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FOIA: Memo to Secretary of State on Aerial Mining Capability

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posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 02:53 PM
Memorandom for the Secretary of Defense
Memo to Secretary of Defense regarding Aerial Mining Capabilty

Document date: 1967-11-21
Department: Department of Defense
Author: J.O Cobb, Rear Admiral, USN
Document type: Memo
pages: 5


Archivist's Notes: This document lays out the Aerial Mining capability of the US military. It is fairly straightforward and is a response to two main questions posed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff by the Secretary of Defense.

posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 03:52 PM
PDF page 1:

This letter is a reply to the Air Force about the Aerial Mining Study.
The Air Force posed two questions:
1.Whether or not the United States should develop an aerial mining capability and if so
2.What size aerial mining capability should the United Sates have?

After reviewing recent mine warfare studies and current mining plans the following summary has been concluded:

1.Aerial mining is a primary responsibility of the Navy with the Air Force having collateral responsibilities.

2.In connection with its primary responsibility for the function of conducting mine warfare, the Navy develops trains and equips the naval air forces and provides the weapons required for an aerial mining capability. These forces can be deployed from land or sea bases, using presently pre-positioned mine stocks. To execute the contingency minging plans of the commanders of the unified field.

PDF page 2 contains data of aircraft type / Mine capacity with the search for the most appropriate mine laying vehicle.
With this, it is also mentioned that the most effective way for the target area, depends on the existing strategic and tactical situations and on the available mine laying vehicles.

Highlights of PDF page 3:
The US Navy has in progress two comprehensive study efforts:
War at Sea NOW, and an antisubmarine warfare force level study.
As part of these efforts, US aerial mining requirements, including collateral support from the Air Force, will be reexamined. The Air Force study will be most valuable when considered in conjunction with the Navy studies.

The Air Force study provides valuable insight into possible qualitative improvements to the Air Force aerial mining capability.
This study and other analyses indicate that load carrying capability and survivability during aerial mining operations are the main factors influencing selection of delivery vehicles.
The Joint Chief of Staff believe that the United States must be prepared to perform aerial mining in defended and undefended areas and that, to this end, continuing efforts should be made to improve the effectiveness of the US capability for aerial mining.

The Summary on PDF page 4:
The Air Force aerial mining study have been reviewed and recommended its consideration in conjunction with the US Navy study effort to determine US aerial mining requirements.
It is believed that recommendations as to the size of the aerial mine laying capability should await completion and review of the Navy studies bearing on the subject. Upon review of the study results in mid-1968, additional recommendations will be forwarded

We find on PDF page 5 an interesting note by the secretaries to the Holders of JCSM-645-67:
Holders of JCSM-645-67, dated 21 Nov. 1967, subject:
“Aerial Mining Capability”, are requested to substitute the attached revised page 3, and to destroy the supersede page in accordance with security regulations.

[edit on 4-1-2008 by frozen_snowman]

posted on Jan, 4 2008 @ 09:35 PM
frozen_snowman did a great job covering what this document discusses. All I can add is that it is a high-quality document with no blanks or hard to read areas.

posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 10:09 PM
For those that are wondering what aerial mining is, it is the dropping of mines from an airplane that land on the ground and become explosive deterrents to an enemy entering an area. Previously mines were laid by hand and used during warfare to be an obstruction of advancement. The problem is that they remain there unless they were cleared, and they were dangerous to remove when no longer needed and sometimes left because it wasn’t vital to goals at that time. The usual victim of a mine would be an unsuspecting civilian long after the mine served its usefulness.

Mines were designed to take out the enemy as well as maim the victim. A wounded enemy required using vital resources to care for them and served to be an affective way to be a way to wear down the enemy. In a cold and inhumane world somehow this makes sense to those in power.

Dropping mines from an airplane would only make the process more efficient. However I have read that the modern land mine has been made more sophisticated to the point that they can be deactivated when no longer needed. That is a great improvement, but this is still an aspect of warfare that is appalling in my opinion.

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