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Bird Air, the civilian contractor which has been operating U.S. Government furnished C-130s in support of the U.S. airlift requirement for Cambodia since October 1974, has agreed to a contract amendment expanding the existing contract. The added cost of 1.9 million will be charged to the military assistance program. Bird Air crews will be increased in number and additional C-130 aircraft will be furnished by the U.S. Government to meet the expanded airlift requirement. The temporary expansion of the airlift is at the request of the Khmer Government.


Question 1. How many U.S. Government aircraft must be furnished to Bird Air to support this expanded requirement?

Answer. Seven additional U.S. Government aircraft will be furnished Bird Air; five were furnished previously.

Question 2. How many more people are involved beyond Bird Air's original 40? Answer. The amended contract calls for eight additional crews of six, in addition, Bird expects to employ approximately eight additional ground personnel at U-Tapao.

Question 3. How many flights a day to Phnom Penh will Bird Air make under the expanded airlift?

Answer. Up to 20.

Question 4. How many are they making now?

Answer. Up to 10.

Question 5. Is this a new contract or a modification of the existing contract? Answer. A modification to the existing contract has been issued by the U.S. Air Force.

Question 6. Will funding for these extra flights come from the existing Cambodian MAP?

Answer. Yes.

Question 7. Does this mean that the Khmer Armed Forces will be shorted 1.9 million in MAP-furnished supplies?

Answer. Yes.

Question 8. Where are the new crews coming from?

Answer. Bird Air representatives are in the U.S. locating ex-U.S. Air Force crew members who are experienced in C-130 operations. Thai loadmasters will be hired.


Question 9. Will all the the new pilots be ex-USAF?

Answer. Not necessarily, but based on experience, the majority probably will

Question 10. Why couldn't the existing crews meet the requirements?

Answer. Bird Air could not be expected to double the number of sorties per day on a sustained basis without using additional crews.

Question 11. Who flight checks the Bird crews?

Answer. USAF C-130 crews.

Question 12. When will Bird Air be able to begin expanding its airlift to Cambodia?

Answer. In a matter of days, or just as soon as the first additional crew arrives and is checked out.

Question 13. Since this is only a temporary thing, why didn't you use USAF crews rather than civilians?

Answer. For the same reason the contract with Bird Air originally was negotiated: to keep the presence of U.S. military personnel in Cambodia to a minimum.

Question 14. Will additional crews also stage out of U-Tapao?

Answer. Yes.

Question 15. Will this expanded airlift violate the Congressional restriction on the number of U.S. Government personnel permitted to be in Cambodia? Answer. No.

Question 16. Will these additional aircraft also be registered in Cambodia? Answer. Tail numbers will be registered in Cambodia.

Question 17. Why are the Bird Air C-130s registered in Cambodia?

Answer. Their tail numbers are registered in Cambodia where the contractor— Bird Air—has an office; their mission is in support of Cambodia; and it is the government of Cambodia that handled the arrangement of permission for the planes to land in Thailand.

Question 18. Why are the C-130s unmarked except for tail numbers?

Answer. Because they are U.S. Government equipment. Such equipment does not normally carry U.S. military markings.

Question 19. Will the Khmer Air Force be able to provide SAR for this expanded effort?

Answer. Yes, to the same degree that they provide SAR support for their

own crews.

Question 20. If the Khmer Air Force couldn't provide SAR for one of the Bird Air C-130s, would the U.S. Air Force?

Answer. U.S. actions will be addressed on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances and any requests for assistance at the time.

Question 21. Will these planes be used to haul civilian rice as well as military supplies?

Answer. Yes, if the situation dictates.

Question 22. Will most sorties be air land or air drop?

Answer. Air land.

Question 23. How long will this additional airlift go on?

Answer. We expect it may continue for at least 60 days.

Question 24. Does this mean that USAF crews will definitely not be reintroduced into Cambodian resupply?

Answer. We do not anticipate the need arising?

Question 25. Does this mean that you have given up attempts to resupply Phnom Penh by barges up the Mekong?

Answer. Absolutely not.

Question 26. Could Bird Air be used to evacuate people from Phnom Penh if the need should arise?

Answer. Certainly.

Question 27. Will this require a corresponding increase in the number of U.S. military support personnel in Thailand or Cambodia?

Answer. There will be additional ground support personnel in Thailand to assist in increased Bird Air effort. A few ground controllers may be added in Phnom Penh.

Question 28. Will additional precautions be taken at Pochentong to protect the planes landing there?

Answer. All possible security precautions already are in effect at Pochentong. Question 29. Will Thai-Am be able to handle the additional maintenance requirements?

Answer. Yes.

Question 30. When will the expanded airlift begin?

Answer. As soon as additional crews are obtained by Bird Air and are checked out at U-Tapao. Two crews arrived at U-Tapao this week (13 Feb.).


The Secretary of Defense has approved measures to implement, on a temporary basis, supplemental commercial cargo airlift for Cambodia which will augment Bird Air efforts. The purpose of this supplemental, entirely commercial

airlift is to provide as an interim measure the most vitally needed supplies for Cambodia until the Bird Air expansion levels have been reached. The added cost of 1.2 million dollars for the commercial augmentation will be charged to the military assistance program and is within the prescribed MAP ceiling for Cambodia.

Further details will not be available until bids have been received for commercial carriers.

Question 1. Will these be U.S. flag aircraft?
Answer. Yes.

Question 2. How long will the supplemental commercial requirement be needed?
Answer. Approximately 10 days, with provisions for extension if necessary.
Question 3. What is the total cost?

Answer. 1.2 million has been granted; this includes ground handling support. Question 4. Will these planes stage for Thailand?

Answer. Yes, for U-Tapao.

Question 5. What will they be carrying?

Answer. Ammunition.

Question 6. What is the requirement these commercial planes are to fulfill? Answer. Up to an additional 300 tons per day.

Question 7. How much is Bird Air supposed to deliver under the original Sep. 74 contract and the Feb. 75 contract modification?

Answer. They are charged with delivering a sustaining daily total of nearly 240 tons per day.

Question 8. Why couldn't Bird Air handle this additional requirement?

Answer. Bird Air could not provide sufficient air crews rapidly enough to meet this immediate requirement.

Question 9. Who pays for this contract?

Answer. It will be charged to the military assistance program.

Question 10. What kind of aircraft will be used?

Answer. We won't know this until bids have been received from commercial carriers and a contract let.

Question 11. Who is handling the contract arrangements?

Answer. The U.S. Air Force.




March 5, 1975.

Subject: Communist military and economic aid to North Vietnam, 1970–74.1 1. The Intelligence Community has been requested to estimate the amounts of Communist aid delivered to North Vietnam in the years 1970-1974, using current U.S. dollar costs of the materiel and services provided (see Table I). It is important to recognize that the Intelligence Community's estimate on this subject is not equivalent to-and hence not comparable with-U.S. appropriations for military and economic aid to South Vietnam, for the following reasons:

(a) On the matter of accuracy, our information on North Vietnam has always been incomplete, although coverage on civilian imports is substantially better than for military aid. The drawdown of the U.S. presence in Southeast Asia has further limited intelligence collection capabilities in the area, so that current information on North Vietnam is less comprehensive than it was formerly. In particular, on the question of Communist military aid, our information base is very spotty. Hence we know we are seeing only part of the picture on military aid, and our estimates for the part we cannot see have a wide margin of error.

(b) Military aid to North Vietnam is focused on materiel required for the type of military action undertaken by the Communist forces in South Vietnam-i.e., selected attacks from redoubt areas at times and places of their choice. U.S. military aid to South Vietnam supports a different military mission-i.e., defense of scattered communities, large agricultural areas, and lines of communication, plus reaction and reinforcement of local forces after Communist attack. As the total forces for the different missions differ in size, so do their requirements for assistance. Throughout the war, South Vietnam's forces have been roughly twice the size of North Vietnam's forces in the South, primarily because the missions of South Vietnam's forcesprotecting population and holding territory-have required a much larger and widely dispersed military structure.

(c) The GVN has therefore also required a combat air force and an ability to redeploy forces rapidly by ground and air transport. Thus, the types of equipment supplied to South Vietnam by the U.S. have been more sophisticated and therefore more expensive than those required by Hanoi. South Vietnam also requires considerably more logistic support.

(d) In addition, shipping, overhead, and other support costs of military aid to the GVN are substantially more than support costs of Communist aid to North Vietnam because of the greater distance involved and other factors. (See Table II at annex.)

2. Several conclusions may nonetheless be drawn with respect to levels of military and economic assistance to North Vietnam from 1970 through 1974:

(a) Total Communist military and economic aid to North Vietnam in 1974 was higher (in current dollars) than in any previous year.

(b) The suspension of U.S. air bombardment in North Vietnam at the beginning of 1973 brought about a large decrease in assistance for defense against such bombardment or to replace losses caused by it (e.g., air defense equipment, missiles, trucks, etc.).

1 This memorandum has been prepared jointly by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency, and concurred in by the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State.

(c) The U.S. disengagement from combat and the reduction in the level of hostilities in South Vietnam in 1973 were reflected in a substantial decrease in the amount of ammunition and ground force equipment received by North Vietnam, compared with 1972.

(d) In 1974, the delivery of ammunition to Hanoi markedly increased over 1973 and reached a level as high as that of 1972, although deliveries of ground force equipment continued at relatively low levels.


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1 Because of rounding, individual figures do not always add to the totals in this table.

2 The data for 1974 are preliminary.

3 Although ammunition supplied to North Vietnam in 1974 constituted an estimated 40 percent of its military aid, our data regarding probable ammunition costs per ton are admittedly "soft." Therefore, if our price estimates are off by, say, 10 percent, the total value for ammunition alone could fluctuate by some U.S. $17,000,000.

The lack of hard information on the items included under "Other military-related support" makes these estimates subject to a wider margin of error than exists for other categories of military assistance to North Vietnam.

For economic goods, the cost of transportation is included in the cost of the goods as shown in the table. (For military goods, delivery and packaging costs are included under "Other military-related support.")

• Since North Vietnamese exports in these years paid for some of North Vietnam's imports, we have subtracted them to derive our estimates of Communist aid to North Vietnam.

2 The dollar figure shown in the table for ammunition deliveries in 1974 is considerably higher than that for 1972, but tonnages were about the same. Inflation of ammunition prices explains the difference.

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