“Safe House Considerations.” The middle age woman underlined the words on the whiteboard. “Welcome to your introduction to logistics support. My name is Maggie and at the end of the next three weeks each of you will be fully competent in the theory of logistic support to an unconventional force in urban, suburban, and rural areas.”
Maggie wrote a list on the far left of the whiteboard.
Water, sustenance and hygene
Energy, on grid/off grid
“If your commander came to you and asked if your sector could support six teams for five weeks, how would you calculate the amount of safe houses, and the amount of supplies, in each?” No one offered a response.
“Historically you look at how many calories an active adult needs per day to thrive, we’ll set that at 3,000 and then multiply it by the number of people, then the number of days needed to support.” Maggie smiled, “That would give you the overall number of calories you would need to fulfill your logistics mission.”
“Similarly you can break it down by servings, or any other method, but bottom line is that you need to know how much is there, and how long it will last.” Maggie continued. “Which brings us to water, normally a safe house has a water supply, but some have utilities disconnected, and so you have to figure how much water per person per day.”
“Getting down to energy and fuel. If a house in the middle of a neighborhood, supposedly unoccupied, starts using electricity again, it can raise a red flag to the enemy.” Maggie smiled, “So it is essential that safe houses have some alternate form of energy, such as solar panels or a large stock of disposable batteries, to provide the temporary occupants with enough juice to prepare for their next mission.”
“And this brings us to fuel, how much white gas does a camp stove use when it is cooking a pot of stew and a pot of rice for a team of 4?” Maggie stared out at the dumbfounded faces of her students. “You will get a chance to figure that one out all by yourselves.”
“Communication” She went on, “Is vitally important, each safe house needs its own PACE plan for alerting the occupants, such as radio, cell phone, land line, IRC, got it?
“Clothing, medical supplies, and ammunition.” Maggie paused. “These are not required to sustain the temporary occupants, but to give them a disguise, get them feeling better, and get them back into the fight. And I recommend as a tactic that the ammunition be in a separate cache near the safe house in case of a raid.”
A bearded middle aged man raised his hand, “So exactly how many safe houses would we need to support four teams for five weeks?”
“In my opinion, it varies with the area.” Maggie responded, “In an urban area there are more eyes to hide from, and four people locked up in an apartment for days on end gets suspicious, where in a rural environment no one would notice four extra people.”
A woman with a touch of gray in her hair piped up, “How do we identify a safe house, what are the considerations?”
“Good avenues of approach and escape, a house people expect to be occupied, such as in a retirement community as opposed to a vacation community. One that wouldn’t raise suspicions about having extra guests for a while, such as parents of a college age child. Not all safe houses have to be unoccupied, the retired or semi-retired have been excellent caretakers where I used to operate.” Maggie smiled.
“I guess that makes sense, a lot of the retiring baby boomers are still packing the pantry like they have to feed the whole family, even if it is just the two of them.” The bearded man opined.
“Now, to talk about operational security, you need to understand that your safe house operators do not need to know about each other. Some of them may be on a first name basis with others doing the same thing, but for their safety you need to keep them isolated.” Maggie frowned, “At best you will have subordinates who work no more than 4 safe house locations each, and each of them will have no idea about the others work, and more importantly YOU will have no idea about the names or exact locations of those involved. Your job here is to learn how to keep a running inventory and ensure timely resupply to keep the whole system going.”
“Now”Maggie smiled, “Open your field manual to page 2 dash 1 and read through to the end of the section.”