303. Memorandum From the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Packard) to the Secretary of the Navy (Chafee)1 2

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  • Engineering Plan for the Consolidation of Communications Functions and Facilities, Kagnew Station, Ethiopia (SNF)

I have reviewed your memorandum of 12 September 1970 (Serial 0083) wherein you recommend deferring implementation of the subject plan. In light of the study requirement outlined in my memorandum of 16 September 1970 to the JCS (Enclosure 1) and the new areas it will explore, I agree that consolidation of communications functions at Kagnew under the Navy should be withheld. Accordingly, the requirement to implement the Engineering Plan should be held in abeyance pending the outcome of this study. It is hoped that this study, when completed, will provide a clearer picture of the interrelationship between communications in the Mediterranean and Indian Oceans, taking into consideration projected plans and programs, i.e., Reindeer Station, reductions at Kagnew and withdrawal from Kenitra.

[text not declassified]

I would hope that you would be able to provide the requisite data to the JCS for the proposed study covering as a minimum (i) your assessment of the impact Diego Garcia might have upon Kagnew over the next five years (ii) displays showing the propagation limitations of the various communication facilities, i.e., Kagnew, Harold Holt (Australia) and that proposed at Diego Garcia, (iii) and overlays showing communications coverage overlap (if any) emanating from the Naval Communications Station in Greece and the proposed facility at Diego Garcia.

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If the JCS study reveals consolidation of the communications functions at Kagnew is still warranted I will so advise you and request submission of an engineering plan reflecting the current situation. In this regard, I suggest that any FY 1971–1972 Navy funds which have been identified for Kagnew consolidation be held in reserve pending the outcome of this action.

David Packard
  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330–76–067, Ethiopia, 1970. Secret; Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals.
  2. Packard agreed to withhold the consolidation of communications plans at Kagnew Station pending the outcome of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-requested study of September 16, 1970.