As George Trofimoff and his partner arrived in Laos, they introduced themselves to the Chief of Staff of the Laotian army, Colonel Ouan Raticoune, and to his staff. They were welcomed cordially. George explained that he and his partner would like to travel and visit many of the Colonel’s army units and military region headquarters throughout the region.
The reason for these visits, George explained, was to evaluate the effectiveness of military aid furnished the Laotian government by the US State Department as part of the International Cooperation Aid Program and that George’s team (the two of them) needed to know exactly how the current aid program helped to administrate and operate the army and how it could be improved to ensure adequate operations concerning the defense of the country.
The Colonel was very happy to hear about the possibility of “improving” aid, and immediately offered to organize the first trip, which he thought best to Luang Prabang, the royal capitol of Laos, and the headquarters of the !st Military Region. These trips for “evaluation” were supposed to be secretive or, at the very least, “under the radar,” because their true nature was to begin to build a defense system that would benefit the U.S. as it crept closer to war in Vietnam.
I write of George’s service and his experiences in the jungles of Laos in my book: “The Colonel George Trofimoff Story, the tale of America’s highest ranked military officer convicted of spying”