20. National Security Decision Memorandum 771

TO

  • The Secretary of State
  • The Secretary of Defense
  • The Director of Central Intelligence

SUBJECT

  • Air Activity in Southeast Asia Over FY 71

Following the VSSG review,2 the President has directed that the Department of Defense shall: [Page 2]

  • —Provide funding adequate to support an FY 1971 air activity level of 14,000 tactical air (USAF, USN and USMC), 1,000 B–52, and 1,000 gunship sorties monthly in Southeast Asia.
  • —Authorize a lower sorties level than funded—between 10,000 and 14,000 tactical air sorties flown monthly in Southeast Asia—depending upon circumstances as determined by COMUSMACV.
  • —Plan to compensate for this reduction in U.S. air activity by continuing DOD’s intensive effort to enhance the capabilities of the VNAF to at least 4,300 sorties monthly and of the RLAF to 2,000 sorties monthly during FY 71.
  • —Plan to close two bases in South Vietnam (Chu Lai and Tuy Hoa) during FY 1971 and to place one base in Thailand (Takhli) on a caretaker basis until a further review.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 363, Subject Files, NSDMs 51–96. Secret; Sensitive. A copy was sent to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  2. See footnote 2, Document 13.