modifications would result in "no change in Service doctrine or roles
Such arguments apparently convinced Admiral Sharp at CinCPac headquarters in Honolulu to acquiesce to Westmoreland's request. On 28 February, General Westmoreland sent to Honolulu Major General Blood of the Seventh Air Force "to make sure Admiral Sharp understood the arrangement in detail." According to the MACV commander, he wanted to reassure Sharp that this was not an "Air Force maneuver," but rather his "initiative as a joint commander." This effort apparently counterbalanced any influence that the Marines may have had in Hawaii to reverse the decision. Lieutenant General Krulak, the FMFPac commander whose headquarters was in the same building as that of Admiral Sharp, admitted his failure to persuade the Navy admiral. According to Krulak, Sharp refused to listen to the Marine case, "telling me that he already knows our side, and anyhow, that Westy is a big commander, and should have what he wants." In a later interview, Admiral Sharp declared that he approved the single manager concept because with the arrival of large Army forces in I Corps, he "thought it a reasonable thing to do."16
On 4 March, MACV learned that Admiral Sharp had approved the single manager concept. Marine Brigadier General Chaisson at the MACV Combat Operations Center received the assignment to prepare the final directive. Two days later, Major General Anderson, the 1st Wing commander, sent his assistant commander, Brigadier General Robert P. Keller to Saigon to iron-out any remaining differences. According to General Anderson, the Marines proposed "slightly more palatable language" and some alterations in a couple "wiring diagrams," but no substantive changes. Although apparently acceptable to some of the MACV staff, Air Force Major General Blood, supported by Generals Momyer and Westmoreland, vetoed the III MAF proposed alterations. General Momyer and his staff planned to hold on to every advantage they had obtained and viewed the single manager issue as a "catalyst for change."17
With only minor revisions, Westmoreland's implementing order differed
very little from the proposal that he had forwarded to CinCPac. Admiral
Sharp had insisted that the senior DASC in I Corps retain "scramble"
and "divert" authority in the event of emergency and that Lieutenant
General Cushman be permitted to communicate directly with CinCPac on
"proposed improvements in the system or in event of his dissatisfaction
with the employment of Marine air assets." According to the directive,
CinCPac would be an addressee on any message from Cushman to Westmoreland
on this subject. Contrary to the assertion by the ComUSMACV commander
that he had given due consideration to the Marine perspective, the III
MAF staff denied that General Westmoreland in his forwarding letter
provided any evidence of its "violent disagreement."18
Published on 7 March, to be implemented three days later, in the form of a letter from General Westmoreland to General Cushman with six enclosures, the single manager directive outlined the new aviation command arrangements. Westmoreland officially placed with General Momyer the "responsibility for coordinating and directing the air effort throughout Vietnam, to include I CTZ and the extended battle area." General Cushman was to make available to Momyer as the MACV Deputy Commander for Air Operations, all strike and reconnaissance aircraft and that part of the Marine air command and control system that related to the employment of these aircraft. Marine fixed-wing transports, observation aircraft, and helicopters were exempted from the directive. According to the order, the MACV and III MAF control systems were to be joined for fixed-wing jet operations, but retain the "integrity of the Marine tactical control system . . . ." Marine aviation officers were to augment the various Air Force/MACV control systems. These included the MACV Tactical Air Support Element (TASE) and Seventh Air Force Tactical Air Control Center (TACC), both located at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon; the I DASC that the Seventh Air Force maintained at I Corps headquarters in Da Nang; and DASC Victor that the Seventh Air Force maintained at Phu Bai for the MACV (Forward) headquarters, soon to become Provisional Corps, Vietnam.19*
The concept was that preplanned requests for fixed-wing air support from lower commands be consolidated at the I Corps tactical operations center, and then forwarded to the MACV TASE. In Saigon, the TASE would then determine the allocation of strikes to the various commands and send this list to the Seventh Air Force TACC. The TACC in turn would assign the targets to specific air units, establish ordnance loads, and time on target.
As much as the tactical situation permitted, "every effort would be made to have Marine aircraft support Marine units." At the end of his letter. General West-
* See Chapters 8 and 13 for the establishment of the MACV Forward and
Provisional Corps headquarters.