192. Telegram From the Commander of the Sixth Fleet (Martin) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff1

71503Z. A. COMSIXTHFLT 070626Z Jun 67.2

This applies ref A.
Prior to 052015Z Jun 67 SIXTHFLT aircraft were engaged in normal training operations in the Sea of Crete and south of the western end of Crete. No air operations were authorized east of lat 30E or within 100 miles of the Egyptian coast. These restrictions provided a minimum approach distance for aircraft to the coasts of Israel and Syria of no less that 240 miles and to the coast of Egypt from Alexandria west of no less than 100 miles. At 052015Z Jun 67 the operating area for SIXTHFLT units was expanded to include all of the [Page 344]eastern Med except that no operations, either surface or air, were permitted within 1 [100] miles of Israel, Syria, or Egypt or within 25 miles of Cyprus.
On 5 May [June] both carriers were operating in positions which were in excess of 400 miles from Israel or Sinai. Flight operations on America were conducted from 0915Z until 1235Z and on Saratoga from 0828Z until 1313Z. Flight operations were conducted for training purposes and were routine in all aspects. On 6 Jun limited UR operations were conducted during the day for routing purposes. No night operations were conducted by either carrier.
All SIXTHFLT CVA pilots who participated in air operations on 5 and 6 Jun have been queried concerning their track lines and any voice communications either transmitted or received. At no time were the airspace restrictions set forth in para 1. above violated, i.e., on 5 Jun no SIXTHFLT CVA aircraft approached the Israel or Sinai coastline closer that 240 miles and on 6 Jun no SIXTHFLT CVA aircraft approached the Israel, Syria or Egypt coastlines closer than 100 miles. Tracks flown were actually farther from Israel/Syria/Egypt than the above limiting figures. During these flights no SIXTHFLT pilot either transmitted or received any radio transmissions from stations either in or under the control of any country in the Mideast engaged in the current conflict, either directly or indirectly by relay. In short, on 5 and 6 Jun no SIXTHFLT aircraft overflew Israel, Syria, or Egypt and no communications were established by SIXTHFLT pilots with any radio stations controlled or utilized by any of these countries.
No flight operations are scheduled for 7 Jun for either Saratoga or America. The limitations set forth in para 2 above continue in effect.
  1. Source: Joint Chiefs of Staff Files, 898/392. Secret; Flash. The telegram does not indicate the time of receipt. Repeated to CNO, CINCUSNAVEUR, USCINCEUR, CINCUSAFE, DIA, and DIRNSA. Filed as an attachment to the Report of the JCS Fact Finding Team: USS Liberty Incident, 8 June 1967. (See footnote 2, Document 337.)
  2. Telegram 70626Z from COMSIXTHFLT to JCS stated that there had been no direct or indirect communications between COMSIXTHFLT and any Israeli source either military or non-military and none reported by any COMSIXTHFLT subordinate command. (Joint Chiefs of Staff Files, 898/392)