267. Memorandum From the Director, Joint Staff (Seignious) to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Moorer)1



  • Tempo Surge
The purpose of this memorandum is to provide background information on the status of Tempo Surge, which is a psychological operations effort planned for execution against the Vietnamese communists during the interval between the initialing and the implementation of a ceasefire agreement.
On 9 November 1972, an interagency message to AmEmbassy Saigon, with information to CINCPAC, put the field on notice that “there may be need for especially intensive airdrops of leaflets and mini-radios” in a brief period prior to implementation of an Indochina peace agreement.2
Accordingly, CINCPAC’s Leaflet Development Unit, located in Saigon, initially prepared 13 leaflets dealing with the proposed ceasefire, with emphasis on pressuring NVA troops to return to North Vietnam. As of 5 December 1972, 35 C–130 “ceasefire” leaflet loads were stockpiled at Nakhon Phanom Air Base, Thailand. Three additional loads per day were being provided to accelerate the ongoing PSYOP effort and to increase the Tempo Surge stockpile. However, at present CINCPAC intentionally is depleting the stockpile to prevent leaflets from becoming outdated as a result of ceasefire delays.
During Tempo Surge, CINCPAC plans to execute a minimum of six C–130, one B–52 and two AQM–34H drone sorties per day. Since many of the leaflet texts developed for Tempo Surge can also be used prior to the initialing of a ceasefire agreement, CINCPAC began with dissemination of appropriate texts bearing nostalgic “Home for Tet” themes in mid-November. Dissemination of mini-radios was increased significantly in order to deplete the radio inventory prior to the time a ceasefire goes into effect; for example, 33,681 radios have been disseminated since 9 November 1972.
Preparation of additional leaflets with ceasefire themes is in progress and—based upon Washington guidance of 6 January 1973 to continue with Tempo Surge planning—CINCPAC has directed CINCUSARPAC to insure that Tempo Surge leaflet stockpiles are updated.3
George M. Seignious, II

Lieutenant General, USA
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 218, Records of the Chairman, Records of Thomas Moorer, Box 30, Vietnam, January 1973. Secret.
  2. An unknown hand (presumably Moorer’s) underlined the following words and placed two question marks beside them in the margin: “in a brief period prior to implementation of an Indochina peace agreement.”
  3. The Psychological Pressure Operations Group directed that Operation Tempo Surge begin on January 24. “Between that time and termination of TEMPO SURGE at 270133Z January 1973, US C–130s in 13 sorties delivered 160 million leaflets and two B–52 sorties dropped an additional seven million leaflets into South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.” (Webb and Poole, History of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the War in Vietnam, 1971–1973, p. 322)