309. Telegram From the Headquarters, U.S. Strike Command to the Joint Chiefs of Staff1

STRCC 858/64. Subject is: Possible Belgium contingency planning for Stanleyville.

Reference: JTF Leo Congo 0412 DTG 011050Z, Subject: Possible Belgium contingency planning for Stanleyville (Notal).2

1. The reference message was retransmitted this date to the Joint Chiefs of Staff by USSTRICOM. This is the second occasion on which we have had background information pertaining to some planning or proposals relating to the transport of Belgian paratroopers in US aircraft to participate in an air assault on Stanleyville.

2. While the matter of transporting a given number of people from Belgium to the Congo is no particular problem, the complications of conducting an airborne assault with foreign troops is a matter that should receive the most careful consideration before being undertaken. The Belgians do not have the same loading and jumping techniques as do US forces, and a language and communication problem would exist. The problems of staging a coordinated joint air assault would be most complicated without some preliminary training. This would likely consume as much time as is now programmed for the Van der Walle plan to be completed.

3. If any planning or proposals of this nature are being made with any measure of seriousness, I earnestly recommend that experts of this [Page 449] command be called upon to participate in the discussions of such proposals.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. VI, Memos & Miscellaneous, 10/64–11/64. Top Secret; Noforn; Limdis. Repeated to the Secretary of State and DOD, and forwarded to the White House.
  2. Not found.