SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE SECRETARY
document consists of 1
Number 1 of 6 copies, Series 1A
September 13, 1958
MEMORANDUM FOR THE ACTING SECRETARY
FROM: S/AE: Philip J. Farley
SUBJECT: Strategic Air Command Exercise "HEADSTART"
The Director of Operations, USAF, Headquarters, Strategic Division, asked us on August 28, 1958, to request the Canadian Government's approval, in accordance with the "Y" procedure (i.e., government-to government clearance of routine S.A.C. flights carrying nuclear weapons complete with nuclear components, but with no strike contemplated in the near future) for overflight of Canadian territory in Operation "HEADSTART". This would involve four flights daily, one each, at regular six-hour intervals, from September 15, 1956, through December 15, 1958, of B-52 aircraft carrying complete nuclear weapons over designated routes, with aerial refueling over a certain sector. General LeMay briefed you on this and other Strategic Air Command operational exercises on August 29.
The Canadian Government's reply, granting approval in principle but requiring daily clearance on a service-to-service basis, was given to us by a letter from the Minister of the Canadian Embassy to Mr. Courtney of this office. This was transmitted to the Director of Operations, Headquarters, USAF, on the same day. Copies of the Canadian Minister's letter and Mr. Courtney's memorandum to the Air Force are attached.
It is understood that the President's final approval of this exorcise was to be dependent upon the Canadian Government's reply to our request. We have been informed by Defense officials that General Goodpaster has been informed of the Canadian reply, and may wish to communicate with you further concerning the exercise.
It is my view that the Canadian Government response, if acceptable on operational grounds to the USAF, offers a satisfactory basis on which to proceed, and that you could so advise General Goodpaster if he calls you.