LTG Sibounbeuang

LIEUTENANT GENERAL KHAMBANG SIBOUNHEUANG

Major General Khambang SibounheuangLieutenant General Khambang Sibounheuang was born in the village of Kalongtai, located in central Laos. He is a graduate of English Oxford High School in Cheramong and The Buddhism College in Donghene City. He served in the Royal Lao Army, first as an enlisted man and then as an officer, in the “Secret War” during the Communist invasion of Laos. He attended Airborne School and received specialized training from American Green Berets and worked closely with them throughout the conflict. He was also one of the few native Laotians at that time who could speak English. He was wounded twice during heavy combat with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces.

In 1963-64, he became involved in the domestic coup d’état under General Phoumy Nosavanh and General Siho. When the coup d’état failed, he was arrested and imprisoned in an underground prison for six months.

In 1970, he was promoted to Captain by the Royal Lao and US Special Forces and became commander of 2nd Company, White Dragon (White Dragon Two as the Americans called it), a Special Guerilla Unit (SGU) set up by US Special Forces. His experiences are chronicled in his autobiography “White Dragon Two: A Royal Laotian Army Commando’s Escape from Laos”. In the four years that followed, he was in constant heavy and close combat with North Vietnamese, Viet Cong and Pathet Lao Communist forces.

The Americans began withdrawing from Laos in the latter half of 1973 but the Royal Lao Armed Forces and the SGU’s continued fighting the communists until late 1974. LTG Sibounheuang was finally captured in 1975 and placed in a prison camp awaiting transfer to “re-education” camp. He escaped and finally was able to reach Thailand on June 21, 1975. Three days later, he secretly returned to Laos and rescued his wife and children with paperwork arranged by a policeman friend. He went back to Thailand the same day and his wife and family snuck back across the Mekong River the next day to Thailand. They eventually made their way to America.

In 1992, he joined the Tennessee State Guard, rising to the rank of LTC. He served as commander of the 203rd and 204th BN and was stationed with the Tennessee National Guard near Ft. Campbell, KY. In 2002, he received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and served with the US Freedom Corps.

In 2006, he was asked to join NUSC and served with the Air Force Branch of the International Group. He rose to the rank of MG and was reassigned in 2011 when the unit moved to Puerto Rico and retired later that year.

LTG Sibounheuang holds a Masters Degree in Political Science, is a life member of the U.S. Special Forces Association, a life member of the 82nd Airborne Division, member of AUSA (Association of United States Army) and a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America. He continues to jump out of airplanes and holds jump wings from 14 different nations. He also assists many local, state, and federal agencies as well as the American-Lao communities on a variety of Lao issues.

Besides the Royal Lao Airborne, LTG Sibounheuang is currently the Founder and President of the Chief Operating Office of the International Relief Center, Inc. (IRC). His duties include the supervision and direction of administrative staff, fundraising, and assessing their projects throughout the world. IRC offers humanitarian support to assist the impoverished people of Southeast Asia. They have built schools in rural provinces of Cambodia as well as established a warehouse to procure and distribute essential medical supplies to the people of the Kampong Cham province. They have been working in Cambodia since 2004 to build the schools and clinics that support the Khmer and Lao people who live there as well as Cambodian citizens.

His biggest mission in life is to use his experience and knowledge to continue serving others and to rebuild global communities that have been severely damaged by war or need support due to poverty.

This brave and determined soldier has fought, struggled, and survived the unimaginable for the cause of freedom. He continues to fight for the rights of so many lives who are impoverished and in need of nurturing and recognition. There is no doubt that his efforts will continue to impact thousands, if not millions, more people across the globe.

Click here to read “No Boots Left Behind” (PDF) by LTG Sibounheuang

(Mali Phonpadith contributed to this biography. Her website is malicreative.com)

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