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Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work: Part 10

Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron plane that IDA-Jason university consultants helped develop for use in Vietnam War in 1960s.
After receiving and looking over the IDA weapons research report that resulted from the Jason Division’s summer 1966 session of developing new weapons technology for use in Indochina, U.S. Secretary of Defense McNamara “helicoptered in to meet with Jason and the Cambridge Group for the last time” on Sept. 7, 1966 “at Zacharias’ summer home on Cape Cod,” according to The Jasons by Ann Finkbeiner. At this Sept. 7, 1966 meeting between these IDA-linked U.S. university professors, “Deitchman and Kistiakowsky explained the plan to McNamara” and “maps of Southeast Asia were spread out in the living room,” according to the same book.

The Vietnam On Trial: Westmoreland vs. CBS book also revealed what else happened in September 1966:

“The Jasons…pushed for a follow-on contract…They recommended that the Pentagon follow up the `Summer Study’ with a full-time task force…They...noted that IDA, by virtue of its…location and experience, seemed a suitable place to manage this effort.

“McNamara bit. On September 15[1966] he appointed Air Force Lieutenant Alfred Starbird as head of Joint Task Force 728, which would develop the barrier…”


By September 1966, members of the “Jason East Project No. 2” group also had begun to work even more closely with the Pentagon’s Electronic Warfare Task Group to immediately start developing the electronic battlefield for use in Indochina. Some of this electronic battlefield development work was apparently done at the U.S. Air Force’s Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. An Aug. 30, 1966 letter from MIT Professor and former IDA Vice-President and Director for Research Hill to the Commander of the Electronic Systems Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force Major General J.W. O.Neill, for example, states:

“Dear Jack,
“In retrospect, I think we had a very successful summer and although we worked hard, I think the group of us who worked at Building 1521 really enjoyed the task and the surroundings.”


MIT Professor Hill was apparently the chairman of a special group that Secretary of Defense McNamara had set up, as an additional part of the “Jason-East” group, to work, especially, with the Chief of the Pentagon’s Electronic Warfare Branch, Morten Roney.

A Sept. 20, 1966 memorandum from the Pentagon’s Tactical Control & Surveillance Systems Assistant-Director John Klotz to the Pentagon’s Director of Research and Engineering, Dr. Foster, on the subject “Meeting Between East Jason Group and Electronic Warfare Task Group” also noted:

“I arranged for a session on 13 September 1966 between the Jason East Group (Hill) and the Electronic Warfare Task Group (Fubini). Rear Admiral F.A. Bardshar of the JCS also attended the meeting.

“Dr. Hill briefed the Electronic Warfare Task Group on the activities under review by his Group and answered questions pertaining to use and implementation of equipment.”


This post first appeared on Bob Feldman 68, please read the originial post: here

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Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work: Part 10

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