The Pentagon contracted the Rand Corporation to build a strategy war game simulating
a ten year war in Vietnam. The game would be named Omega, played out in the Pentagon with top military and political leaders
as the players. Blue team would represent the U.S. and allies, the red team North Vietnam and allies.
Native Lao linguist, Bill Young and CIA pilot, Ron Sutphin flew to Long
Tieng and determined it to be a good location for a major secret base in Laos.
Late Feb 1962
CIA agent, Vint Lawrence arrives in Laos to work with Vang Pao, Tony Poe and the Meo forces.
Eleven motorbikes were stolen from Air America. None were recovered. Also five
C-123s bailed from the USAF arrived at Udorn to be place under contract with Air America.
H&MS-12 MAG-12 1st MAW arrives. Also the old Marine mess hall is the site
of the supermarket, snack bar, pub and movie theater. Newly purchased movie equipment made it necessary to increase security.
Provided funds could be found, plans were revealed to construct a fenced in recreation hall at a central location.
Marine Attack Sq 322 deployed to Udorn. FJ-3 Fury, A4s. Arrival of Marine aircraft
increased air traffic significantly and dirt roads deteriorated. Marines started digging a storm drainage canal parallel to
the taxiway. Snakes were a problem. Power generators were used continuously because of Udorn City Power's insufficient service.
Navy Seabees, MCB-10 det Zulu arrives.
A new supply building was constructed at the Air America operations while a medical
recovery room filled the vacated space. Also, Saturday Evening Post featured AN AMERICAN HERO, an article about Edgar "Pops"
Buell and his one-man crusade for freedom in Laos. Buell, an Indiana farmer, had gone to Laos to teach Hmong to be dirt farmers
and advance in agriculture and to distribute rice to the inhabitants.
18 Jun 1962
Air America presented the Udorn Girls Secondary School with a recorder.
1 Jul 1962
First Marine combat units withdraw from Udorn as a display of good faith in Geneva
Accords. Barber shop and snack bar receipts received a huge drop off.
23 Jul 1962
Geneva Accord signed intended to bring neutrality to Laos. Souvanna Phouma, a
Neutralist, became prime minister while the Neutralist, Pathet Lao and Royalist would have seats in the coalition. All foreign
military personnel were to depart Laos.
25 Jul 1962
Leonard S. Unger replaces Winthrop G. Brown as U.S. Ambassador to Laos.
31 Jul 1962
Last Marine combat units are withdrawn from Udorn. Also, North Vietnamese violated
the Geneva Agreement by leaving more than 5,000 troops in neutral Laos. The U.S. kept step by leaving the Thai PARU behind
in the Kingdom.
Navy Seabees, MCB-10 det Zulu departs. Also taxiway was in poor shape after continual
use by heavy equipment constructing the drainage canal. Construction was approved for new shops in the Air America Hangar
and for a fire shed to be built. Snakes continue to be a problem because of mating season. Cobras, Kraits and Russell Vipers
were common sites.
Bill Lair and Pat Landry moved their headquarters from Vientiane to Nong Khai
across the Mekong in Thailand. Tony Poe and Vint Lawrence now worked more secretly than ever in the new unknown base at Long
Tieng. Lawrence also assisted Pops Buell with logistics by keeping track of rice drops and the number of refugees. Buell in
turn passed along information he learned from the refugees.
6 Oct 1962
As per Geneva agreement, 666 American military and special forces depart Laos.
Russian advisors also withdraw but left in-country are 5,000 to 7,000 North Vietnamese troops. Tony Poe and Vint Lawrence
remained at their new home at the new secret base at Long Tieng. Vang Pao's home and headquarters is now at Long Tieng.
The Recreation Center is four months late being completed due to poor weather
conditions and deliberate working contractors.
Late in December Bill Lair and Pat Landry moved their office from Nong Khai to
Udorn where Lair was promoted to Chief of Base. Pranet made his office outside the base at Udon Thani.
Omega, a strategy war game constructed by the Rand Corporation was played out
in the Pentagon. Bill Sullivan led the red team or enemy. Gen. Maxwell Taylor portrayed Ho Chi Minh. At game's end red forces
occupied most all of Indochina. Despite heavy casualties they bogged down 500,000 American troops involving much of the Navy
and Air Force. The game caused congress great unrest and provoked the American public. The game was played prior
to any American troops being sent to Vietnam. Gen. LeMay contended that the USAF was unjustly represented by Rand
and that the game should be adjusted and replayed.