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Z-Gram #111; dated 4 May 1972

Southeast Asia Build-up

R 041354Z MAY 72
FM CNO (Z-111)

TO NAVOP

CONFIDENTIAL//N050000//
SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILD-UP (U)

1. (C) THE NAVY HAS RESPONDED FORCEFULLY TO THE NORTH VIETNAMESE INVASION OF SOUTH VIETNAM WHICH COMMENCED 30 MARCH. I BELIEVE THAT OUR AIR AND GUN STRIKES, PLUS NGFS IN NORTHERN MILITARY REGION ONE HAVE HAD A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT IN IMPEDING AND INCREASING THE ENEMY’S LOSSES IN THE NVA DRIVE. THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT HAVE NOTED THE NAVY’S EFFORT WITH APPRECIATION.

2. (C) OUR RAPID AND STRONG RESPONSE HAS NOT BEEN WITHOUT COST, HOWEVER. WE HAVE HAD TO MOVE PEOPLE RAPIDLY TO DEPLOYING SHIPS AND SQUADRONS. WE HAVE HAD TO EXTEND DEPLOYMENTS, AND OUR RESPONSE HAS GENERATED NEW DEMANDS FOR SUPPORT. FURTHER, SHIPS WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN DEPLOYED IN RESPONSE TO THE INVASION HAVE HAD TO MAKE EXTRA EFFORTS TO BE READY, ALTHOUGH TEMPORARILY REDUCED IN PEOPLE.

3. (U) I DO NOT NEED TO DWELL ON THE INCREASED INTENSITY OF SEA OPERATIONS. IT HAS BEEN REPORTED BY THE PRESS, TV, AND RADIO. HOWEVER, I WANT TO PAY TRIBUTE TO OUR MAGNIFICENT MEN WHO HAVE FOUGHT SO WELL. THEY MAKE ME DEEPLY PROUD.

4. (C) DECISIONS ON LEVELS OF FORCES TO BE EMPLOYED, AND THUS THE DURATION OF DEPLOYMENTS, DEPEND ON THE OUTCOME OF THE BATTLE. WE CANNOT BE PRECISE AT THIS TIME BECAUSE THE BATTLE IS NOT OVER. I DO KNOW THAT IF THE NAVY’S FIGHTING SPIRIT IS ANY CRITERION, THE OUTCOME WILL BE DEFEAT FOR THE NORTH VIETNAMESE.

5. (U) I REALIZE HOW DIFFICULT THIS TIME OF UNCERTAINTY IS FOR ALL HANDS, AND FOR THEIR DEPENDENTS. THEIR CONCERNS CAN BE ALLEVIATED TO SOME DEGREE BY KEEPING A FLOW OF INFORMATION GOING TO DEPENDENTS. I DESIRE THAT ALL COMMANDING OFFICERS ENSURE THAT THIS FLOW KEEPS GOING. I KNOW THAT OUR CO’S WHO ARE BUSY IN COMBAT HAVE LITTLE FREE TIME BUT THEY SHOULD GET FAMILY GRAMS OUT WHEN THEY HAVE A CHANCE TO GET THEIR BREATH. THOSE COMMANDERS, COMMANDING OFFICERS, AND IMMEDIATE SUPERIORS IN COMMAND WHO ARE IN HOMEPORTS SHOULD TAKE THE SLACK FOR THE DEPLOYED COMMANDERS. BRIEF DEPENDENTS ON THE SITUATION, HELP THEM TAKE CARE OF THEIR PROBLEMS, AND ENSURE THAT THEIR LINES OF COMMUNICATION TO YOU ARE OPEN.

6. (U) THESE ARE DIFFICULT DAYS FOR ALL HANDS, BUT PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE WHOSE PLANS HAVE BEEN INTERRUPTED. BE ASSURED THAT I RECOGNIZE YOUR PROBLEMS AND AM WORKING TO EASE THEM. YOU HAVE MY DEEPEST APPRECIATION AND RESPECT. GOD BLESS YOU. E. R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.

GP-4

_____________

Transcription note: The original Z-111 message was classified confidential. Portion marks here indicate original classification.

ACRONYMS/ABBREVIATIONS:
NGFS: naval gunfire support
NVA: North Vietnamese Army
CO: commanding officer

[END]
Published:Tue Sep 20 07:04:06 EDT 2016