Guerrilla Base Facilities Development Concepts, Part One
(Whether your intent in preparations is active resistance against totalitarianism executed by regime security forces, or simple retreat homestead defense, the fundamental concepts of the guerrilla base, both in structure and tactical defense, apply equally well. The point of this blog has been, from day one, to provide tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) at both the conceptual and practical level that can be utilized effectively by anyone who foresees the probable or potential need to provide security for their families and/or communities. –J.M.)
The primary purpose of the guerrilla base area is to support the UW operations of the local civilian defense group, and function as a tactical operational base. In this role, the guerrilla base serves primarily a defensive function, although of course, it may serve as a base of operations for offensive operations as well, when necessary. The secondary role, inherent to the primary, is to serve as a center of relations to develop, nurture, and maintain liaison with the local civilian-populace. This role is absolutely critical and symbiotic to its role as the base of tactical operations.
Given time, the guerrilla base helps the local civilian-populace establish and restore civil society and structural systems, represented in the military by the acronym SWEAT-MSS (Security, Water, Electricity, Administration, Trash, Medical, Sewage, and Shelter). These critical nodes of subsistence are obviously as critical to the survival of the inhabitants of the guerrilla base as they are for the local civilian-populace, and as such, their establishment for the actual structural facilities of the guerrilla base area will be critical, as well as helping re-establish them for the surrounding civilian-populace.
Guerrilla base operations, if conducted properly, also provide a tremendous positive impact on irregular force/civilian defense group information operations (IO) since they are tangible, in-your-face proof of the stabilizing presence of the local civilian-defense group (remember that whole thing about winning not being necessary for success, just the perception on the local populace of not losing?). In order to have a positive effect on the local civilian-populace’s perception of the irregular warfare element, local critical assets and infrastructure must be successfully defended. These may include assets that have more economic, political, or even spiritual value than tactical military importance.
Prior to the selection of a guerrilla base facility site (or a family homestead retreat, for that matter), the UW element must conduct a thorough METT-TC analysis. When planning and designing facilities, the element must take into account the factors critical to the security of the facility, including the OAKOC (Observation and fields of fire, Avenues of approach, Key terrain, Obstacles, and Cover and Concealment) considerations. The element must utilize any and all available assets during defensive planning considerations. These include local area intelligence (who is who, what are they doing, why are they important, and why are they doing whatever they are doing, when can they be expected to take certain actions, and how will they execute those actions?), reconnaissance of the immediate surroundings and the surrounding area in general, and any suitable engineering assets to study how the terrain can be utilized to facilitate the defense. Optimum use of terrain, depth of the defense, and effective security operations allows the element to successfully minimize the use of organic, limited defensive resources, including personnel, thus maximizing the availability of those assets for other applications.
Doctrinally speaking, the smallest SF unit tasked to operate and maintain a SF Tactical Facility is the 12-man ODA. Larger elements, including SFODBs and SFODCs that occupy Tactical Facilities produce much larger footprints in their AOs. For the small group, the minimum size element that can realistically protect a guerrilla base facility is 8-10, and that does not allow any of those security personnel the time to assist in many other critical day-to-day infrastructure support tasks (thus, the absolutely critical nature of developing networks and tribes/crews). At the same time, the larger the footprint created, the more the disadvantage that may result, since the larger requirements for logistical and protection support can make difficult-to-meet demands on both the facility and the local supporting infrastructure.
When determining whether to use an existing facility, or break ground on a new facility (do you buy bare ground, or do you buy a retreat property with an already existing facility/facilities on it?), some key considerations include:
- Is the AO permissive, uncertain, or hostile (Trying to set up a retreat location, with the inherent security demands of such, would be considerably simpler in Northern Idaho or Montana than in downtown Manhattan)?
- Are the facilities located in urban or rural settings (it’s hell-for-easier to slip that underground arms bunker past the building inspectors in Newton County, Arkansas than it would be in a South Boston. On the other hand, there are probably already more existing facilities in “Sout’y” that would work for hiding large amounts of critical logistics supplies than there are in say, Harrison, Arkansas–I do know that Harrison is not in Newton County. I don’t know what towns are actually in Newton County though….)?
- Are the facilities logistically sustainable (Can you get the shit you need, either through barter, black market, smuggling through denied territory, or local foraging–preferably without pissing off the locals too much–from where they are to your facilities? This might be easier in urban areas than in a remote mountain valley–on the other hand, they are obviously far from impossible to accomplish in extremely remote alpine areas and jungle/swampland)?
- Is the local security system adequate to allow for construction of new facilities, or do you need to expend so much effort on security (from local civilian-populace criminal elements or regime security forces) that you won’t have time to build?
- Are the facilities to be part of a larger operation with a currently unknown strategic planning element (It’s one thing to say, “My retreat will be the headquarters for local resistance operations.” While that’s noble, it may or may not be feasible given the future strategic and tactical realities within your area)?
- What impact will construction or development of facilities have on current and/or future IO (including both Civil Affairs and PSYOPs–moving into a poor, urban ethnic enclave and building some huge warehouse to store all your supplies and locking out the locals while they live in run-down tenements and “pay” for their groceries with EBT might result in them seeing you as the regime, rather than a stabilizing influence. On the other hand, when shit does go south, having the ability to pull miracle supplies out of your ass and the old, “abandoned” warehouse in the ‘hood to pay your newly recruited civilian defense group might just be enough to win you loyalty and support from the local neighborhood networks)?