Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Original Classification: 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 15, 2016
Document Release Date: 
January 7, 2004
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
March 19, 1973
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PDF icon CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4.pdf357.93 KB
Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4 25X1 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4 Approved For Release 2004 751300159R000200140001-4 19 1973 25X1 MEMORANDUM FOR: Director of Central Intelligence .SUBJECT: IDEALIST Program 1. The attached information details the capabilities of the IDEALIST Program and the routine support it renders to the National Reconnaissance Program. Obviously, the IDEALIST Program is no longer the cornerstone of our reconnaissance effort; yet it does represent a quick reaction capability for point target coverage, which is unique, while maintaining readiness by the performance of routine test, evaluation and training efforts that enhance the technical capabilities of our satellite programs and our intelligence relation- ships with foreign countries. Its primary operational asset is the short line of command between the DCI and the operating elements. 2. Consideration of transfer to an organization not under the direct control of the DCI should assure the following: App a. Operational response time over target should not exceed the present 50 hour guarantee. b. Political agreements for base rights must be consummated, which would recognize that these govern- ments will dictate cover and operational constraints at the time of the operation, which must be honored and accom- modated in the space of hours. GROUP I. EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING 4UIJ,l_*SIFICATION 25 25 25 25 roved For Release 2004T0G'T1 :,'CE&R$T5B00159R0002001 TOP SECRET Approved For Release 2004/?2t! 1 - 75B001 59R000200140001-4 Page 2 c. That Air Force or Defense budgets or opera- tional requirements will _not erode the requirements of the Intelligence Community as recognized by the USIB, NRO/EXCOM and the 40 Committee and reflected by the direction of the DCI. d. Test programs necessary for the support of satellite systems will not compete with routine Air Force or Defense requirements, but will be directly responsive to the NRO. Deputy Director for Science and Technology 25X1 should be given to this possibility. 3. The problem of efficient utilization of the IDEALIST Program has been under almost constant review for the last 5 years. While it does contribute significantly to the national intelligence capability in many ways, it is recognized that a price is being paid for a contingency capability which can solve unique, yet highly critical problems. To date, it has appeared that administration of this capability by a small organization, staffed mostly by highly select Air Force officers, operating in a direct command line to the DCI, has been most efficient. However, if economies of operation can be effected by integration of all aircraft of similar type under one command, serious consideration Attachment - 1 As stated 1 :1 Approved For Release 2004/09/1 : ~5PUT5B00159R0002001 GROUP I. EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING ~RE,~L~SGI FICATION 25 25 25 25 25 Approved For Release 200MPI 1s I I age 25X1 Director o pecia c iv ies 25X1 SAS/O/OSA: 25X1 25X1 Distribution: 1 - ER via DCI w/att. 2 - DDCI w/att. 3 - DDS&T Chrono w/att. 4 - DDS&T Registry w/att. 5 - DDS&T Registry w/o att. 6 - D/ SA w/att. 7 - D/ O / OSA w/att. 8 - SAS/ O/ OSA w/att. 9 - RB/OSA w/att. SERIES B / - 61m Wla.t?, E4A 13 March 1973) roved For Release 2001Q/1154&75B00159R00020 GROUP I: EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING 51 (CATION Approved For Release 2004 P'15B00159R000200140001-4 I I. ASSETS II. AGREEMENTS III. UNIQUE POINTS IV. POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS V. RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS 25X1 Approved For Release 2004147/11 xf I GROUP I: EXCLUDED F ROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING 5B00159R000200 5 A 11 FICATION 25 25 25 ATTACHMENT 25X1 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4 Approved For Release 2004T0 - T5B00159R000200140001-4 ATTACHMENT Page 2 I 25 25 25X1 III. The following points are considered unique to the IDEALIST opera- tion. Of note is the fact that the present arrangement permits the responsiveness so vital in critical and urgent situations and the flexibility necessary for a variety of tasks. A. The command chain to alert and execute IDEALIST operations in support of national requirements is very short (e. g. DCI to DDS&T to OSA). This is a key consideration, and permits preparations to be made for a deployment while awaiting the actual decision to execute the mission. B. The U-2 remains an integral part of the CIA scientific and technical development and testing capability. Initially, U. S. activities in overhead reconnaissance were concentrated in the U-2 program. As new collection systems were added to this effort, the scientific and technical requirements and uses were expanded. The advent of satellites introduced a wider scope of operations ~;nd generated more specific requirements. This increasing activity resulted in separate organizations to collect, analyze and interpret data. The thread connecting OSA and OEL, OSP, ORD, OSI and FMSAC remains strong and provides continuous interplay between the collection activity pproved For Release 2004 :$T5B00159R0002001 GROUP I: EXCLUDED FROM AUTOM~A}TIC~ DOWNGRADING 0Wt14SSIFICATION 25 CRET Approved For Release 2004 BOO 159R000200140001-4 ATTACHMENT Page 3 and the determination of new requirements as well as the development of new intercept systems. The synergism of this collective effort is characterized by the ability to identify requirements, develop collection systems and employ these devices rapidly. For example, all films, currently used in overhead satellite programs were initially tested and proven in the U-2. C. It is essential that U-2 assets remain available to the U. S. in the future. Due to the relationships outlined above, OSA can fully exploit the development capabilities of various Agency scientific and technical components to continue to push 25 25 25 25X1 to maintain a viable U-2 program. Given the uncertainties of budget constraints, the intense competition for scarce defense dollars in a non-war time situation, the consolidation of U-2's under USAF may tend to obscure the unique capabilities of this aircraft when competing with hard requirements for new weapon systems for primary defense of the U. S. A small force of U-2's, maintained by CIA in the latest operational/ R&D mode as the sole mission of a unit outside of the Air roved For Release 2004/19R: ~h 1 T5B00159R0002001 GROUP I: EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING ~~ L SSI FICATION 25 Approved For Release 2004 25 25 ATTACHMENT Page 4 25X1 Force, appears to be less vulnerable to these types of pressures, and should be retained. The recent improve- ment of the "H" camera represents the state-of-the-art in optics. It is the only available sensor capable of obtaining high resolution and acuity from standoff distances up to 50 NM or greater. D. System and aircraft maintenance is performed by contract personnel supplied by the manufacturer of the equipment. This gains long term stability and avoids the need for contin- uous training. Systems are thus kept "peaked" even though not required for a specific mission. Because of this, SAC U-21s are flight tested and certified by CIA after any major work involving EWS has been performed. pproved For Release 2004rD9 : - T5B00159R0002001__~'~E~ 5"'cAT~oN 25 25 TOP SECRET Approved For Release 2004/ emok-"Bl 5B00159R000200140001-4 ATTACHMENT Page 5 25X1 IV. POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS: A. Because these aircraft are maintained in an operationally ready status, at least one is available for crisis response at all times. The operating unit maintains mobility kits and has deployment plans for all contingencies. 1. They may be used to ascertain that agreements or truces are being carried out in accord with accepted terms when other collection methods are not available in a timely 25 25 25 GROUP I: EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING 6proved For Release 2004191P1 :T5B00159R0002001 FICATION 25 25 25 Approved For Release 2004I,OQ?1 :?g(: &T5B00159R000200140001-4 ATTACHMENT Page 6 25X1 While specific intelligence data may not always be accessible, the knowledge of an attempt to gather intelligence usually accrues credit for having achieved results. This credit could be a factor in changing the actions of belligerent parties if it is felt their intentions have been compromised. 25X1 pproved For Release 2004 GROUP 1: EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING 0 I .4 SIFICATION 25 25 25 2. The assets could make significant contributions to the reconnaissance effort to monitor the SEA cease fire agreement through supplementation of Air Force coverage with standoff photography of North Vietnam. In the event a decision is made to reduce the military influence, these assets are capable of combining flexible tasking with optimum weather opportunities throughout SEA. 3. In other areas of the world not normally considered unfriendly or hostile to U. S. interest the situation may change such as occurred in Cuba in 1962. Today, the U-ZR can operate over 50% of the earth's land mass with no chance of detection. An additional 15% can be over- flown with no possibility of hostile reaction. B. The U-2 can be used to monitor areas of potential conflict such 25X1 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200140001-4 Approved For Release 20041ITFQLI P . - CRE 751300159R000200140001-4 ATTACHMENT Page 8 - Unique contracting channels and working arrangements allow minimal time for identification of requirement to operational equipment. film and processing improvement. Currently, all films used have been tested in this program. 25X1 Approved For Release 2004f0Q 1 : RDPT5B00159R0002001 GROUP I EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING bta-14 SIFICATION 25 25 25 25 25 Approved For Release 2004/ 159R000200140001-4 Page 9 25X1 systems interface. SAC systems are tested and certified after modification or IRAN before returning to USAF. - Provides flight test of all U-2 aircraft - Pilot training for all CIA pilots ELINT and photo coverage along coastal Obtained high resolution photography of Ft. Bayard shipping following U. S. mining of North Vietnam harbors. "H" camera was used from approximately 40 NM standoff position to avoid approaching nearer the PRC coast than the current 25 NM restriction. roved For Release 200 GROUP is EXCLUDED FROM AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADING 4OWL451FICATION 25 25 25 25 25 25 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75B00159R000200` 51-4- D 25 Page 4 8. I am well aware that there have been numerous questions raised as to the reduction or elimination of the IDEALST Program and the resultant personnel' savings. On the basis of recent discussions with you and the Director, we are currently preparing a paper for the 40 Committee which will be available to the DCI in the event he wishes to raise this issue. I see no possibility, however, that the IDEALIST issue can be resolved in time to have any impact on this exercise. Obviously, if a negative decision were taken on IDEALIST, the reduction in ceiling would be, on an 25X1 order of E ositions. I would note, however, that given the overall tight government ceiling, there is a distinct possibility that elimination of a program of this magnitude would result in an equal reduction in the overall Agency ceiling. Carl E. Duc e Deputy Director for Science and Technology Note: Excerpt from Memo for ExDir-Compt from CED (22.Dec 72). 25 25 Approved For Release 2004/02/11 : CIA-RDP75BOO15SKOO0200 14000 1-4 0or