112. Minutes of 40 Committee Meeting1


  • Various—see summary of conclusions


  • Chairman—Henry A. Kissinger
  • State
  • Mr. U. Alexis Johnson
  • Defense
  • Mr. David Packard
  • JCS
  • Lt. Gen. Richard T. Knowles
  • CIA
  • Lt. Gen. Robert E. Cushman
  • Mr. Thomas Karamessines
  • Mr. William Nelson
  • Mr. [name not declassified]
  • Mr. David Blee
  • NSC Staff
  • Mr. Frank M. Chapin
  • Col. Richard T. Kennedy
  • Mr. Keith Guthrie


It was agreed to:

Approve a proposal for employment of Thai SGUs in Sayaboury Province in Laos. (pages 2–3)
Use gunships stationed at Udorn, Thailand to provide cover for medical evacuation flights in North Laos. (pages 3–4)

[Omitted here are summaries unrelated to Southeast Asia.]

Dr. Kissinger: I take it you have been discussing Thai deployments to Sayaboury.

Mr. Johnson: Yes. We have just now received some new information which changes Dave Packard’s and my views on this.

(Mr. Johnson showed the telegrams to Mr. Kissinger.)

[Page 235]

Gen. Cushman: This group would be composed of regulars and would count against the total of regulars projected for SGUs. No extra money would be required for this program, since these troops would proceed into SGU programs. The regulars are part of the 1,174-man cadre already planned for the program. [6 paragraphs (61/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, why not go ahead and do it?

Mr. Johnson: There is a second item that was a late starter for this meeting. This is medevac for Ban Na. We were talking this over before the meeting and agreed that there would be great difficulty in stationing gunships in Laos. The Joint Staff is going to CINCPAC to see if it would not be possible to put the gunships in Udorn, realizing that they might have to refuel in Laos. There are two questions: whether we have the necessary assets and whether they should be stationed in Udorn.

Dr. Kissinger: Weren’t Air America pilots to be used for this?

Mr. Packard: We were talking about gunships.

[1 paragraph (1 line of source text) not declassified]

Gen. Knowles: We were talking about gunships other than Cobras. I will ring out CINCPAC to see what is available.

Gen. Cushman: Cobras are not available.

Gen. Knowles: We will check this out, but it is unlikely that we can get any Cobras.

Dr. Kissinger: Let me see if I understand what has been agreed. We are going to station gunships in Udorn.

Gen. Knowles: We are going out to CINCPAC to see, first, if we can station gunships (probably of the UHB type) at Udorn and, second, whether they can be provided with range-extension kits or whether we can put some bladders in Laos for refueling. The B-type gunships have greater utility, since they can also do some medevac.

Dr. Kissinger: We can find out if it is feasible. If it proves to be feasible why not go ahead and do it?

Mr. Packard: We decided that we should not base the gunships in Laos. We can approve a program that bases them in Thailand but provides for refueling in Laos.

Dr. Kissinger: I don’t see what more we can learn once we determine whether this is technically feasible. Is everyone agreed that we should go ahead if this proposal is feasible?

All agreed. [1 line of source text not declassified]

Dr. Kissinger: Now let’s turn to the regular 40 Committee agenda.

[Omitted here is discussion of Laos and other countries.]

  1. Source: National Security Council, Nixon Intelligence Files, 40 Committee Files, Minutes, 1971. Top Secret; Nodis; Eyes Only. The meeting was held in the conference room of the Western White House. A notation on the minutes indicates Nelson, [name not declassified], and Blee of CIA were not present for the entire meeting.