163. Minutes of a Washington Special Actions Group Meeting1
- Henry A. Kissinger
- U. Alexis Johnson
- William Sullivan
- Kenneth Rush
- Armistead Selden
- Maj. Gen. David Ott
- Adm. Thomas Moorer
- Capt. Kinnaird McKee
- Richard Helms
- George Carver
- William Newton (only for Mr. Helms’ briefing)
- Maj. Gen. Alexander Haig
- Richard Kennedy
- John Holdridge
- Philip Odeen
- Mark Wandler
SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS
It was agreed that:
- —Mr. Kissinger will obtain a Presidential decision on the options presented in the Defense paper on Augmentation of Military Assistance to the RVN.2
- —We will go ahead with the plan to provide two additional M–48 tank companies to the Koreans.
- —Mr. Kissinger will obtain Presidential guidance on whether to go ahead during the next two weeks with the psychological warfare operations which intrude on North Vietnamese territory. The other psywar operations should proceed as scheduled.
Mr. Kissinger: (to Mr. Helms) Dick, what do you have?
Mr. Helms: [Read his briefing.]3
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Vietnam.]
Mr. Kissinger: I assume that the North Vietnamese are not attacking Kontum because they can’t launch the attack yet. I assume the delay is not part of their strategy. (to Mr. Carver) Is that right, George?
Mr. Carver: Yes, I think so. The North Vietnamese have been trying for three weeks to get into position for the attack on Kontum. The 320th and the 2nd Divisions just haven’t been able to get set. Some captured North Vietnamese ralliers have told us, for example, that the B–52s hit their assembly areas and caused heavy casualties.
Adm. Moorer: That happened two times.
Mr. Carver: I think we must say that they have delayed the attack on Kontum because of their inability to get it off the ground. This doesn’t mean, though, that they won’t eventually launch the attack.
[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to Vietnam.]
Mr. Kissinger: What about the situation at Hue? The delay in the attack there isn’t part of the enemy strategy, either. Or is it?
Mr. Carver: It’s not part of the North Vietnamese strategy up there. You have to remember that the North Vietnamese took very heavy casualties at Quang Tri, and this slowed down their preparations for the attack on Hue. In addition, they have been pushed back somewhat by the South Vietnamese operations around FSB Bastogne. In order for the North Vietnamese to get to Hue from the west, they have to push [Page 594] through the fire support bases—and get their artillery into position to fire on Hue. They have not yet been able to do this.
Adm. Moorer: That’s right. There’s no question that they have been slowed down at Hue.
Mr. Sullivan: What about the report I heard that two Soviet tankers have been diverted from their run to Haiphong? Is that true?
Mr. Carver: Yes. They were ordered yesterday to go to Odessa.
Mr. Sullivan: Are there any more Soviet tankers heading for Haiphong right now?
Mr. Carver: No.
Adm. Moorer: One of the two tankers Bill [Sullivan] mentioned is in the Baltic.
Mr. Johnson: Have any of the Soviet ships gone into Chinese ports yet?
Mr. Sullivan: I think some of them are going to Singapore.
Mr. Carver: At any rate, none of them are heading for Haiphong.
Mr. Kissinger: Have some of them gone into Chinese ports?
Mr. Johnson: That’s what I just asked.
Adm. Moorer: Not that we know of. A couple of ships—none of them Soviet—have gone to Hong Kong. I think one of the East German ships went to Hong Kong.
Mr. Kissinger: Have all the ships in Haiphong been offloaded by now? How long does it take for that?
Adm. Moorer: It takes quite a while. The maximum number of ships they were handling—if I recall correctly—was forty a month.
Mr. Sullivan: I think four ships were diverted to Hong Kong—and they are there now.
Mr. Helms: The Frieden—the East German ship Anthony Lewis wrote about yesterday—just got docked. It’s been in the harbor, though, since April 7. There’s obviously been quite a jam-up in the harbor.
Gen. Haig joined the meeting at this point.
Mr. Sullivan: Have we noticed any signs yet that the Chinese are beginning to change their transportation system around—to accommodate the North Vietnamese?
Mr. Helms: No, we haven’t seen any signs of that so far.
Adm. Moorer: It will be very hard for the Chinese to adjust on a basis of transporting 200,000 tons a month to North Vietnam.
Mr. Johnson: We should probably be able to detect increased truck movements—if the rail lines are cut.
Adm. Moorer: If we use the figure of 200,000 tons a month, that means 400 trains a month—or thirteen trains a day. That’s an awful lot of supplies to move and a big adjustment for the Chinese to make.[Page 595]
Mr. Johnson: I agree. But I think that the first signs we will probably pick up will be the increased truck movement in North Vietnam.
Mr. Rush: If that’s the case, it will eat up even more of their POL.
Mr. Johnson: I gather that we haven’t yet spotted an increase in the truck movement.
Adm. Moorer: No, we haven’t. But we’re watching for it.
Mr. Kissinger: Are we bombing the road bridges, as well as the railroad bridges?
Adm. Moorer: Sure.
Mr. Kissinger: How are the roads? Are they in good enough condition for the North Vietnamese to move huge truck convoys?
Adm. Moorer: The North Vietnamese can come down in two ways: one road runs parallel to the railroad, and the other road more or less runs along the coast.
Mr. Johnson: Do both roads have hard surfaces?
Adm. Moorer: Yes. The coast road splits up at Cam Pha into two roads. In any event, all the roads use the Doumer bridge—and we’ve knocked it out.
Mr. Kissinger: (to Adm. Moorer) Tom, do you have anything for us?
Adm. Moorer: Not really. The activity within the last twenty-four hours has been light. I agree with George [Carver] that the enemy is trying like hell to get Kontum—but he hasn’t been able to launch the attack because he has sustained heavy losses. The TOW missile has been put to good use up there—accounting for the destruction of APCs, as well as tanks. The North Vietnamese have almost come to the wire a couple of times with sappers, but that’s as far as they got. The South Vietnamese are also planning to mount an operation with Rangers and tanks to open up the Kontum pass on the road between Kontum and Pleiku.
Mr. Kissinger: Isn’t it better when the South Vietnamese forces are surrounded? They seem to perform much better when they are surrounded.
Mr. Johnson: Yes, it certainly seems like it.
Mr. Helms: The South Vietnamese may bug out when there is an escape hatch available to them, but they don’t surrender when they are surrounded.
Mr. Rush: There’s another factor, too, which may have an effect on this. When the South Vietnamese Marines are captured, the North Vietnamese kill them.
Adm. Moorer: That’s right. The North Vietnamese don’t keep the Marines as prisoners.
Mr. Sullivan: But the South Vietnamese do the same thing.[Page 596]
Adm. Moorer: I also agree with Dick [Helms] in that we should keep a sharp watch on the Delta—on MR 4.
Mr. Kissinger: Maybe Thieu should put the 21st Division back there. It doesn’t seem to be doing much where it is right now.
Mr. Johnson: It’s only three miles away from An Loc right now.
Adm. Moorer: I promise you that the 21st Division will be in An Loc before you leave Washington. Some advance elements of the division have already made contact with the forces in the city.
Mr. Kissinger: What about the report that the division would already be in An Loc if the B–52s had not done so much damage to the road?
Adm. Moorer: There isn’t anything to that report.
Mr. Sullivan: The British gave us a cable that their man in Hanoi sent in after talking with the Poles in Hanoi. The BDA reported in the cable is very interesting. It says that the North Vietnamese have lost about eighty percent of their industry. It also reports that the port of Hon Gai has been knocked out, and, consequently, that the North Vietnamese are no longer able to export their coal.
Adm. Moorer: That’s right.
Mr. Sullivan: The cable goes on to say that the road bridge over the Red River has also been knocked out. It’s estimated that the bridge won’t be repaired for several months. The Poles have sent their women home, too.
Adm. Moorer: That’s the correct thing to do. Our diplomats don’t go into areas under attack.
Mr. Johnson: They shouldn’t, but it happens from time to time that they do.
Mr. Kissinger: (to Mr. Rush) Ken, can you tell us briefly about your paper?
Mr. Rush: Yes. We gave consideration to three basic options. The first option—with the equipment listed on page six—is a minimum action and includes only those items which we think are necessary to sustain the South Vietnamese during the current situation.4
The second option—with the equipment listed on page seven—includes Option 1 and provides additional equipment we think the [Page 597] South Vietnamese would need if we were to withdraw from Southeast Asia in the next two to four months. Some of the items in this option could not be effectively used by the ARVN right now, but they would eventually provide the ARVN with greater military capability. This option has two sub-options: 2A, which includes items the South Vietnamese would need if we withdraw quickly; and 2B, which includes additional items that would provide them with even greater military capability.5
The third option—with the equipment listed on page eight—provides additional equipment which would demonstrate our highly visible support. In all probability, though, this equipment would not be useful for the South Vietnamese for two or three years to come. We don’t recommend this option.6
General Ott worked on this paper all night, coordinating it with all the services. I think he can fill you in on some of the details.
Gen. Ott: Mr. Rush outlined the basic options. I should point out, however, that the cost figures in the paper are soft. Nonetheless, we think they provide a good feel for the order of magnitude of the decisions.
In addition, there is no requirement to approve the three options in their entirety. Each item in all of the options can be considered separately.
Mr. Kissinger: The President can’t address this issue item by item. He has to deal with the options.
Gen. Ott: I know that. The President can choose any option he wishes—say Option 2A or 2B—and then we can take care of the items. All of the items are listed on pages six, seven and eight.
Mr. Kissinger: This is a good paper. The President can handle the options.
Gen. Ott: Once he decides on the option, we can handle the items for you. We would like some flexibility with them, though. For example, we would have to know how you want the items transported to Vietnam. If we fly them out, it will take three days. But if we send them [Page 598] by ship, it will take three weeks. Some of the items are ready to go now, and we can get some high visibility by flying them out.
Adm. Moorer: We have the transportation capability to do whatever the President wants.
Gen. Ott: Inclosure one of the paper lists what we are doing now. All the services have done a tremendous job in making up the South Vietnamese combat losses and in getting as much as possible out there.
Mr. Kissinger: Somebody told me that we knocked out all the ARVN M–48s with air strikes. Is that true?
Adm. Moorer: We did destroy some of the M–48s, especially in the Quang Tri area, after they were abandoned.
Mr. Kissinger: That’s what someone told me.
Mr. Rush: We did it after they were abandoned and after the bridge was knocked down. If we hadn’t destroyed the tanks, the North Vietnamese would have captured them.
Gen. Ott: There was also a report that we were using termite grenades. But that was a mistake. The report should have said thermite grenades.
Adm. Moorer: And we destroyed some of the artillery pieces the South Vietnamese abandoned, too.
Mr. Rush: As I recall, we destroyed twenty-eight artillery pieces.
Gen. Ott: I believe our paper is in a form the President can handle.
Mr. Kissinger: Let’s say the President chooses a certain option. Does that mean that the equipment listed in the option is on top of what we are sending now? Or will someone say that the President has simply approved what we already are doing?
Adm. Moorer: This is additional equipment. For example, the minimum essential needed for immediate combat capability is: 32 HU–1 assault helicopters; 30 STOL aircraft; 850 60-mm mortars; and 30 TOW anti-tank weapons.
Mr. Kissinger: Which option is that?
Adm. Moorer: It’s 1A. And it is additional equipment to what is already being sent.
Mr. Kissinger: As I understand it, Option 1B includes Option 1A. Each option starts with 1A and then builds on top of that. Is that correct?
Gen. Ott: Yes. And we can’t pick Option 3—for highly visible support—just by itself. The other options would be included in Option 3.
Mr. Kissinger: It’s cumulative. Everything starts with Option 1A.
Adm. Moorer: That’s right. As you notice, too, the various items are listed in two ways. When it says “provide,” that means this is an [Page 599] additional item which had not previously been programmed. When it says “accelerate,” it means we will speed up the delivery of an item which has already been programmed.
Mr. Kissinger: This is a good job. What are your recommendations?
Mr. Selden: We don’t recommend Option 3 because it has a lot of disadvantages. It will take two or three years to train the people to use the equipment, it will draw down our inventories and it will cost a tremendous amount of money. We put it in just so that we could give the reasons why it should be knocked out.
Mr. Rush: That’s right.
Gen. Ott: I would recommend Option 1 right now. Option 2 is cease-fire oriented, in that it lists what we can do to fill out the entire South Vietnamese capability. The South Vietnamese won’t be able to make immediate use of much of the equipment listed in Option 2. But at least it would get the equipment there. If you are thinking in terms of a settlement, it would be better to approve Option 2A, or both 2A and 2B.
Mr. Kissinger: Just in military terms, how long can the North Vietnamese go on with the heavy losses they are sustaining?
Mr. Carver: In the northern part of the country, there hasn’t been much heavy activity since Quang Tri was captured. I think the North Vietnamese can hang on for another month to six weeks. At An Loc and in the southern part of the country, the North Vietnamese can’t keep up the activity they have sustained for the last four weeks. We’ve gotten an intercept indicating that some of the battalions of the 5th and 9th NVA Divisions have been hit hard. And when the rainy season starts, the terrain in the south won’t permit the enemy to use tanks and artillery on a large scale.
Mr. Kissinger: Can we assume that they are depleting their stocks in MR 3?
Mr. Carver: Not necessarily. They’ve been building up some of the stockpiles in Cambodia for three years. Since we don’t have a handle on the precise level of the stockpiles, it’s wise not to gamble and say the stocks will be used up. I think the stocks will last for at least several more weeks. It’s more likely that the manpower loss and the weather will make it impossible for them to continue the large-scale operations in four weeks.
Mr. Kissinger: Once they get the manpower replacements, can they start the offensive again?
Mr. Carver: First they have to refit and reorganize the units. I think the earliest they will be able to go back on the offensive is November or December. And at that time, I suspect the political dynamics will have more of an impact on the decision to renew the offensive than the logistic or military dynamics.[Page 600]
Mr. Kissinger: Is the same thing true for the situation at Kontum?
Mr. Carver: Kontum is the diciest situation of them all. The North Vietnamese are poised for the attack, and they can launch it any time within the next couple of weeks. Frankly, I’m bearish that Kontum will be held because the quality of the GVN forces there isn’t very high.
Mr. Kissinger: I think we all wrote off Kontum four weeks ago.
Mr. Carver: I don’t know if the GVN forces will be able to hold once the attack on Kontum begins. The North Vietnamese have four more weeks in which to try to get everything together. After that time, they will probably have to begin to pull back.
Mr. Kissinger: Whether they’ve taken Kontum or not, they will have to begin to pull back in four weeks.
Mr. Carver: Even if they do take Kontum and then have to pull back, they will still be able to harass Pleiku and Highways 14 and 19. However, the weather will force them to close down large-unit operations in the western highlands in four or five weeks.
Mr. Kissinger: MR 1 is the most dangerous area for us because there are no limits on the enemy stockpiles.
Mr. Carver: They have not taken heavy losses up there in the last couple of weeks, nor have they expended their stocks very much. Since Quang Tri, they have been probing and harassing the South Vietnamese.
Adm. Moorer: The enemy is working hard to establish a logistic base at Khe Sanh.
Mr. Carver: That’s right. The Binh Trams have been moving from Laos to Khe Sanh.
Adm. Moorer: I agree with George [Carver]. We’ll only have the threat of large-scale operations for six more weeks. Maybe the enemy will have the same difficulty at Kontum that he has at An Loc. But in five or six weeks, the North Vietnamese will have to go into a harassing posture. Some of the units will probably be called back to North Vietnam.
Mr. Helms: The history of this war is that people say we didn’t know the North Vietnamese could bring tanks and logistics down to a certain area, or that we didn’t expect this, or that we didn’t expect that. With this consideration in mind, I think you have to be a pretty gutsy person to say the enemy will run out of supplies anywhere in South Vietnam.
Mr. Sullivan: Has the Trail been closed down now? Are the transportation units being called back to North Vietnam?
Mr. Carver: The Trail is still open, and the 472nd Transportation Group is still active, as are most of the Binh Trams.
Adm. Moorer: They haven’t ordered any transportation units back to North Vietnam. In fact, they didn’t even do that last year.[Page 601]
Mr. Sullivan: I realize that. But sometimes the water can get to be ten or twelve feet deep in certain places on the Trail. When that happens, the supplies can’t be moved.
Adm. Moorer: I mentioned the other day that the sensor count is down to almost zero now, and that’s because the torrential downpours are beginning. In the north, the enemy has plenty of supplies. It’s now too difficult for them to bring in supplies for the attack on Hue. They can bring the supplies down the DMZ and then through the A Shau Valley.
But then they will have to go up to the Hanoi–Haiphong area for more supplies if all the forward stocks are really exhausted and if they are without access to ready refills.
Mr. Kissinger: When will that happen?
Adm. Moorer: I suppose they are already thinking about it right now.
Mr. Sullivan: What about the POL situation?
Adm. Moorer: Once the heavy rains begin, the North Vietnamese won’t use as much POL as they have been using in recent weeks. Besides, almost all the bridges are down, and they won’t be able to transport any supplies.
Mr. Sullivan: Do the Soviet tankers in Haiphong constitute a floating POL reserve for the North Vietnamese?
Mr. Carver: It’s not too much of a reserve—only about twenty days’ supply.
Mr. Sullivan: What are the ships—10,000 ton tankers?
Mr. Carver: Yes. If after another month—say at the end of June—the North Vietnamese have not achieved by military means the things they told the cadres and the faithful that they would achieve, then they have to begin to rethink the political costs of their investment. At that point, I think, the political factors will begin to have more importance than the support and logistic factors.
The North Vietnamese said early on in the offensive that they had taken An Loc—but they haven’t done so. They claimed they were achieving great victories and smashing the ARVN—but they haven’t done so.
Mr. Kissinger: Even if they take Kontum, that won’t mean they won a smashing victory over the ARVN.
Mr. Carver: That’s right. And my point is that they haven’t even taken Kontum. If, after another month, they only have Quang Tri and Loc Ninh, that isn’t very much.
Mr. Kissinger: Let’s assume they do take Kontum. We used to sit around this table and say that we expected to lose Kontum—and that was even before the offensive began.[Page 602]
Mr. Carver: Okay. Assume that the North Vietnamese are holding Quang Tri, Kontum and Loc Ninh after another four or five weeks. That isn’t very much to show for the all-out effort of virtually their entire army.
Adm. Moorer: Especially after an all-out effort for fifty days.
Mr. Carver: The people sitting around the Politburo table in Hanoi may say that this is reminiscent of Tet 1968. Only this time, they’ve also lost their ports, and the bridges are down, too—thereby cutting the transportation system. The debate could be quite grim.
Mr. Kissinger: This may explain why Le Duc Tho has not gone home.
Mr. Sullivan: Porter feels that Le Duc Tho has remained in Paris so that he can call for a cease-fire when the North Vietnamese are at the peak of their achievements—whether they have accomplished all their objectives or not. Many of us, I should point out, are not attuned to Porter’s thesis.
Adm. Moorer: I’d like to return to the paper on augmentation of military assistance. Another possibility might be for the President to direct the execution of an option—say Option 1—with selected items from Option 2. We could start moving the items in Option 1 right now. Then we could screen other items from Option 2 on a selected basis.
Mr. Johnson: Do we know what the budgetary impact of these options will be?
Adm. Moorer: Not entirely. The budget figures are soft.
Mr. Kissinger: What about the M–48 tanks for the Koreans?
Adm. Moorer: That’s a separate question.
Mr. Johnson: Defense recommends that we provide two additional M–48 companies to the Koreans.
Mr. Kissinger: Do you have a problem with that? It sounds as though you are not in complete agreement with it.
Mr. Johnson: I agree with the recommendation. But I’m also thinking about the question of balance. If we provide the additional M–48s, the replacement cost will be, I think, about $14 million. What will we get from the Koreans? Hopefully, the minimum we would get from them would be an agreement to stay in Vietnam until the end of the year. I don’t think we could hope to get any more than that from them.
Mr. Selden: You are right. The replacement cost will be $14 million.
Mr. Sullivan: Our people agree that we should provide the two additional M–48 companies. But they point out that we may have a problem bucking the Koreans if we ask them to move the two companies from Korea right now and wait 190 days for the replacements. We may have some hard bargaining ahead with the Koreans.[Page 603]
Adm. Moorer: The Koreans can’t lose. No matter how they look at it, they will end up with two more tank companies.
Mr. Sullivan: We agree with you. I’m just pointing out that the Koreans may try to drive a hard bargain.
Mr. Kissinger: Are there any other items of business?
Mr. Sullivan: We’re going flat out on psychological operations, as a result of Gen. Haig’s intervention. We dropped seventeen million leaflets last night. George is working on the program for black radio, and VOA will double its broadcast time. We also plan to drop 800,000 leaflets on Hanoi.
Mr. Kissinger: Not while we are gone.
Adm. Moorer: We’re scheduled to do it.
Mr. Sullivan: Couldn’t we just drop the papers?
Mr. Kissinger: No.
Adm. Moorer: If you don’t want us to do it, you have to tell me today—so that I can cancel the orders. The plan calls for the aircraft which normally dispense the chaff to carry two canisters of leaflets and to drop the leaflets along with the chaff.
Mr. Kissinger: Do we drop chaff over Hanoi?
Adm. Moorer: Sure. But the chaff probably never hits the ground.
Mr. Kissinger: I understand.
Adm. Moorer: It’s simple to stop the operation—if you want us to.
Mr. Sullivan: Tom [Moorer] has some other things, too—such as raids by small South Vietnamese teams.
Adm. Moorer: There are several things which will have to be implemented by CINCPAC.
Mr. Sullivan: (to Mr. Kissinger) Do you want us to hold off on these things until you return from Moscow?
Mr. Kissinger: [Taking paper from Mr. Sullivan.] Let me see the paper.
Mr. Johnson: The plan calls for landings by small South Vietnamese teams?
Mr. Sullivan: Yes.
Adm. Moorer: We would also drop some money. We’ve got an interesting bag of dirty tricks.
Mr. Kissinger: I’m not quarreling with them. The question is, though, do we want to do them in the next two weeks?
Adm. Moorer: In any event, we can make the preparations and be ready to go ahead with them when you get back. Bill [Sullivan] was going to send a message to the Embassy, too.
Mr. Sullivan: I was going to say that a number of action messages are being sent out at the direction of the highest authority. I was going to tell the Embassy to snap to and to implement these actions.[Page 604]
Adm. Moorer: But CINCPAC will have the implementing authority.
Mr. Kissinger: I’ll talk to the President and see what he wants to do during the next two weeks. If we do these things and if they surface, they will be noticed as new activities.
Mr. Johnson: That’s right.
Mr. Kissinger: I’ll get the President’s view.
Mr. Sullivan: What should we do about the plan to increase broadcast time?
Mr. Kissinger: There’s no problem with that. I’m talking about the physical intrusion of North Vietnamese territory. If we do that, the North Vietnamese will go running to the Soviets and complain about what bad guys we are to be doing these things while we are in Moscow.
Mr. Carver: Should we go ahead with the disinformation program?
Mr. Kissinger: Yes. There’s no problem with that.
Mr. Sullivan: I suppose we can drop the leaflets in the Panhandle.
Mr. Kissinger: Yes. I’ll speak to the President about the leaflet drop on Hanoi, though.
Adm. Moorer: If you want me to get a cancellation message out today, you should let me know by 6:00 p.m.
Mr. Kissinger: I’ll let you know before that time.
- Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 79, National Security Council, Committees and Panels, Washington Special Actions Group, May 1972. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the White House Situation Room. All brackets, except those that indicate the omission of material, are in the original.↩
- The May 19 paper is a memorandum from Deputy Secretary of Defense Rush to the President; ibid.↩
- Attached but not printed is the May 19 briefing entitled “The Situation in Vietnam.”↩
- Option 1 consisted of the following: an additional 32 UH–1 assault helicopters, 30 STOL aircraft, 850 60-millimeter mortars, and 100 TOW anti-tank weapons, 5 additional F–5A Freedom Fighter aircraft, 48 additional A–37 aircraft, and 4 patrol craft inshore ships. (Talking Paper for the Deputy Secretary of Defense for the Washington Special Actions Group, May 22; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 79, National Security Council, Committees and Panels, Washington Special Actions Group, May 1972)↩
- Option 2 included Option 1 items plus 14 RC–47 reconnaissance aircraft, 23 AC–119K fixed wing gunships, 23 EC–47 intelligence collection aircraft, 3 WHEC coastal patrol and naval gunfire support ships, 12 C–119G maritime patrol aircraft, 32 self-propelled twin 40-millimeter air defense guns, tanks for two M–48 tank battalions, howitzers and guns for 3 field artillery battalions, 28 C–7 transport aircraft, and 64 Vulcan 20-millimeter automatic anti-aircraft weapons. (Ibid.)↩
- Option 3 included: helicopters for one air cavalry troop for each military region in South Vietnam (144 attack helicopters, 160 light observation helicopters, and 182 multipurpose military helicopters); four missile air defense battalions; 52 A–4B Skyhawk aircraft; and three squadrons of F–4 Phantom aircraft. (Webb and Poole, The Joint Chiefs of Staff and The War in Vietnam, 1971–1973, p. 216)↩