Fundamentals of Guerrilla Base Area Facilities, Part Two
It is a given, to sensible people, that security is found by establishing solid relationships within the local community. The intelligence value in good networks is invaluable, whether it results in active assistance or simply a word of caution, whispered in your ear at an opportune time. Nevertheless, ultimately, the facilities of a guerrilla base area must provide last-ditch, “oh shit” protection, as well as possible, even if just long enough to provide you the ability to stand off an assault until reinforcements from your network(s) can arrive to provide assistance.
One aspect of planning that is utilized by SF soldiers is the Statement of Requirements (SoR). The doctrinal intent of the SoR is to “identify the requesting unit’s logistic and material needs–particularly those that exceed their organic capabilities…” For the irregular force partisan, preparing now for the forthcoming heat on the battlespace, the SoR should be a statement of what they need to survive, whether in general preparedness, or in the case of siege or near-siege conditions. What facilities do you need to have? Gardens and greenhouses for food production, as well as livestock housing and fencing come to mind. Storage facilities for food storage as well as other supplies. One area that most “preppers” overlook in planning for guerrilla base area facilities is the construction of living quarters beyond their immediate family. The reality is, even a family with five or six teenage kids is not going to be able to pull security 24/7/365. You WILL need more people, and those people will need housing. How that housing is designed is a personal choice, but it must be considered.
Other issues that should be studied and determined include facilities maintenance (a well-equipped workshop seems to be on the wish-list of every serious member of this culture I’ve ever met. How well-equipped will depend on both skill sets and budget. I can get away with a less well-stocked shop, because I have the developed trades skills to improvise when required. At the same time, as a guy who has framed houses, shod horses, and built weapons, you can be assured that my shop would have a full compliment of carpentry tools, farrier’s tools, including an anvil and forge, and an armorer’s bench–J.M.), mission supply (ammunition storage, arms rooms, tactical gear lockers, etc), transportation needs (a secure place to park and perform maintenance on vehicles), the aforementioned housing for non-family personnel, medical supply storage and an aid station, signals facilities, and security needs, as well as somewhere for operational elements to conduct planning and mission briefings. While these should be ideally dealt with during the initial planning stages, any shortcomings identified during the facilities planning should be addressed as soon as possible.
Before ever beginning the planning of any facilities, an area study should be conducted, whether you are in an established location that you’ve resided in for decades, or are looking at building a new retreat location. This can provide extremely pertinent information that may determine the realistic feasibility of a given area as a potential guerrilla base area. Additionally, it may help identify any regional strengths or shortcomings of the area that must be addressed in planning the facilities. The Area Study should be conducted as thoroughly as possible, within the guidelines of the doctrinal format. This format has been an established, proven method for studying an area for strategic and tactical relevance (I’m not going to post the line-by-line format. It’s readily available on the intrawebz. –J.M.)
One aspect of the area study that is absolutely critical for right-minded folks today is the behavior and capabilities of local regime security forces. Is there a nearby military installation? Do your local constables take too much advantage of the federal hand-outs of military surplus weapons and armored vehicles that might be indicative of a tendency to do the bidding of those paymasters? Is your local political climate progressive, Neo-Con, or conservative/libertarian (let’s face facts, if you live in much of Illinois, Massachussetts, or other obvious liberal bastions, you’re fucked. I don’t give a shit if you don’t live in the city itself, the influence of the city and the sheer number of people that are there weigh against your survival. Living in the southern end of the Willamette Valley in western Oregon is not going to save you from Portland, S.M. Stirling be-damned)? The vast majority of local police or National Guard is going to do the bidding of the bureaucracy that provides their paychecks. Believing otherwise is either stupidity or naivety.
Whether you already own a piece of real estate, or are looking at purchasing ground for the construction of a new home or a bug-out location, a site specific survey should be conducted, with a thorough analysis from both a tactical terrain analysis PoV, as well as with your SoR in mind. Tactical terrain analysis utilizes the mnemonic acronym OAKOC, for “Observation and fields of fire, Avenues of Approach, Key Terrain features, Obstacles, and Cover/Concealment.” Every one of these needs to be specifically addressed. Any shortcomings should be able to be easily and quickly remedied (clearing some trees on the hillside below your house is a much simpler method of remedying a Observation and field of fire shortcoming than is clearing a full firing lane for two kilometers on the flats).
For general preparedness, a site survey should also consider how deep the water table is, to facilitate well-drilling, how practical alternative energy systems are, the growing season and soil, and whether or not you can raise adequate livestock.
One aspect of tactical preparedness that must be addressed in the site survey is the condition and behavior of the local economy. Are their local contractors that can be hired at reasonable prices to facilitate construction? Are construction materials available on the local economy, or will you have to have them delivered? Are the local utilities close enough to facilitate the use of power tools or will you or the contractors have to import generators and fuel for the duration?
Your site survey should be conducted with tentative building plans and goals in mind. If you “need” a 10,000 square-foot, eight bedroom house, with two professional-grade kitchens, and five bathrooms, is there adequate flat building space for that? What about room for a garden/greenhouse? Grazing ground for livestock?
Is the area relatively crime-free, or do you need to provide for on-site security to prevent your building materials from walking off in the middle of the night?
Facility Design Considerations
The primary design consideration of a guerrilla base facility is that it is a hardened, independent location, capable of supporting and protecting the guerrilla force and auxiliaries in the absolute worst-case scenario: the facility coming under siege by a force significantly superior in numbers or arms. The facility should be built around a central perimeter-protected operational center of gravity (whether you call it the “main house,” “TOC/CP,” or “HQ” is completely irrelevant.
In Vietnam, the inner perimeter areas of A-camps ran the full gamut from square and triangular to pentagon, star-shapped, and free-form shapes. By 1968, there was a doctrinal standard interior design for buildings, firing positions, and mortar pits. Two of the most effective shapes for perimeter layouts turned out to be the triangle (which may explain why it is still used for platoon and larger patrol bases, even in the conventional force) and the pentagon.
While every SF camp has a different design due to limitations of METT-TC considerations, OAKOC terrain analysis, and the building materials available in the AO, there are seven sectors that are common to permanent A-Camps (SF units in urban-based AOs may not be able to facilitate all seven sectors, and mature, well-established facilities may incorporate more than the basic seven). These include: an inner perimeter (this is your last-ditch, “oh shit” perimeter that can be adequately defended, even against armor, by a limited number of personnel) and inner barrier, and outer perimeter and outer barrier, and administration area within the inner perimeter, access road(s), and the surrounding area (which is not necessarily “part of” the facility, but must be considered in planning and design stages.
More to follow…
Somewhere in the mountains