15 August 2002

These documents are from the U.S. State Department, Johnson Administration, Foreign Relations 1964-1968, Volume X, National Security Policy, published 15 August 2002.

For recent information and photos of the Alternate Joint Command Center (AJCC):


Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9015.htm

3. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 70 A 4662, 381 DUCC (10 Jan 64) 1963 and 64 Papers. Top Secret.


Washington, January 10, 1964.

Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) (S)

1. Reference is made to:/2/

/2/The four JCS papers referenced are ibid. The last reference was not found.

a. JCSM-405-63, dated 29 May 1963.

b. JCSM-484-63, dated 3 July 1963.

c. JCSM-753-63, dated 27 September 1963.

d. JCSM-914-63, dated 2 December 1963.

e. Secretary of Defense Decision/Guidance (Format B), dated 19 December 1963, subject: Deep Underground Command Center.

2. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered on a continuing basis over the past several months the matter of the Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC). On those occasions in which this subject has been addressed directly (references 1a through 1d), the response has dealt with separate but related aspects of the problem. In view of the bearing of this matter on other programs under consideration, the Joint Chiefs of Staff wish to state their views as to the justification for a DUCC and as to the military requirement therefor.

3. It is the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that a DUCC as a military command center cannot be justified and it is not recommended for inclusion in the National Military Command System (NMCS) program for the following reasons:

a. It would not, in their opinion, permit top military leaders to operate as effectively as would be possible through use of other survival means. Specifically, it would involve their operating without adequate staff or support in a "buttoned-up" environment from which communications and egress would be uncertain following a nuclear attack.

b. The adverse effect of the DUCC on the NMCS program, planned to establish an effective and survivable system of command and control facilities, is exemplified best when viewed in relation to the long-term aspects of the program. The proposed funding for the Five-Year Program (FY 1965-69) indicates that approximately $860 million may be committed to the NMCS. The cost estimate for a 300-man DUCC is approximately $310 million which represents over 36 per cent of the total budget proposed for the NMCS. The $310 million basically provides for only construction costs, and does not include in-house or entrance communications equipment or operational support systems essential to the realization of initial operational capability. If the DUCC were to be included in the NMCS program, there are indications that it would absorb in future years considerably more than 36 per cent of the total NMCS funds now programmed for the NMCS, and, unless additional funds were provided, would thereby force severe reductions in other NMCS programs, such as deferral of the First Generation National Military Command Center, limitations in number and degree of enhancement of the more desirable mobile alternate command centers, and curtailment of communications and other support systems.

c. The weakest link in a hardened communications system is the antenna. In view of limited progress to date in the design of hardened antennas, the probability of survival of DUCC communications depends primarily on redundancy of antennas. Various means of communications have been considered as possible solutions to this problem. One such means particularly suited for use in a DUCC installation is the substrata earth transmission of electromagnetic waves. However, research on this project has not progressed to the point where operational feasibility can be determined nor can reliable operational use be predicted with any degree of confidence.

d. An examination of the functions to be performed by the National Command Authorities, which include the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicates that for this decision group to operate within the isolated environment of a DUCC, adequate space and facilities to house sufficient staff personnel and to provide appropriate supporting data would require that the facility be considerably larger in size and scope than the 300-man DUCC estimated to cost $310 million. To meet the demands of nuclear war, it will be of vital importance that a tremendous volume of actions be performed swiftly by trained and experienced people.

e. An austere size (50-man) DUCC would be totally inadequate to accommodate the decision element of the National Command Authorities together with minimum essential staff support and housekeeping support. It is clearly evident that a 50-man DUCC is essentially a survival facility. As a follow-on step, it is highly probable that immediate expansion to a 300-man DUCC will be required to provide a minimum national command facility. However, such an expanded DUCC would be inadequate for military purposes.

4. A deep underground facility could be useful as an emergency shelter to safeguard the President for continuity of government, provided escape and survivable communications can be assured. The following factors are considered germane to the issue:

a. It would be a facility affording improved protection to which the President and a minimum number of selected advisors could rapidly relocate in times of international tension.

b. The minimum amount of time would be lost during the relocation process, and confusion, disruption of operations, and adverse public impact would be minimized.

c. Studies indicate that a deep underground facility could be designed to permit relocation within the time period now described as "tactical warning" due to its ready accessibility to the President and selected advisors.

d. Escape and survivable communications from a DUCC would be problematical in case of a direct attack on Washington with large-yield nuclear weapons.

5. In summary, the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that the DUCC would be too small, and its communications too uncertain, to serve as a military command center. They recommend against the allocation of resources to such a facility at the expense of existing and currently planned elements of the NMCS. They consider that it is a question for executive decision as to whether the DUCC would be worth its cost as a safe shelter for the President and a minimum number of selected advisors, from which he might or might not be able to communicate in case of attack.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Maxwell D. Taylor/3/
Joint Chiefs of Staff

/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Taylor signed the original.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9015.htm

4. Memorandum From the President's Deputy Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kaysen) to the President's Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)/1/

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Subject File, Deep Underground Command Center, Box 8. Top Secret.

Washington, January 16, 1964.

Harold Brown and I discussed the matter of the DUCC this morning. In view of the problems between the Secretary and the JCS,/2/ we agreed that the best way to handle the matter was to create a limited interdepartmental committee to study the problem from the point of view of the civilian top level of Government; and at the same time suggest to the Secretary of Defense that he request the Joint Chiefs to give their views on the nature of their relations with both the President-Secretary of State-Secretary of Defense level and the CINCs in a crisis situation toward the end of the sixties. The target date for this is the 15th of March.

/2/For the views of the JCS, see Document 3.

The purpose of this would be to get the Chiefs to deal explicitly with their view of the relations between the top civilian level and the operational commanders during the period of crisis, and make clear both their ideas of what kinds of crisis situations they are thinking of and the amount and character of communication they would expect in both directions from and on location.

The interdepartmental study group would try to answer four questions, against the background of some likely scenarios of crisis in which a thermo-nuclear war is either imminent or has actually begun.

A. What would the utility of the DUCC be in this situation in the late sixties?

B. How big would the facility have to be in terms of the number of people it could hold to provide this utility?

C. Are there any unresolved technical problems which would have to be dealt with to make the installation effective?

D. What would its relation be to the other elements of the National Military Command System (NMCS)?

Harold and I think the committee should be chaired formally by you, and that its members might be himself, Andy Goodpaster, Alex Johnson, Walt Rostow and Ray Cline. Spurgeon and I would join to represent you on the committee, and I could convene the meeting and act as Chairman in your absence. The main staff of the committee who would be available for full-time work would be furnished by Harold Brown's office. In addition, Jim Clark of BOB who is knowledgeable on these problems, might serve on its staff.

E. Secretary McNamara might prefer to deal with this purely as an internal problem within the Department of Defense. However, the arguments for the other arrangement are convincing to Harold Brown and me. First, if there is to be a fight with the Congress, the President himself must be convinced of the need for the proposed facility, and this can best be done through the participation of his own staff. Second, there is not within the Pentagon the kind of experience that the White House-State-CIA are likely to have that is requisite to a thorough examination of the issues. While nobody has the relevant experience, the suggested group would come closer to having a basis for speculation about it than any other we can think of.


Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9057.htm

52. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 70 A 4662, 381 DUCC (10 Jan 64) 1963 and 64 Papers. Top Secret.


Washington, September 17, 1964.

Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) (S)

1. Reference is made to a memorandum by the Deputy Secretary of Defense, dated 21 August 1964, subject as above./2/

/2/Vance's August 21 memorandum to the Joint Chiefs of Staff summarized JCSM-446-64, "Proposed Deep Underground Command Center," May 25; went on to express some views on the proposed center; and concluded by asking the JCS to advise OSD of the "functions they believe the facility must be capable of performing and the number of people they believe the facility must house in order to perform those functions and to support the facility." Copies of JCS-446-64 and Vance's August 21 memorandum are ibid.

2. Within the context of the reference, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were requested to advise the Secretary of Defense as regards what functions they believe the Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) should be capable of performing, and the number of people they believe the facility must house in order to perform these functions and to support the facility.

3. The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that, if a DUCC is approved and constructed as an element of the National Military Command System (NMCS), it should be capable of performing those functions which support the Joint Chiefs of Staff in their role as principal military advisors to the President. If the President and his civilian and military advisors are to relocate to the DUCC, the facility must have the capability of performing the following pre-attack military functions as they pertain to international crisis situations and general nuclear war:

a. To maintain a minimum data base on the world-wide status of forces, Single Integrated Operational Plan, and force generation levels to ensure that the President will have adequate information to support a decision to authorize, if necessary, the use of nuclear weapons.

b. To maintain a capability to receive from external sources pertinent information on surveillance and analysis of the world situation, and indicator/warning data and current intelligence; and to maintain minimum facilities to conduct intelligence briefings on information and data received.

c. To provide an effective means of: (1) communications with the commanders of the unified and specified commands; and (2) negotiations with allied and foreign governments and the United Nations.

d. To receive, process, and use, as available and as necessary, information from the National Military Command Center and existing Alternate Command Centers and Command Posts of the NMCS and other government agencies.

e. To maintain a state of readiness, including a current data base, to translate during the period of tactical warning from a standby condition to a fully capable primary Command Center to the extent permitted by the facilities provided, and prescribed by pertinent directives.

4. During the trans-attack and post-attack periods of a general nuclear war, a DUCC may be required to operate independently with information received directly from sources external to the Washington complex. In order to provide for this contingency, the DUCC must have the capability, within the context of a minimum facility, of performing the following functions in addition to those specified in the above paragraphs:

a. To receive and display information on the military and political situation in order to determine as quickly and accurately as possible the time, magnitude, and objective of the attack.

b. To disseminate decisions, orders, and instructions as to the appropriate action to be taken in response to an attack or threat of attack.

c. To communicate, by the surest and most effective means possible, with the major elements of the World-Wide Military Command and Control System.

5. Communications requirements vary considerably between critical international crises and general war. A need exists for an extensive world-wide network of reliable communications during crisis situations. After general war begins, the emphasis would then switch to survivable communications among the major command centers of the World-Wide Military Command and Control System primarily for the strategic direction of the military forces. However, there would remain a need for communications with the principal civil defense centers, and for negotiations with the principal adversary. Therefore, it appears that the functions of command communications would require that the DUCC be equipped with communications which approximate the capability now planned for the Alternate National Military Command Center.

6. It appears that the concept and capability reflected in the National Emergency Airborne Command Post would represent the minimum capability required in a DUCC to serve as an emergency command post for decision-making by the President. It is envisioned that the decision group, which would relocate to the DUCC, would comprise the National Command Authorities with a minimum number of advisory personnel, and that they would remain in the DUCC in a post-attack situation only until the National Command Authorities could be relocated to a site from which the functions of government could more adequately be discharged. Basically, however, advisory information would be provided the DUCC by existing and surviving alternate command facilities equipped with larger data bases. A minimum data base would be maintained in the DUCC and staff support, to the extent feasible, would be provided to the decision group.

7. The determination of the precise number of people the DUCC must house in order to support the total mission of the facility, including the operation of the national government in crisis situations as well as the conduct of general nuclear war, would necessitate considerable liaison with the White House, and other departments and agencies of the national government. However, the Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that approximately 50 military personnel would be required to perform their part of the above functions in the manner described in the preceding paragraph. The figure does not include personnel for facility maintenance, communications, security, and housekeeping support for which about 175 additional people can be identified at this time. Additional functions and personnel possibly would be required to operate the national government in accordance with the desires of the President, and to the extent outlined in the reference. These latter requirements should be provided by the appropriate Departments and Agencies concerned, in order that the composite functional and personnel requirements, and hence the optimum size of the facility, may be established.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Earle G. Wheeler/3/
Joint Chiefs of Staff

/3/Printed from a copy that indicates Wheeler signed the original.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9058.htm

77. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, JCS, Filed by the LBJ Library, Box 29. Top Secret.


Washington, February 26, 1965.

Conceptual Approach to the National Military Command System (NMCS) (U)

1. Reference is made to:

a. A memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ADM), dated 28 January 1965, subject as above./2/

/2/Not found.

b. JCSM-4-64, dated 10 January 1964, subject: "Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) (S)."/3/

/3/Document 3. [See above]

c. JCSM-446-64, dated 25 May 1964, subject "Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) (S)."/4/

/4/See footnote 2, Document 52. [See above]

d. JCSM-914-63, dated 2 December 1963, subject "Alternate Facilities and Supporting Communications Required for the National Military Command System (U)."/5/

/5/See footnote 2, Document 3.[See above]

2. Reference 1 a requested that the Joint Chiefs of Staff submit their views on a report, subject: "Department of Defense Command and Control Support to the President."

3. The Joint Chiefs of Staff are in broad general agreement with the principles and concepts developed in the study (see Appendix A hereto) and believe that the study provides an excellent basis for furthering rapport and understanding among the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and other governmental agencies concerned with planning for command and control at the national level. The first assumption in the terms of reference states that it is extremely unlikely that the President would leave the Washington area during a crisis situation. It is noted that the study nevertheless advocates the principle of multiplicity of centers for Presidential protection and infers that the likelihood of Presidential relocation would significantly increase as a crisis intensifies, even if the crisis is short of general war. The Joint Chiefs of Staff consider these points to be valid both prior to and after construction of a Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC); however, continued improvement of national command and control capabilities depends on a better understanding between all principals of the conditions under which the President might seek protection.

4. With regard to the alternate command centers of the National Military Command System (NMCS), the Joint Chiefs of Staff consider that:

a. The study's recommendation prejudges the conclusions of a separate study currently being undertaken by the Joint Chiefs of Staff regarding the optimum number of National Emergency Command Post Afloat (NECPA) ships required for the NMCS.

b. The National Emergency Airborne Command Post (NEACP) program, in which one or more of three EC 135 aircraft are maintained on continuous ground alert status, represents the minimum acceptable airborne command post posture.

c. There is firm need to assure, to the extent feasible, the survival of the Presidency during any future conflicts; and the circumstances of a future crisis or conflict may be such as to preclude the relocation of the President to one of the existing alternate facilities. In this light, the proposed DUCC represents a potentially effective means for assuring survival of the Presidency to an extent not now provided by the NMCS.

5. The Joint Chiefs of Staff:

a. Concur in the study's comments on the NEACP.

b. Agree in principle on the NECPA as an important element of the NMCS. In this connection, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are currently addressing the optimum posture for the NECPA and upon completion will forward their recommendations.

c. Consider that, if a DUCC is approved and constructed, the study's detailed concepts and principles regarding the DUCC generally provide a basis for determination of detailed functional requirements, concept of operation, and detailed design.

d. Are in general agreement with much of the detailed discussion in the body of the report regarding the role of the Alternate National Military Command Center (ANMCC). However, as indicated in Appendix B hereto, they do not feel that the study recognizes that the ANMCC is fully as valuable as the other alternates of the NMCS when its unique capabilities for supporting all levels of crisis and war are considered. Moreover, they have previously noted that it is essential to continue the ANMCC in its current role for the foreseeable future.

6. The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that:

a. The study be forwarded to the Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, the Office of Emergency Planning, the Department of State, and the Central Intelligence Agency for comment regarding the principles and concepts underlying those parts of the study particularly applicable to their operations (see Appendix A).

b. They participate in any evaluation of the comments received by the Secretary of Defense from other agencies and in the identification of subsequent steps to clarify the conceptual approach to command and control.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Earle G. Wheeler/6/
Joint Chiefs of Staff

/6/Printed from a copy that indicates Wheeler signed the original.

Appendix A

Based on their analysis, it is the interpretation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the following constitute the underlying principles and concepts developed in the Study:

a. For all levels of crisis and war, the President needs utmost flexibility in many aspects of crisis management including centers to be used, immediate advisors, other staff elements to be informed, and options for military action.

b. In crises short of general war, the constitution of the Presidential advisory staff support (support which is estimative analytical, and advisory) is highly dependent upon the nature of the crisis. In contrast, capabilities for information support (defined by the study to include watch, monitoring, communications, decision implementation functions, and emergency action procedures) of the President and his advisors must be developed insofar as possible in advance of a crisis and can be developed more independently of a particular type of crisis. Advisory staff support and information support, although they must work closely together, can be somewhat separated both functionally and organizationally.

c. During intense crises and general war, protection of the President as an individual is as important or even more important than protection of the Presidency through use of legal successors. Although Alternate Decision Groups might be established and relocated, it is doubtful that the principals forming the groups will be named before the crisis and it is doubtful that more than one group will be formed./7/

/7/A handwritten note reads: "V.P.--I think 2 groups at least."

d. For crises less than general war, the President and his advisory group do not need an elaborate, national command center permanently staffed by representatives of several agencies; however, the direction of the Armed Forces will be exercised through the National Military Command System (NMCS).

e. During an intense crisis, protection of the President depends on his seeking protection prior to the onset of general war. He will only occupy a protected center if he can manage the intense crisis as well as he could from the White House Cabinet Room./8/ (For Washington level support during the intense crisis, the Presidential advisors located with the President will primarily depend on their soft centers and their staffs in Washington.) For managing the general war, it would be highly desirable for the President to be collocated with his general war advisory staff support and the related information support. In light of these needs for both intense crises and general war, the Alternate Command Centers of the NMCS and other centers that the President might occupy must be capable of operating as national (versus departmental) command centers.

/8/Next to this sentence is written: "True."

f. The basic missions of the alternate command centers of the NMCS have the following priority:

(1) Support the President (located at the Center) during the intense crisis and the strategic exchange phase of a general war.

(2) Support the President or an alternate decision group (located at the Center) during the strategic exchange phase of general war.

(3) Locate the President after the onset of general war.

(4) After onset of general war, provide military information and advisory staff support to the President or a legal successor located elsewhere.

(5) Protect information and advisory staff capability for the follow-on phase of general war.

In assigning the above missions and priorities, the study concludes that direction of the strategic exchange phase of a general war should be directly from the Presidential location to the commanders of unified and specified commands, their alternates, or successors.

g. Under a "no warning attack" at a time of international calm, only marginal protection can be provided to the President or his designated successors.

h. An alternate command center should be evaluated with respect to the following criteria: survivability, accessibility, endurance, staff support, communications support, flexibility, and cost. The study heavily emphasizes survivability and accessibility for individual centers and a multiplicity of centers of comparable capability.

i. For the strategic exchange phase of a general war, the President and the Presidential Group will be directly and primarily concerned with military operations, civil defense, diplomacy and negotiations, and informing and leading the public. The President can extensively delegate responsibility for nonmilitary resource allocation, economic mobilization, and maintenance of local law and order. Accordingly, during this phase, the advisory and information support to the Presidential Group should be preponderantly military.

j. The National Military Command Center (NMCC) should provide information support to the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, non-Department of Defense officials, and their attendant advisory staffs. Under certain circumstances, the NMCC will provide advisory support. The NMCC must have the capability to "get information" from many sources (such as CINCs and Service Headquarters) and should not attempt to store all possible information, but only that essential for its primary mission, in its data base.

k. The NMCC and the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff support the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in exercising strategic direction of the Armed Forces. They should also support the President and his advisors in detailed monitoring and control of selected military actions when such actions may have grave national significance. A system built to satisfy only one of these roles will not necessarily be adequate for the other.

Appendix B

With regard to the Fort Ritchie Complex and the Alternate National Military Command Center (ANMCC), the Joint Chiefs of Staff reaffirm their previous position that these facilities are essential to our command and control capabilities in the foreseeable future. They concur with much of the analysis relating to the Alternate Joint Communications Center (AJCC) and the ANMCC and with many of the conclusions regarding their capabilities, functions, and relationships within our over-all national command and control capabilities. However, they are concerned that the study does not support these facilities strongly enough. Specifically:

a. The value of the ANMCC as one possible relocation site for the President or an alternate decision group is recognized (pages V-35, 36 and VI-36) but its capabilities for the strategic exchange phase are equated to [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. This conclusion seems contrary to two principles in the study. First, survivability is stressed and the ANMCC is significantly harder than [less than 1 line of source text not declassified]. More important, the study stresses collocation of the President and his principal advisors with their supporting military staff. Such collocation could be achieved much more effectively at the ANMCC than at [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] or Camp David. The study correctly proposes a multiplicity of sites available for relocation. If the individual sites for Presidential or alternate decision group relocation are compared, the Joint Chiefs of Staff would rate the effectiveness of the ANMCC as somewhere between that of a National Emergency Command Post Afloat ship and [less than 1 line of source text not declassified].

b. There is not sufficient stress within the study on the potential value of the ANMCC in supporting a decision group on board the National Emergency Airborne Command Post during the strategic exchange phase after Washington has been destroyed.

c. The study correctly recognizes the unique value of the ANMCC for the follow-on phase of a general war. However, since the dividing line between the initial and follow-on phases would be blurred at best, the study does not point out the great advantage of conducting both of these phases from the same location.

d. The study implies that a functional and technical analysis of the ANMCC would indicate potential savings. Such analyses are continuously taking place and they may equally indicate that, if the principles and concepts in the study are approved, additional investments in the AJCC would be warranted.

e. The report does not explicitly recommend continuation of a continuously manned ANMCC. The summary paragraphs discussing the AJCC (pages VI-72 and VII-10) are not consistent with the analyses and conclusions in the body of the report. For example, they indicate that "the ANMCC is not suited to use by the President or an alternate decision group during an intense crisis or the initial stages of a general war." If the report is rewritten, the body of the report should incorporate the above points and these summary paragraphs should be made consistent.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9058.htm

86. Study Prepared in the Department of Defense/1/

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, Department of Defense, Command and Control Support to the President, Box 20. Top Secret. The Introduction to the study indicates that it was prepared in response to a February 27, 1964, memorandum by Deputy Secretary of Defense Vance, which is included at the end of the study as Annex A. The Introduction also identifies Rear Admiral Paul P. Blackburn, Jr., Chief of the Joint Command and Control Requirements Group, Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as chairman of the study; the other Defense members who prepared it; members of an advisory group and working group; and consultants (pp. i-iii).

Washington, undated.


[Here follow the Introduction and Chapters I-VI.]

Chapter VII

Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations

The President increasingly becomes the focal point of crisis management as a crisis intensifies. He devotes more time to the crisis and considers selected operations in greater detail. The President needs and operates with extreme flexibility--flexibility in constituting his immediate decision group; in defining alternate courses of action that must be considered; in determining, to the extent feasible, the timing of the U.S. responses and therefore the time allowable for staff inputs; flexibility in seeking detailed information on selected military operations; in establishing and employing the organization and operational command chain including reducing the number of echelons of command; flexibility in determining the sensitivity of selected information relating to the crisis; in communicating with allied, neutral and enemy heads of state; and in establishing constraints or accepting risks in conducting the crisis.

The President will select the Presidential Group that will assist him in directing a given crisis. This has invariably been true in the past and it is reasonable to assume that it will continue to be so in the future. Since the Presidential Group will include personal advisors, and statutory advisors and their subordinates, it will reflect military, political, diplomatic, intelligence and other such interests that might be relevant to the crisis. As a crisis develops, the composition of the Presidential Group will normally grow and alter.

So far the U.S. has experienced only a very few of the infinite number of crisis situations with which command and control support arrangements must be prepared to cope. Crisis situations, far more intense than any yet experienced, but nevertheless short of a large scale intercontinental nuclear exchange, are possible. These should be given more consideration in the development of U.S. command and control arrangements. For example, as indicated below, consideration of intense crises can have a significant impact on plans for presidential protection.

During a crisis the President and the Presidential Group will probably use mission-oriented interagency groups to assist them in estimating the present situation, and in developing and evaluating alternate courses of action. These groups may be asked to consider broad or narrow aspects of the crisis. The President and the Presidential Group expect that such support has melded military, political, domestic and diplomatic factors. Accordingly, the constitution of the Presidential Group and their need for staff support implies the need for interagency staffing before estimates and advice are advanced to the Presidential Group.

For severe crises, the composition and extent of the advisory staff support to the President will be uniquely determined at the time of the crisis by the nature of the crisis including such factors as timing, areas and participants, scope of conflict, the opportunity and the need for secrecy, escalatory potential, and diplomatic constraints. On the other hand, the routine information support capabilities needed to support these individuals are much more predictable. These capabilities include communications and message distribution, provision of factual data on force status and plans, routine staff support in implementing and promulgating decisions, conferencing and display facilities, and the staff which operates and provides these capabilities. Accordingly, it is desirable and feasible to separate conceptually and organizationally the problem of providing the advisory staff support from that of providing the routine information support. It is difficult to improvise information support during a crisis and it is possible to anticipate the requirements for this support before the crisis. The reverse is true for staff advisory support.

Presidential councils are informal and consultative in nature. The President receives his information support through his advisors and, accordingly, crisis management would not be enhanced by establishment at the national level of an elaborate "National Command Center" manned by a large, permanent interagency staff.

Many avenues are available that would improve interagency effectiveness in crisis anticipation and management. The following are recommended: increased attention at all levels of the Joint Staff with crisis management, freer interaction at all levels between members of the Joint Staff and their counterparts in other agencies, greater interagency review of military and political contingency plans, increased inter-agency participation in war gaming and exercising, and increased attention within the Joint Staff on nonmilitary factors affecting crisis anticipation and management.

Within the military establishment the concept of handling crises within command posts or operations centers is well established. The NMCC is similar to, but both narrower and broader in its scope than the conventional operations center. It is narrower in that its support to decision makers is rendered through the medium of their staff advisors, and ordinarily it does not itself provide advisory staff support except when an emergency does not permit referral to such advisors. It is broader in that the principal users of NMCC information support are not only the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, but also various elements of OSD and authorized persons in the White House, State Department and CIA.

The NMCC performs the functions of (1) warning and alert, (2) information support, and (3) implementation. Its principal suppliers of information to the NMCC are the operating forces, the service operations centers, and the DIA through the Intelligence Support and Indications Center.

The fundamental character of the NMCC is that of a DoD information support facility operated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the DoD as a whole. In the performance of its functions the NMCC should exchange information freely with analogous information centers elsewhere within the Government.

The management arrangements under which the NMCC operates should preserve its close working relationship with the Directorate for Operations in the Joint Staff and also should reflect its essentially informational character and DoD-wide scope.

Future development of the NMCC should emphasize evolutionary improvement as opposed to sweeping change. Such evolution will be helped by increased efforts to evaluate NMCC performances both in actual crises and in exercises. The establishment of suitable performance standards for the NMCC will also be helpful in its development.

Exercises of a variety of types and scope are necessary not only for the improvement of the NMCC but also to familiarize participating decision makers with its facilities and with command problems. For some of these exercises, senior members from all affected agencies and their staffs should participate.

At any stage of crisis or general nuclear war, enemy options range from a deliberate heavy attack against national command centers to strenuously avoiding these targets. In addition, there are a host of foreseeable and unforeseeable events that could lead to nuclear strikes on Washington or to Washington remaining completely undamaged. In providing for command and control support to the President, all of these contingencies must be considered. In providing survivability for the President, the worst cases must be planned for.

There are many factors militating against presidential relocation during crises short of general war. However, if the enemy decides to escalate a crisis to general war, he can easily destroy unprotected national centers without the President's receiving tactical warning. If tactical warning of an attack is received, it is not clear that the President's wisest course would be to seek immediate protection. Accordingly, capabilities should be provided for presidential protection in a highly survivable command center during any phase of crisis. This center must allow the President and the Presidential Group to manage intense crises short of general nuclear war as well as these can be managed from the White House.

The unique value of the President required that all possible measures be taken to insure his personal survival of an attack on the U.S. However, provision for a successor is also necessary. Accordingly, capabilities should allow relocation to a highly survivable center of an alternate Presidential Group headed by a presidentially designated alternate Commander-in-Chief. The command and control support for this alternate group could be much more austere than those for a relocated President.

It is important to recognize the national-level character of those alternates that might be used by the President or an Alternate Decision Group as contrasted with the DoD-level role of the NMCC.

A DUCC in Washington would be the only facility that could adequately satisfy the presidential needs for accessibility combined with survivability and adequate staff support. However, since a DUCC cannot be operational for at least five years, in the interim only the NECPA ship and a National Mobile Land Command Post (NMLCP) come close to approximating the requirements of: adequate staff support; high volume (not necessarily survivable) communications between the alternate and soft Washington centers; continuous operation for a period of days or weeks; and high survivability of the alternate itself. The NEACP falls short of meeting the first three criteria: the ANMCC fails on the last.

For the time period before a DUCC could be operational, the study developed the following three different configurations of alternates ranging from most austere to the most adequate:

a. Two functionally similar NECPA ships

b. Three NEACP aircraft, plus (a) above

c. An NMLCP with a staff capacity somewhat less than an NECPA, plus (b) above.

The Study recommends alternative (b) above. An NMLCP is not recommended unless greater emphasis is placed on providing flexible capabilities for presidential relocation during intense crises short of general war.

The JCS assisted by DCA and the Navy should conduct a study that develops plans for remedying the operational defects of the current two-ship NECPA element. This study should: i) detail the functional needs and criteria for support of the Presidential Group during intense crises and during the strategic exchange phase; ii) compare the costs and schedules of significantly improving the Northampton or obtaining a replacement hull; and, iii) consider operating concepts with the current or new ships.

The operational concept and support plans of the NECPA and the NEACP should be revised to provide for greater endurance, survivability and accessibility. For the NECPA, this planning should include increased protection from various forms of attack, larger and faster transportation capability between Washington and the ships, and operations closer to the Washington area during crises. For the NEACP, the planning should include use of aerial refueling, permanent dispersal of the aircraft, capability for post-strike use of several bases that have prelocated logistics and communications support, and plans for locating the aircraft closer to Washington during severe crises.

Because of its relatively low survivability, the ANMCC is not suited to use by the President or an Alternate Decision Group during an intense crisis or the initial stages of a general war. The AJCC should be continued with primarily the following functions: act as a potential reconstitution site in the follow-on phases of a general war; provide a dispersed back-up to Washington communications; and support other NMCS centers for day-to-day operations and crises. A detailed functional and technical analysis of the current and planned AJCC should be conducted in order to develop a better understanding of how particular capabilities and costs contribute to each of these functions. The study should indicate potential savings.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9058.htm

89. Memorandum From R.C. Bowman of the National Security Council Staff to the Executive Secretary of the National Security Council (Smith)/1/

/1/Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, JCS, Filed by the LBJ Library, Box 29. Top Secret.

Washington, May 24, 1965.

National Command System

I have attached two JCS papers that you might like to scan. I have not heard any more about the command system study since I spoke to you about it in February.

JCSM 129/2/ indicates the Chiefs' general agreement with the study with the exception that they felt it underrates the Alternate Command Center at Fort Ritchie. At that time the Chiefs deferred judgment on the Command Post Afloat.

/2/JCSM-129-65, February 26, "Conceptual Approach to the National Military Command System"; not printed.

In the second paper, JCSM 364 (17 May),/3/ they concluded that two command ships are essential, and that the capabilities of the USS Northampton should be improved. The Chief of Naval Operations disagreed, and argued that one ship was sufficient.

/3/JCSM-364-65, "National Emergency Command Post Afloat"; not printed.

In the last analysis, the value of any command facility must be determined to a great extent by the probability that the President will, in fact, make use of that facility.


/4/A typed note under Bowman's initials reads: "Please return." Bowman wrote a note at the bottom of the page: "It is long overdue that we take a positive hand in this & some other related command control matters. RCB"

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9059.htm

92. Letter From Secretary of State Rusk to the Deputy Secretary of Defense (Vance)/1/

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 70 A 1265, 031.1 White House (23 Jan 65). Secret.

Washington, September 3, 1965.

Dear Cy:

The Department of Defense study, Command and Control Support to the President, transmitted with your letter of March 6, 1965,/2/ contributes significantly to the development of a comprehensive Executive Branch approach to crisis management. The President's command and control support requirements are of obvious concern to the Department of State and to me personally.

/2/For the conclusion of the study, see Document 86. The letter of March 6 was not found.

I am of the personal view that much of the prevailing thinking about the problems of conducting essential governmental processes after sustaining a nuclear attack is inadequate and dated and fails to grapple realistically with the formidable obstacles which would confront officials surviving such an encounter. Of necessity, this basic reservation colors and qualifies some of the comments which follow.

Many of the observations and recommendations contained in this study confirm the validity of present State/Defense understandings and arrangements which have enhanced the President's ability to give direction to politico-military operations. I have in mind particularly the exchange of personnel between our Operations Center and the National Military Command Center, the monitoring by one department of the other's significant message traffic, and other machinery for managing crisis situations at the Presidential level. Moreover, the study emphasizes the value of such activities as the recently inaugurated State-Defense-CIA cooperation in politico-military contingency planning and in the development and conduct of major JCS exercises.

We also note that the current study reinforces the previously advanced justification for the construction of a Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC). The National Military Command System's Master Plan and the JCS Continuity of Operations Plan/3/ contemplate State Department representation in both the sea and airborne alternates, as well as the ANMCC. We will give further study to operational concepts and physical arrangements applicable to State Department functions both at and in support of such command posts.

/3/Neither further identified.

Under its terms of reference, the DOD study group was instructed to state projections of Presidential support obtainable from non-DOD sources in "general terms" only. We concur in the view that a Presidentially directed response to varying crisis levels, up to and including general war, requires the marshalling of a wider range of governmental resources than those of the Department of Defense. Hence we believe that there is a need to explore more specifically the conceptual requirements for non-DOD command and control support to the President which will supplement the analysis of Department of Defense support developed by the DOD study group. Initially, such an undertaking would appear to call for a careful stock-taking by other key agencies of their own responsibilities and capabilities in this field. The Department of State, accordingly, will initiate a study along these lines at an early date. We hope such a study will contribute to government-wide understanding of the components of a total "national command" concept.

We shall be giving study to improving our own Command and Control System in the days ahead. Undoubtedly this work will include consultations between our respective Departments and joint consideration of pertinent materials, including the present study. If this exercise results in additional suggestions or proposals which might be worth your consideration in connection with review of command and control procedures, we will be in communication with you.

With warm regards,



Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9064.htm

164. Memorandum From the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara/1/

/1/Source: Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 72 A 2468, 381 Cont of Govt Ops 1967. Secret. A stamped notation on the memorandum reads: "Sec Def has seen Brief."


Washington, January 3, 1967.

Planning for Improving Survivability of the National Command Authorities (U)

1. (U) Reference is made to:

a. DOD Directive S-5100.30, dated 16 October 1962, subject: "Concept of Operations of the World-Wide Military Command and Control System."2

b. DOD Directive S-5100.44, dated 9 June 1964, subject: "Master Plan for the National Military Command System."/2/

/2/Not found.

c. JCSM-103-64, dated 25 February 1964, subject: "The Continuity of Operations Plan for the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (COOP-OJCS) (U)."/3/

/3/A copy is in the National Archives and Records Administration, RG 218, JCS Files, 3180 (28 Jan 64) Sec 1 IR 337.

2. (S) The references provide the concept and plans to insure the survivability of a command and control system and the necessary staff personnel to support the National Command Authorities (NCA) in the strategic direction of US military forces throughout the entire spectrum of cold, limited, and general war. Currently, there is no adequate plan to insure the survivability of the NCA or their authorized successors. The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that a credible policy of controlled response requires that such a plan be prepared. Therefore, the plan outlined herein is submitted for your consideration and recommendation to the President.

3. (S) As reflected in reference 1c, present continuity planning by the Joint Chiefs of Staff provides the necessary flexibility to adapt to whatever relocation action the President may select in an emergency. However, there is no assurance that such relocation action will be initiated in sufficient time nor, if initiated in time, that it would ensure survival of the present NCA. Therefore, the Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that a plan should be developed to disperse designated successors to the NCA to existing facilities of the National Military Command System (NMCS) in the following manner:

a. Based on the established line of succession to the individual offices comprising the NCA, the following three groups of alternate NCA should be designated:

[3 paragraphs (20 lines of source text) not declassified]

b. The proposed alternate command groups have been kept small to improve their mobility. However, provision would be made for one or two individuals to accompany each member of the groups, if desired. For example, the Deputy Secretary of Defense has not been included in any of the groups in this concept in the event you desire that he accompany you.

c. According to the situation and Presidential desire, the groups of alternate NCA would relocate during a crisis escalation, one to each of the three alternate command centers of the NMCS. Command center communications would permit participation of the relocated groups in national deliberations.

[1 paragraph (8-1/2 lines of source text) not declassified]

4. (S) The Joint Chiefs of Staff believe that specific procedures should be established to execute this plan as a means of preventing all legal successors to the NCA, and their key advisors, from becoming casualties at the same time. Timely dispersal of designated persons in line of succession to the NCA to the alternate command centers of the NMCS is believed to be the best method for assuring that recognized NCA are available for direction of military operations. The persons designated by law as successors to the NCA should be briefed on the plan and made familiar with its procedures.

5. (U) The Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend that a memorandum substantially the same as that contained in the Appendix hereto,/4/ which advocates the development of such a plan, be forwarded to the President, subject to the concurrence of the Secretary of State and the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning.

/4/Not printed.

For the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

Earle G. Wheeler
Joint Chiefs of Staff

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/frus/johnsonlb/x/9061.htm

110. Editorial Note

Despite initial opposition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during 1964 and 1965 the civilian leadership in the Department of Defense proceeded to develop plans for the construction of a Deep Underground Command Center (DUCC) in the Washington, D.C., area and continued to ask the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their views. Regarding this internal debate and the evolving plans on this issue, see Documents 3, 4, 52, 77, and 92.

The Department of Defense also promoted this project in Congress, and included funds for further research on the specific size, operations, and functions and for its construction in the Army's portion of the military construction authorization bills in early 1964. Aware of the Joint Chiefs of Staff's reservations and believing the issues were too complex and sensitive, the House Armed Services Committee did not approve funds for the Deep Underground Command Center but instead created a special subcommittee to study the issue thoroughly. (Memorandum from Deputy Director of Defense Research and Engineering Eugene G. Fubini to Deputy Secretary Vance, February 25, 1964; Washington National Records Center, OSD Files: FRC 330 70 A 4662, 381 DUCC (10 Jan 64) 1963 and 64 Papers) The appropriations for FY 1965 as enacted by the Congress did not include funds for construction or research for this facility, and the chairmen of key Congressional committees also rejected the Department of Defense proposal to use other authorized funds for feasibility studies. (Letters from Vance to Representative George H. Mahon, September 30, 1964, and to Senator Carl Vinson, October 1, 1964; letter from Vinson to Vance, October 1, 1964; letter from Mahon to Vance, October 6, 1964; and letter from Senator Carl Hayden to McNamara, October 9, 1964; all ibid.)

The Department of Defense deferred action temporarily (letter from Vance to Vinson, October 9; ibid.) but continued to study the cost and configuration of the proposed facility. In early 1965, for instance, the Office of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering made tentative recommendations for possible sites. (Memorandum from James M. Bridges, Special Assistant (Command and Control), to Harold Brown, March 4, 1965; ibid., 381 1966) A large map of the Washington, D.C., area outlining proposed layouts for the DUCC, and a table comparing tunnel length for two DUCC configurations are attached to a March 8 memorandum to Brown. (Ibid.)

The House Armed Services Committee reduced the Defense Department's FY 1966 request for $26.2 million for the DUCC to $6 million, which would permit the Pentagon "to more fully develop plans and to again present the actual construction authorization request" next year. (Letter from Congressman L. Mendel Rivers to McNamara, May 25; ibid.; FRC 330 70 A 4443, 381 DUCC (10 Jan 66) 1965 & 1966 Papers)

In its response, the Department of Defense informed the House Committee that it proposed, among other things, to dig one shaft to "advance both the design and construction time and permit research and development efforts associated with the rock properties at the site to proceed concurrently. This would permit us to obtain early verification of our current estimates of subsurface rock conditions (based on preliminary test drillings) which have a direct bearing upon the cost and technical problems associated with the major construction of entrance and exit tunnels and the main underground facility." (Letter from Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations and Logistics) Paul R. Ignatius to Rivers, June 14; ibid.)

Nevertheless, the Department of Defense's interest in the project gradually waned. When, for example, the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed to obtain, among other things, the President's views "as to the nonmilitary functional and personnel requirements of those departments and agencies of the National Government" to be provided for in the DUCC, they were much later informed that no response would be made to their proposal. (JCSM-985-64 to Secretary McNamara, November 27, 1964, and memorandum from Maurice W. Roche to the JCS, August 10, 1965; both ibid., FRC 330 70 A 4662, 381 1966)

Moreover, Congress authorized only $4 million for this project in FY 1966, and letters from four Committee Chairmen told the Defense Department "not to go ahead with any designs without Congressional approval." (Memorandum from Assistant Secretary of Defense Robert N. Anthony to McNamara, February 16, 1966; ibid., FRC 330 70 A 4443, 381 DUCC (10 Jan 66) 1965 & 1966 Papers) Although McNamara had earlier approved an FY 1967 request to Congress for $21,898,000 for the DUCC, he expressed "doubt that we should proceed to spend $4 million until after Congress acts on '67" (handwritten note to Ignatius, February 18, on Anthony's February 16 memorandum), and he shortly decided not to seek Congressional clearance for continued planning for the DUCC project and agreed to divert the Army specialists engaged on the DUCC to other military construction projects. (Handwritten notation, March 3, on Ignatius' memorandum to McNamara, February 25; ibid.)

Congress again failed to provide funding for the Deep Underground Command Center in the Department of Defense budget for FY 1966, but Vance agreed to ask the Congress to authorize FY 1967 funds for early initiation of work on the facility. (Memorandum from Ignatius to Vance, April 15, and unsigned April 15 note from Vance's office to Ignatius; both ibid., FRC 330 70 A 4662, 381 1966) Nothing seemed to come of this initiative, however, and no later documentation on the Deep Underground Command Center has been found.