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1985 Conference Presentation

Moving 25 million tons of food to Africa

Col. Molloy Vaughn (ret.)

Reprinted ept. 3, 1999, pp. 7-9

On Jan. 14, 1985, Molloy Vaughn, a logistics expert, delivered the following policy paper to the Fourth International Schiller Institute conference in Richmond, Virginia. Colonel Vaughn, a devoted friend of the LaRouche movement and a great-hearted man, passed away on Aug. 17, 1999. This paper is a fitting memorial to this beautiful soul.

It is also a most timely contribution to the present-day political and economic situation, since it addresses the question of how to effectively carry out an enormous international relief effort for nations devastated by war, hunger, or natural catastrophe. With the current requirements for reconstruction of the Balkans and Turkey, as well as the war-ravaged nations of Africa, the no-nonsense approach taken by Colonel Vaughn is highly interesting

“You should know why I am standing here today and why this task was given to me. An individual from the Schiller Institute flew out to California, and, on his busy schedule on the evening of New Year's Day, we had to take time to eat, so we had a working conference at dinner. Just before the main course was served, he gave me a figure: ``How would you face the problem of 25 million tons of relief going into Africa? How would it be arranged for, and the planning get it there?”

When he said that, I lost my appetite for the meal. I am not a negative person, but everything that flashed through my mind in one minute's time were disaster scenes I'd seen from Indochina in 1953-54, when I was one of the Americans selected to go to Dien Bien Phu to assist the French there. I saw the waste that happened there during the rainy season, when we had literally tens of thousands of tons being unloaded every day, and the parachutes rotted and the food was wasted and the blood plasma never got to Dien Bien Phu.

Then I thought about conditions that I have witnessed in the last 30 years: flood relief, when I helped collect things as a Boy Scout in Delaware to send to Pennsylvania because of the floods there, the famous ones in the 1930s.

These same problems continued wherever I went, as I got into the Middle East, and saw relief going into certain areas. We are a great nation for shipping vast quantities of relief, but when it gets there, we absolutely stagger the people. They cannot handle it, they are not organized to do so, and we feel that we have done our job, and we walk away.

My paper is a proposed guideline for successfully transporting the 25 million tons of food supplies into Africa.

I. Personnel to carry out task:

A. Use of a Berlin Air Lift type operation (Navy, Army, Air Force, Merchant Marine active units--in uniform).

B. Use of Peace Corps organization (no uniforms).

C. Joint taskforce of nations (under direction of the United States).

D. Use of retired military to staff taskforce.

II. Formation of site survey teams for each country to provide required data for in-depth planning. This must come at the very beginning.

A. Gather all available data on each country that will receive aid:

1. Latest maps of all affected areas. Sources are the U.S. Army Map Depot (obtain permission of host country for their release); NASA map files; and England and France, the nations that have the maps of this entire area of Africa.

2. Existing communications data.

3. Existing power sources available.

4. Existing ports and their capacities.

5. Existing airports, their type and capacities:

Capability for fast aircraft turnaround; ground handling equipment; fuel; aviation oil; minor maintenance; and, very important, navigation aids.

6. Existing medical facilities and their capacities.

7. Available storage facilities.

8. Available natural resources in host countries for constructing roads, bridges, storage facilities, housing for support personnel.

9. Available drinking water and fuel supplies (aircraft and auto). We are not going to be a burden on the host country.

10. Available personnel to perform required labor support tasks: building roads, bridges, buildings, seaports, airports, communications, power plants, and medical support.

11. Available trained host country administrators.

12. Available security personnel.

13. Estimates as to number of persons to be provided for in each country, to feed, clothe, house, and provide medical support.

14. Obtain all available climatic studies (rainfall, temperature, dry and wet seasons, sandstorms, and {locust cycles}. I have seen what happens when the U.S. or the UN does not get the airplanes or supplies there to destroy locusts. You have a number of hours in which you must hit the sides of the mountains where the locusts are buried before they hatch. When that erupts--you see the sand or dirt "boil"--you either kill them or you have a disaster. I saw them come from the Sudan, across the Red Sea, and hit Jedda, and in a matter of three hours there was not a blade of grass anywhere for about 50 miles around Jedda. There was nothing left in the wake of a locust attack.

III. Upon receipt of all data in Paragraph 2 above, determine the following items:

A. Priorities of support to be provided: Supplies to be sent by air lift; by water lift, by road, by rail. This includes both here, and between here and the forward positions in the host country.

B. Amount of supplies to be provided: Schedule of arrival in host country, transit time to storage areas or to forward distribution points.

C. Based on Paragraph B above, determine support personnel requirement by type of function to be performed. Schedule for hiring, training, and arrival in host country.

D. Medical requirement for support personnel and for personnel in host country based on agreed level of medical support to be provided by relief program. Get the agreement signed at the beginning.

E. Housing and feeding requirements for support personnel--a real key to the morale of our own team in getting the job accomplished.

F. Determine requirements for local hire of host country personnel.

G. Determine amount of money required to support and implement this entire relief program in each country.

H. Determine source of U.S. personnel and hire and proceed for movement to host country (see Paragraph C above).

IV. Review all of above data and prepare Master Plan for each host country that has been selected to receive the proposed relief program. Secure host country acceptance of the Master Plan before you start to carry it out.

A. Publish approved Master Plan for each host country and its implementation schedule.

B. Move funds (in dollars) forward into host country's banks.

C. Host country to have its support administration team organized and on site.

D. Have all custom regulations (costs and fees) agreed to by all parties before you ever move. This will also cover movement of relief supplies and support personnel across borders of all host nations. We might have a problem going around Libya and Chad, but these can be worked out, and must be understood before you move one ton of supplies.

E. Start all local construction projects (i.e., roads, bridges, storage buildings, seaports and airports, communication and power requirements).

F. Establish completion dates for all required support projects in host countries. If we are going to use inflatable buildings in the beginning to store things, when can we have those there, for the first priority items to land in the country?

G. Based on Paragraph F above, determine shipping dates (based on means available--air, water, road transportation) for food and medical relief.

H. Schedule arrival of relief supplies into host countries so that the established system is not overloaded, but can move the supplies to the forward distribution points, and so that the required storage facilities are available, and so that the personnel are in place to receive the relief supplies.

I. A joint U.S./host country team will handle all funds required to implement the relief program. There must be no mystery about who is going to handle the funds. It is kept under our control, utilizing their personnel to look over our shoulders.

J. Daily communications--very important--will be maintained between all forward distribution points and the central planning office in the capital to insure there are {no surprises}.

V. To be able to ``crash'' this program, the following steps are proposed:

. Select key planning personnel with great amount of overseas experience working with personnel of other countries in large projects. Many of the desired personnel are known to me.

B. Propose that serious consideration be given to the hiring of retired military personnel to fill the requirements for support personnel for this relief project. This source of personnel will provide a vast pool of experience in every aspect of this project. Those that can remember the SeaBees in the Navy know what they did. They were civilians working for Navy officers throughout the Pacific. They did the impossible--exactly what we would be doing in Africa. Many SeaBees, fortunately, even up to the rank of captain, are still available; they would come out of our construction industry today. Another group that is known throughout the world, and is held in high regard is our Army Corps of Engineers. These represent only one or two in uniform, and thousands of civilians working with them, who are trained and specialized in their tasks.

C. Select a civilian contractor to provide complete logistical support for all U.S. support personnel. This contractor is available now for this project. In the Middle East and Africa for the past 20 to 30 years, the London-based Abella Construction and Catering Service, Ltd. has and is continuing to provide complete logistical support for all projects in the U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia and in many other areas of the world. They fed over 90,000 persons during the civil war in Nigeria. There was not one who had to worry about their meals, their clothing, their laundry, their health.

With the implementation of the above guidelines, which would result in the successful receipt of 25 million tons of relief supplies in Africa, many of the vital projects could be started that are critical for the development and future industrialization of Africa.

These include a continental railroad--you would have a rail net installed that would tie these countries together. Also developed would be a power grid, which does not even exist in many countries over there now. They cannot even switch their own power within a very small country. Other vital projects installed would be a communication network, based with our satellites today; fuel pipelines--so important; and new airports. All these projects could start with this relief program.


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Dialogue of Cultures

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