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THINNING OUT OF NUMBER OF AMERICANS
Mr. HAMILTON. Is there any thinning out of American Government officials in South Vietnam as of today?
Mr. HABIB. There has been.
Mr. HAMILTON. How much?
Mr. HABIB. We can go into those figures in executive session.
RECENT THIEU SPEECH
Mr. HAMILTON. All right.
Mr. Secretary, President Thieu in a recent speech said that we would be traitors if we did not provide help, and he went on to say that we did not even replace military supplies and equipment on a 1-for-1 basis as agreed in the Paris agreements.
My question to you is, Do you interpret article VII of the Paris agreements as giving U.S. commitment to a 1-to-1 replacement?
Mr. HABIB. No. Article VII of the Paris agreements permits replacements on a 1-to-1 basis. It does not obligate replacement on a 1-to-1 basis.
Mr. HAMILTON. The South Vietnamese Government is reported to have lost or abandoned upward of $1 billion worth of military equipment. Is that your estimate?
Mr. HABIB. That is not my estimate. There have been figures like that used. The general estimate made by our military authorities would be somewhat lower than that, but it depends again on how you cost it and how you count it and what its status was. It was an awful lot, let's just put it that way.
Mr. HAMILTON. Can you furnish for the committee the best figures you have on that?
Mr. HABIB. Yes, sir, we can do that. I will ask our Defense colleagues to submit that to the committee.
[The Department of Defense supplied the following information:] The total estimated value of equipment and military supplies lost or abandoned during the withdrawal of the South Vietnamese forces from the Northern Regions is $779.2 million. This value was computed based on Tables of Organization and Equipment Strength and acquisition value of equipment not considering depreciation. The value of ammunition losses was computed at current replacement costs. The total value does not include basic loads of munitions, nondivisional support units or fixed facilities. Attached is a listing of equipment and supplies lost and estimated values.
Mr. HAMILTON. It has been suggested that we ask you for the acquisition cost. Mr. Habib, in that calculation.
Mr. HABIB. We will ask the Defense Department to supply those figures.
[The Department of Defense supplied the following information:]
FACT SHEET ON SOUTH VIETNAM LOSSES
Total estimated cost for RVNAF military supplies and equipment lost, destroyed or abandoned during the period 4 March-4 April 1974 is $779.2 million. This is computed at acquisition value based on TO&E strength not counting depreciation. The following is a listing of major items of equipment and supplies lost.
HOW $722 MILLION WOULD BE SPENT
Mr. HAMILTON. Would you also furnish for the committee the breakdown as to how you expect the $722 million to be spent?
Mr. HABIB. I think there is going to be testimony elsewhere. I suppose it is available to you in one way or another.
The bill is going to be taken up and there is going to be full testimony. I would presume all of that is available to this committee.
Mr. HAMILTON. We would like it to be furnished to this committee. Perhaps you can see we get a copy.
Mr. HABIB. We will get a copy of the testimony; yes, sir.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JUSTIFICATION OF ESTIMATES FOR FISCAL
MILITARY ASSISTANCE, SOUTH VIETNAMESE FORCES-APPROPRIATION LANGUAGE For necessary expenses to support South Vietnamese military forces, to be obligated only by the issuance of orders by the Secretary of Defense, for such support $1,422,000,000: Provided, That this appropriation shall be deemed obligated at the time the Secretary of Defense issues orders authorizing support of any kind for South Vietnamese military forces, which obligations shall in the case of non-excess materials and supplies to be furnished from the inventory of the Department of Defense be equal to the replacement costs thereof at the time such obligation is incurred and in the case of excess materials and supplies be equal at the actual value thereof at the time such obligation is in curred: Provided further, That none of the funds appropriated in this title shall be used for compensation or allowances of more than 2,850 citizens of the United States in South Vietnam who are members of the Armed Forces or employees of or under contract to the Armed Services or the Department of Defense or any department or agencies thereof. (Department of Defense Appropriation Act, 1975.)
Justification of requirements.-This request for $44,900,000 provides for two C-130A replacement aircraft, aircraft support equipment, ground equipment, engines and spare parts for VNAF aircraft in the RVN area of control. $10,295,000 is for two aircraft, from current production, to replace the two C-130 aircraft provided by USAF. $16,016,000 provides spares, ground equipment, and engines for reconstitution of four UH-1H helicopter squadrons relocated to southern South Vietnam. $9.8 million provides for similar reconstitution of one F5E fighter-bomber squadron. $5.222 million permits reconstitution of single squadrons of CH-47 helicoptors, 0-1 and U-17 aircraft. $3,567 million is for spares and equipment to support A-37 attack aircraft operating at increased tempo.
1 As required by law, represents current replacement cost to USAF. Actual acquisition costs of C-130A aircraft was approximately $2,750,000.
Budget Activity: Tanks, Other Vehicles and Weapons.
Justification of requirements.-This budget activity request of $264.322 million is urgently required to reconstitute four Infantry Divisions, convert 12 Ranger Groups to four Ranger Divisions and upgrade 27 Regional Force Groups into 27 Separate ARVN Infantry Regiments. The equipment is required to halt the present NVA invasion.
Principal elements of the request include $42.7 million for tanks and track vehicles for the four Infantry divisions; $33.9 million for tanks and track vehicles for the four Ranger Divisions; $48.8 million for wheel vehicles for the four Infantry Divisions; $45.0 million for wheel vehicles for the four Ranger Divisions; $44.0 million for wheel vehicles for the 27 ARVN Infantry Regiments; $19.2 million for weapons for the four Infantry Divisions; $11.5 million for weapons for the four Ranger Divisions; $15.9 million for weapons for the 27 ARVN Infantry Regiments; and $3.4 million required for engineer equipment.
The above equipment is urgently required to reconstitute and upgrade ground combat units if South Vietnam is going to be given a chance to stabilize the military situation.
Justification of requirements.-This request for $251,814,000 is for essential ground and air munitions. It is designed to support intense combat for the remainder of FY 75. $198 million is for 60 days of ground ammunition. This provides for approximately 50,000 short tons (ST) of ground ammunition consumption per month. $21 million is requested for Air Force munitions to support consumption at 10,000 ST per month. $33 million is for initial issue of basic load ground ammunition for reconstituted and converted ARVN combat forces.
Justification of requirements.-This request for $7,045,200 is for 114 TOW missile launchers. Thirty-six (36) of these are required to reconstitute four ARVN Infantry divisions; thirty-six (36) are necessary for equipping 12 Ranger groups as four Infantry divisions and 42 are required to convert regional force to regular force ARVN regiments. With the large NVA tank force threatening the SVN defensive perimeter, TOW missiles are essential to effective defense.