavy bombers and about 1,000 medium bombers, many of which would have to serve as tankers; second, the problems facing the Soviets in avoiding giving us advance warning of attack by large-scale bomber activities; and third, the fact that we will have a large Minuteman force capable of destroying the Soviet bomber bases and the aircraft on them, thus cutting off follow-up attacks after the first wave.

The present anti-bomber air defense system is highly vulnerable to ICBM attack. Its control is centralized in 22 soft direction centers, 8 of which are on SAC bases. By diverting a small fraction of their ICBM force to defense suppression, the Soviets could effectively paralyze our air defense system. Moreover, of the 38 air defense interceptor bases in the U.S., 25 are co-located with SAC. Thus most of our air defense system would be destroyed as a by-product of a missile attack on SAC.

For these reasons, I believe the anti-bomber air defense system should be reoriented, to the maximum extent possible, to give it a capability [Page 164] to survive ICBM attack, by such means as back-up control and dispersal of interceptors, while sacrificing to some extent its capacity to deal with mass raids.

The existing air defense system does not defend against two major parts of the nuclear threat to the United States: fallout and ballistic missiles. Without adequate fallout protection, any attempt at active defense of the population of the U.S. is doomed to failure. For example, without fallout protection, even a missile attack on SAC that avoided cities would probably result in the deaths of 50 to 100 million Americans. Therefore, a major fallout protection program should have high priority, and we propose to utilize the major portion of the $400 million budgeted for Civil Defense for this purpose.

The problem of anti-ballistic missile defenses is complex and difficult. It is clear that an impenetrable defense is not feasible at any reasonable cost. There are too many advantages on the side of the offense. However, short of that unattainable goal, a limited anti-ballistic missile defense can achieve some very useful benefits for the United States, including improved protection of key decision centers from surprise missile attack, reduced vulnerability to accidental missile launching, etc. Therefore, I am recommending procurement and deployment of Nike-Zeus defenses for six cities, at a cost of approximately $3.5 billions over the period 1963-1967. The reasons underlying this recommendation are discussed in detail in Appendix II to this report.4

III. General Purpose Forces

My recommended force structure and procurement levels, and those proposed by the Services, are summarized in the following tables. The Service proposals would cost $3.3 billion more in FY ‘63 and $18.4 billion more over the FY ‘63-FY ‘67 period than the program I am recommending.

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1962 End Fiscal Years
Pre-Berlin 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
Divisions 14 14 14 14 14 14
Brigades 5a 7 7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8 8
Air Force
Tactical Aircraftb1 1179 1327 1498 1577 1588 1567
1302 1311 1329 1329 1254
Tactical Missiles 126 36 36 36 36 36
144 144 144 144 144
Attack Carriers (CVA) 15 15 15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16 16
ASW Carriers (CVS) 9 9 9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10 10
Other Ships 760 804 800 791 783 765
841 835 828 828 819
Operating Aircraft 2917 2816 2826 2862 2863 2877
3150 3216 3282 3299 3327
Marine Corps
Division/Wing Teams 3 3 3 3 3 3
Operating Aircraft 1123 1130 1098 1096 1132 1139

a Includes an armored-command and non-divisional battle group that will be reorganized as brigades in late FY ‘62 or FY ‘63.Tactical Fighters and Bombers, unit equipment aircraft only.

b Tactical Fighters and Bombers, unit equipment aircraft only.

Selected Items of Procurement Fiscal Years (Millions of Dollars)
1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
Army Equip. & Matérielb 2609 2600 2600 2600 2600 2600
3500 3500 3498 3382 3224
Navy Ships
Oblig. Authority 1407 1998 1907 2570 2219 2311
2721 2945 3482 3405 3435
No. of New Ships 21 22 29 50 56 59
38 60 67 80 80
No. of Conversions 21 32 36 18 1 1
29 12 5
Naval & Marine Aircraft
Oblig. Authorityc 1219 1391 1363 1453 1566 1472
2366 2425 2214 2128 2000
No. of Aircraft 783 897 872 931 974 914
1486 1471 1458 1389 1330
Air Force Tactical Fighters& Bombers
Oblig. Authorityc 382 565 485 299 290 382
335 468 473 496
No. of Aircraft 262 461 383 116 132 191
192 251 239 226

b Army procurement includes that required for Reserve and National Guard, and a small amount for Continental Air Defense.

c Flyaway costs only.

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The recommendations shown above assume that the immediate danger of conflict over Berlin will have moderated by next summer and the reserve units called to active duty for this contingency can be returned to inactive status.

To meet the Berlin crisis, it was necessary to increase the forces by calling-up reserves and by retaining weapon systems previously scheduled for phase-out. Often only small improvements in effectiveness resulted from these increases. For FY 1963 to FY 1967, effectiveness can be increased more efficiently by improving quality rather than increasing quantity. Furthermore, reserve units returned to inactive status will be available for another emergency with improved readiness resulting from their current tours of active duty, and from the “reserve readiness improvement program”.

In reviewing the Service proposals, one of my objectives has been to direct effort towards the creation of more effective non-nuclear forces that will widen the range of military actions open to the United States in future international crises.

The broad policies I propose for strengthening our conventional capabilities are as follows: (1) to concentrate on improving the equipment of the Army and the readiness of Selected Army reserve forces rather than undertaking a major increase in size of the active Army; (2) to strengthen our land based tactical air, which is now seriously inadequate for support of the ground forces; (3) to maintain a Navy which, together with the Naval forces of our allies, will continue the effective control of the seas we now possess—especially in a non-nuclear conflict.

The following sections summarize my major recommendations for the General Purpose Forces of each Service.


The Army proposed a force of 16 divisions, 8 brigades, and an end fiscal 1963 active personnel strength of 1,092,700. I recommend 14 divisions, 7 brigades, and a 1963 personnel strength of 929,000. The force proposed by the Army would cost approximately $860 million per year more than the strength which I recommend. While the number of divisions in my recommended force would be the same as in FY 1961, Army personnel would be 52,000 greater. This increase would permit three major changes.

First, the three active divisions which, prior to the Berlin crisis trained recruits, would remain free of these duties and be retained in a combat ready status. As a result, there would be six Army divisions in the U.S. available for immediate deployment, rather than the pre-Berlin three, and all 14 active divisions would be combat ready. In my judgment, the six U.S. based active divisions and the priority National Guard divisions would provide an adequate strategic reserve for deployment to limited war theaters or for initial augmentation of our NATO forces.

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Second, two separate airborne brigades, one for the Pacific and one for Europe, will be activated to provide increased theater reserves.

Third, recent increases in the training establishment will be maintained to provide a basis for the rapid future expansion of the active Army. In addition, the Army will be reorganized under the ROAD 65 concept to increase its flexibility for meeting a wide variety of combat situations throughout the world.

With regard to the procurement of Army equipment, I recommend a level of $2.6 billion. This is about the same level as in the post-Berlin FY ‘62 budget, and about $1 billion more than in the FY ‘62 budget proposed by the previous administration. It is, however, $900 million less than the amount requested by the Army and supported by the Joint Chiefs.

The $2.6 billion I recommend reflects three judgments. First, the procurement of nuclear systems for the Army should be maintained at approximately the level of recent budgets rather than increased as the Army proposes. Second, all non-nuclear items of equipment representing a significant advance in performance can be procured at reasonable rates within a $2.6 billion funding level. Third, Army inventories should be maintained at a level adequate to support 88 division-months of combat operations, as will be discussed further on page 15.5

As noted in the discussion of the Research and Development Program, I recommend large increases in the research program for non-nuclear weapons. These increases should result in substantial progress in this critical area. The guidance issued to the Army indicates that the level of $2.6 billion for materiel will be increased if required to procure markedly superior items when they become available.

Navy and Marine Corps

For combat ships, I recommend returning to the pre-Berlin force levels. This will mean a force of 15 rather than 16 attack carriers and 9 rather than 10 anti-submarine carriers, and a return to inactive status of the aircraft and destroyers called from the reserves. The Joint Chiefs also recommend a force of 15 attack carriers, but otherwise favor retention of the FY ‘62 force levels for FY ‘63. My recommendation reflects the view that these additional Naval forces, which would cost $200 million in FY ‘63, would provide only a small increase in the combat effectiveness of our Armed Forces.

For logistics and amphibious ships, however, I recommend (as do the Navy and Joint Chiefs) that the ships added to the active fleet6 in FY ‘62 be retained for FY ‘63. The 13 additional logistics ships will permit a much needed increase in the flexibility of fleet operations. The 26 [Page 168] amphibious ships will continue to provide transport and an assault landing capability for one Marine division in each ocean. By late FY ‘63 the Marines also will have in each ocean a capability for landing 1/3 of a division by helicopter. This represents a considerable increase in mobility from the pre-Berlin period when amphibious lift was limited to one division in the Pacific and 1/2 of a division in the Atlantic, and included much less capability for helicopter landings.

With respect to shipbuilding, my recommended program includes a conventionally powered attack carrier to be funded in FY ‘63. This ship will replace one of the smaller carriers in FY ‘67, and will provide a considerably improved capability for operating high performance aircraft. The Joint Chiefs did not reach an agreed position on building this carrier. The Chiefs of Staff of both the Army and Air Force questioned the advisability of funding a carrier in FY ‘63.

The Navy proposed that this carrier and a number of other large surface combatant ships in its FY ‘63-‘67 building program be nuclear powered (the incremental construction cost of nuclear power for a carrier amounts to about $100 million). I recommend nuclear power for only one of these ships, a frigate to be funded in FY ‘63. This ship, together with the nuclear powered ships built or building, will provide a one-carrier all-nuclear task force to meet occasional specialized needs for increased endurance. With this exception, I do not believe the extra expense of nuclear power for surface ships is justified at this time. At present, a nuclear powered surface ship costs on the average about 1-1/2 times as much to build and to operate as a conventionally powered ship and offers only relatively minor increases in effectiveness over its conventional counterpart. This is in contrast to submarines where nuclear power has made possible an entirely new mode of operations.

I am also recommending that conversions be substituted for some of the new construction proposed by the Navy and amphibious ships and small destroyers. These conversions offer an inexpensive way of obtaining an early increase in capability. In contrast with the three to four year lead time for new ship construction, conversions can be completed in a year or less.

My recommendations for procurement of Naval and Marine aircraft in FY ‘63 represent an increase of $172 million over the FY ‘62 level. It represents, however, a reduction of $975 million from the Navy FY ‘63 proposal. In my judgment, the increase over FY ‘62 that I am recommending will provide an adequate level of Naval air power.

Air Force

Neither the Air Force nor the Joint Chiefs propose retaining in FY ‘63 the Air National Guard tactical squadrons now on active duty. These squadrons have aircraft of lower performance than regular Air Force squadrons and are generally less effective relative to their cost. I recommend [Page 169] that these squadrons be released from active duty after the Berlin issue has been resolved.

The Air Force proposes adding only 150 aircraft to the pre-Berlin levels of 1,179 squadron aircraft.7 This is not enough aircraft. One of the weaknesses revealed by the Berlin crisis has been a shortage of tactical aircraft in a non-nuclear conflict. The 1,329 aircraft proposed by the Air Force would provide about 80 aircraft per division (or its brigade equivalent) for the Army’s 14 divisions and 7 brigades. In contrast, Marine Division-Wing Teams have about 180 tactical aircraft. Furthermore, Marine aircraft have only close support of ground troops as their primary mission, whereas Air Force fighter-bombers have three major missions: air superiority, long-range interdiction, and close support. Finally, aircraft have long lead times so that procurement cannot be postponed until a crisis. I recommend, therefore, a procurement program that will raise the total in squadron service by FY ‘66 to about 1,580 aircraft, 250 more than proposed by the Air Force.

The number of aircraft required is closely related to the type of aircraft to be procured. The Air Force favors exclusive reliance on the multi-purpose fighter-bomber. This aircraft type costs at least twice as much to buy and operate as the single-purpose close support type. Substituting single purpose aircraft on a two for one basis for some of the multi-purpose types would provide a larger mixed force for the same over-all cost. It is important, however, that a mixed force of this kind contain sufficient aircraft capable of air superiority and deep interdiction missions, as well as close support. With these considerations in mind, I recommend a force of about 1,580 tactical aircraft, consisting of 400 single purpose close support aircraft and 1,180 multi-purpose fighters (738 of which are F-105’s, the newest of the multi-purpose aircraft). The Air Force program would have provided only 1,330 multi-purpose aircraft including 882 F-105’s.

For aerial tactical reconnaissance and surveillance, I recommend that the funds proposed by the Air Force be included in the FY ‘63 budget. However, I am directing the Air Force to submit a new program which will better meet the needs of both the Army and Air Force for reconnaissance and surveillance.

Logistic Guidance

I have also directed that revised logistic assumptions be used by the Services in preparing their budgets. The new general planning base for all three Services is designed to provide logistical support for an average of 6 calendar months of a major conventional war. For the supply of the [Page 170] forces beyond six months, we shall rely largely upon industrial production.

We now have a serious imbalance in the inventories of the three Services and among the items of any one Service. The six calendar month objective will be consistently applied to all items and all Services, but with modifications to reflect the deployment patterns of each. Because of time required to commit the entire force, six calendar months of combat requires fewer months of full combat support.

For the Army, the new guidance of 88 division months of combat operation is based upon a 22 Division force engaged for four combat months in a conventional war.

For the Marines, a force of 4 Divisions would be provided logistical support for 20 division months of combat operations.

In the case of the Navy, the comparable support for 6 calendar months assumes an average of approximately 50 per cent of the active fleet engaged in combat during the same period.

A serious imbalance has existed between the logistic planning for the ground forces and their necessary tactical air support. The logistic guidance for tactical air support is now to be consistent with that for the ground units they should support. As an interim objective for FY ‘63, the Air Force is being directed to acquire a minimum on hand capability of at least three months of combat support. In view of the grave deficiencies in non-nuclear ordnance for tactical aircraft, I am recommending the specific inclusion of $500 million in the FY ‘63 Air Force budget for non-nuclear ordnance.

IV. Sealift and Airlift Forces

The force structure I am recommending is summarized in the following table.

[Page 171]
End-Fiscal Year
1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
Airlift ( No. of UE Aircraft)
C-97 48 - - - - -
C-118 95 80 48 - - -
C-121 60 56 32 - - -
60 32
C-123 80 64 - - - -
C-124 300 216 216 216 120 36
220 220 167 76
C-130 240 320 448 448 448 384
C-133 44 44 44 44 40 40
C-135 42 42 42 42 42 38
Cargo Jet - - - 48 96 144
0 0 0
C-141a - - - - 48 96b
32 80 128
Troop Carrier 492 456 520 520 648 612
444 444 408 412 420
MATS 417 366 310 278 146 126
386 390 390 274 206
Total 909 822 830 798 794 738
830 834 686 626
Sealift (No. of Active Ships)
Troopships 16 - - - - -
16 16 16 16 16
Roll-on/Roll-off Cargo Ships 1 1 1 2 3 4c
Other Cargo Ships 59 58 58 57 56 55
Tankers 24 24 24 24 24 24
Total 100 83 83 83 83 83
99 99 99 99 99

a The difference between my recommended C-141 program and that of the Air Force in 1965- 1967 reflects a more conservative estimate of date of availability, not a difference in program objectives. The eventual total I am recommending is lower than that proposed by the Air Force because I am including a fleet of Cargo Jets in my program.

b Increases to 144 in FY 1968.

c Increases to a total of 6 in FY 1969.

The Services have developed the following general deployment objectives, which I have approved, for use in estimating our sea and airlift requirements for limited war in remote areas:

One airborne brigade with essential combat equipment to any employment area within three days (by airlift).
One division (including the above brigade) within seven to ten days (by airlift).
One additional division within four weeks (by airlift).
The complete equipment of the two-division force within forty-five days (by sealift).
Three fighter bomber squadrons and support units to any employment area within one week (by airlift).
Seven additional fighter bomber squadrons within four weeks (by airlift).
Logistic support for air and ground forces until surface resupply is established (by airlift).

In addition, continued logistic support of the permanent theatre forces would have to be provided. (A two division amphibious lift for the Marine Corps was provided in Package III.)

At present our potential military response is constrained by the limited capability of the current airlift forces and by the current basing and support posture, and is not able to meet the above objectives. My recommendations for meeting this deficiency are to increase both the airlift forces and the theatre stocks of vehicles and consumables.

[Page 172]

Pre-stocking of theatre supply points, and airlift directly from the United States, are close substitutes in terms of providing quickly the equipment and supplies needed for combat operations in remote areas. Current deployment concepts, implicit in the Service objectives, specify the airlift and sealift of the above forces from the continental United States. While there are advantages to this concept, an airlift force with four times the current capability would be needed to meet our requirements.

By using theatre stockage, however, we can greatly increase the effective capabilities of the airlift and sealift forces. Nevertheless, for a variety of reasons we cannot afford to rely completely on this approach. The airlift and sealift forces I am recommending, therefore, reflect a choice to use theatre stocks whenever possible, but also to provide a substantial capability for deployment from the United States in the event those stocks cannot be used or have not been established. The cost of this pre-stockage program would be only about 10 per cent of that needed to procure and operate the additional aircraft required under an all-United States deployment concept.

The recommended program is designed to meet all of the objectives listed above. A capability is provided to deploy one airborne division to the Middle East or Southeast Asia within seven days, if a one brigade force from this division plus resupply for the full division is airlifted from the theatre. Alternatively, one division can be deployed from the United States to any area within ten days, with no support from theatre resources.

In addition to these general conclusions, certain aspects of the recommended forces deserve special comment:

The recommended program brings into the force at a relatively early point substantial numbers of additional transport aircraft.

Airlift squadrons are shifted from the high utilization-high cost air transport force where they are surplus to our requirements to the lower cost troop carrier force. Peak short-response readiness is thereby improved while appreciable savings in operating costs are achieved.

Construction of 5 Comet roll-on/roll-off ships at the rate of one a year is begun in FY ‘63. When deliveries begin in FY ‘65, each will replace one general purpose cargo ship now in the active fleet. This will give us a new and valuable capability for rapid loading and unloading of vehicles, particularly where port facilities are limited.

With respect to the balance of the cargo, tanker, and troop ship fleet, I see no need at this time for the construction of replacement vessels. The marginal gains which might be achieved because of their faster cruising speed are completely outweighed by the very substantial expenditure involved. When needed, the service life of the existing vessels can be extended by a “FRAM-type” overhaul program.

[Page 173]

I have been unable to identify a military contingency for which the strategic sealift of troops would be necessary or desirable. In an emergency our commercial air fleet alone could airlift more troops than our forces are prepared to deploy. Deployment by air would also provide a faster initial response and shorter transit time.

In routine peacetime operations the movement of almost all personnel overseas by air could result in direct financial savings. Furthermore, the effectiveness of our forces would be augmented by providing the equivalent of 10-15,000 more man years through reduced transit and collection time. I am considering therefore, the retirement of all 16 troop ships now in the active fleet.

V. Reserve and National Guard Forces

My recommended Program, and the Service-proposed programs for FY ‘63 are summarized in the following table:

Fiscal Years
Army Navy Marine Corps Air Force
1962 1963 1962 1963 1962 1963 1962 1963
Annual Obligational Authority (Millions of Dollars) 911 911 218 228 115 129 531 531
Paid Drill Strength (Thousands of Men) 700 700 125 125 46 51 136 136

For the Navy, I recommend an increase of $10 million above the 1962 level for operation and maintenance of the ships to be returned from active to reserve status. The Marine Corps program provides an increase of 5,000 in paid drill personnel to strengthen the Reserve Marine Division/Wing Team and to provide general augmentation of the active Fleet Marine Forces during a crisis. With these expectations, the program I recommend continues the FY ‘62 levels of obligational and paid drill strength.

The recent Reserve call-ups have prevented my making decisions on the details of the Reserve and National Guard programs for FY ‘63 or developing a firm program for FY 1964 to FY 1967. I recommend, however, the placing of greater emphasis on the readiness of high priority units needed for immediate augmentation of the active forces during periods of increased international tension. Furthermore, I intend to ensure that the improved readiness of units released from active duty is maintained.

VI. Research and Development

The programs I am recommending, and those proposed by the Services, are summarized in the following table:

[Page 174] [Page 175]
Total Obligational Authority ($ Billions)
FY 62 FY 63 FY 64 FY 65 FY 66 FY 67
Basic Research 0.179 0.200 0.220 0.242 0.266 0.293
.250 .266 .281 .301 .313
Applied Research & Adv. Technology 1.059 1.355 1.477 1.515 1.555 1.647
Space (Including National Space Programs) 1.025 1.428 1.610 1.787 2.201 2.406
Advent .072 .090 .090 .050 .025 .010
.056 .016 - - -
Transit .023 .046 .023 .016 .013 .011
.048 .019 .014 .011 .009
Midas .201 .100 .160 .095 .060 .040
.206 .432 .370 .285 .250 .226
Samos .287 .332 .280 .210 .160 .160
.402 .380 .360 .360 .360
Dynasoar .100 .125 .125 .121 .083 .018
.176 .191 .145
Saint .026 .040 .007 - - -
.051 .037 .143 .479 .286
Discoverer .055 .055 .055 - - -
Atlantic & Pacific Missile Ranges .339 .407 .327 .336 .365 .382
.332 .420 .427 .398 .423 .428
Other .094 .284 .337 .266 .173 .101
.086 .644 .616 .927 1.581 1.520
Total Space 1.197 1.479 1.404 1.094 .879 .722
1.263 2.299 2.065 2.248 3.187 2.847
Mauler .028 .050 .013 .006 - -
.114 .106 .220 .151 .025
Shilleagh (Incl. Back-up) .019 .044 .034 .024 .010 .008
.019 .009 .014
Typhon .045 .072 .052 .038 .019 .014
.077 .124 .195 .316
Follow-on/Polaris .010 .015 .040 .150 .300 .300
- - - .070 .110 .130
Mid-Range Ballistic Missile - .040 .125 .160 .050 .050
.041 .154 .274 .236 .190
Other .129 .192 .267 .306 .352 .286
.131 .352 .661 .894 1.636 1.784
Total Missiles .231 .413 .531 .684 .731 .658
.273 .598 1.007 1.596 2.338 2.453
B-70 .220 .171 .076 .034 - -
.450 .594 .538 .818 1.423 1.875
VTOL Utility Act .018 .036 .030 .021 .004 .004
.016 .026 .014
Aerial Crane - .020 .025 .020 .015 .015
Other Aircraft .014 .046 .094 .096 .122 .141
.040 .079 .098 .142 .216
Total Aircraft .252 .273 .225 .171 .141 .160
.482 .670 .668 .950 1.584 2.110
Command & Control, Communications & Intelligence .146 .228 .309 .312 .252 .234
.143 .368 .444 .404 . 303 .295
Conventional War Armaments .346 .415 .539 .546 .402 .456
.340 .404 .543 .590 .423 .476
Remote Area Limited Warfare (Special OSD Add-On) - .100 .100 .100 .100 .100
Management & Support .875 .956 .974 .971 .981 1.001
1.126 1.087 1.060 1.016 1.019
OSD Development Planning Increment - - .182 .922 1.906 2.663
Total R&D 4.285 5.419 5.961 6.557 7.213 7.934
4.530 7.413 7.690 8.910 11.353 11.919

My recommendations are based on the following principles:

Space-oriented system projects, as contrasted with component development projects, must have either an immediate military use or a reasonable and foreseeable possibility must exist for such use. In addition, DOD must support the National Space Program, according to the NASA-DOD agreements.
The B-70 has not been approved as a full weapon system.
A substantial R&D effort should be aimed at insuring the safety and the flexibility of employment of nuclear weapons, and at reducing dependence on vulnerable parts of the weapon systems during and after an enemy attack.
Joint Army, Navy, Air Force R&D, as exemplified by the agreements reached in connection with the VTOL, VAX and TFX aircraft, should be encouraged; high-altitude drones should be considered from a similar joint point of view.
The Army should be given a sharp increase in funding for limited and sub-limited warfare to improve an existing situation that is very unbalanced.
It is not possible to support prudent R&D funding levels four or five years hence solely on the basis of those projects which have sufficient validity to warrant even tentative approval at this time. Accordingly, an OSD Development Planning Increment should be added in FY 1964 through FY 1967 to arrive at realistic R&D resource demand levels. As [Page 176] R&D planning progresses this item should be reduced, reaching zero for the annual budget under review in each future year.
Basic research is important and the amount of money devoted to it should be increased.
The distribution of funds between the Exploratory Development and Systems has been reviewed and the funds devoted to Systems have been decreased in order to delay initiation of large programs until the necessary technology is established. For this reason, among others, a number of proposed new systems, such as extended Pershing, Field Army Ballistic Missile Defense, Typhon II (a Navy anti-aircraft anti-missile system), Space Counter Weapon System, and others have been eliminated. On the other hand increased effort should be placed on technologies required for such items as penetration aides, guidance for mobile ballistic missiles, reconnaissance-strike aircraft, anti-tank weapons, communications, command and control, etc.

The following are some of the highlights of the R&D program.

Space (Including DoD participation in the National Space Program.)

About 20 percent of the total DoD R&D dollars are currently programmed for space projects and systems through FY 1964. Although the levels appear to decline beyond FY 1964, new developments or success in current programs could actually result in increases. Funds for DoD support of the National Space Program are included in these areas.

The costs for the Atlantic and Pacific Missile Ranges comprise about one-quarter of the space R&D funds. Large current R&D programs are Discoverer, Midas, Samos and Advent, a communications satellite. Navigational satellites similar to Transit, an outgrowth of the satellite interceptor program and man in space projects evolving from NASA programs and Dynasoar might become quite important militarily. In the event that military requirements for manned spaced vehicles were to appear substantial, increases in R&D funding could be required during the latter half of this decade.


In FY 1962 and FY 1963 R&D for missiles of all types represents about 30 per cent of the total R&D budget. The fraction of the R&D budget allocated to missiles may be reduced in FY 1964 and subsequent years but the funding levels will probably not drop as low as indicated. Some OSD Development Planning Increment funds will undoubtedly be programmed into this area.

Strategic missile R&D will decline rather sharply after FY 1963 reflecting the comparatively small number of new programs anticipated in this area. Conceivably this decline could be reversed if unexpected Soviet developments indicate much greater vulnerability of, or lack of [Page 177] penetrability by our missiles. Current R&D programs include funds to improve the penetration capabilities and reliability of those missiles still in development. R&D funds are also included for an improved longer range Polaris and possible follow-on, for increased flexibility in Minuteman, to retain the option of a decision for early deployment of mobile Minuteman, and to begin development of a highly accurate, fast reacting, mobile, Mid-Range Ballistic-Missile. The MRBM would cost approximately $500 million to develop. Such an expenditure appears warranted in view of:

The “range gap” in our present missile program between the Pershing, with a range of 350 miles, and our long-range ICBM’s.
The possible need to replace the nuclear armed fighter-bombers with a missile as the aircraft become more vulnerable to attack, both on the ground and in the air.
The large number of Soviet missiles with ranges between 300 and 2,000 miles.

Funds are programmed for a family of tactical missiles ranging from the Shillelagh (and a back-up anti-tank missile) to Pershing. Air defense missiles include a forward area self-propelled missile (Mauler) and several air-to-air missiles; Typhon is a ship-launched missile with a surface target capability. A number of other missiles of all types are being studied extensively within the three Services.


The B-70 continues as a development program with an estimated development cost of $1.3 billion. A tri-Service fighter which is to be used for interdiction, air superiority, reconnaissance and fleet defense is to be developed in lieu of two single-service fighters, at a savings of $1 billion. A tri-Service close-support aircraft is being studied. At least one (and perhaps as many as three) design of a vertical take-off and landing utility aircraft is being planned in a tri-Service program to evaluate the VTOL concept.

R&D is proceeding on a surveillance aircraft and a light observation helicopter; other aircraft and helicopters such as the Aerial Crane are under study. A number of projects in advanced technology, e.g., the X-15 and the laminar flow research aircraft are directed toward improving our capabilities in conventional aeronautics.

[Here follow Sections VII-IX.]

  1. Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Departments and Agencies Series, Department of Defense, FY 1963 Defense Budget 1/61-10/61. Top Secret. No final version of this memorandum has been found. It was McNamara’s practice to circulate the final versions of budget memoranda in draft form. Concerning the role and significance of McNamara’s Draft Presidential Memoranda, or DPMs, see Alain Enthoven and K. Wayne Smith, How Much Is Enough? Shaping the Defense Program, 1961-1969 (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), pp. 53-58.
  2. Only the first six sections are printed.
  3. Printed in italics.
  4. Document 46.
  5. Document 48.
  6. Reference is to the section below entitled “Logistic Guidance.”
  7. These ships were obtained either by recommissioning from the Reserve Fleet or by retaining ships previously scheduled for phase-out. [Footnote in the source text.]
  8. Numbers cited in this section are for squadron aircraft only. In addition, aircraft would be procured for command support, training, test and attrition. [Footnote in the source text.]