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  #1  
Old 12-25-2016, 06:22 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Default More on Prime Base-I've been off for a while

So I took time off to run a successful kickstarter for Hive, Queen and Country (we funded three books!)

Let me get back to some issues with Prime Base, which is never far from my mind.

First let's think about entrances. I figure there are five types of entrances to the base: Prewar entrance, sally port (for scouting), emergency exits, small and large service exits for use during the active phase. These will all be different. The prewar entrances will need to be based on the cover story. They will have to be large enough to allow access for all the big parts of the base. They will have to be of a nature that they can be sealed and concealed when the base is completed and they are no longer needed.

The sally ports will be small, for nothing bigger than a small vehicle, if that. They will be well hidden and protected and there will only be a few of them.

The easiest to design are the emergency exits. These will be vertical shafts that are very deep. The top part will be filled with sand. The bottom half is empty. If they need to be used the fill from the upper half drops into the empty portion and opens up the passageway. The top has a covering that can be opened from below.

The service entrances are also based on the cover story and location of the base.

I think the base was oversized in the original module. There are a HUGE number of people who are supposed to be monitoring radio traffic during the war itself. Why is this not automated? It should be all sorts of recording equipment but no one needs to be listening to it. So instead of hundreds of seats being occupied it might be a dozen or so. This means the base might not need all the personnel I think it did originally. I still think it needs a second habitation unit, but probably not two.

There are a lot of options for cover for the base. One would be based on the Swiss Nuclear Plant incident https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucens_reactor, with an experimental nuclear plant. Another possibility is something like the old Proton Decay Experiment http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lpt/erie.htm. Both these have large underground chambers. Another option is hardrock mines, such as they have in Missouri. I was at the Missouri Mine Museum https://mostateparks.com/park/missou...-historic-site a couple of months ago. The lead mines had huge chambers, that would be idea for Prime Base. the problem is that in Missouri the ground water is so high that all the chambers would be flooded. The Bonne Terre mine http://www.bonneterremine.com/ is famous as an underground dive site. The region would be have some excellent geology for the base, but the ground water is a huge issue. I'm not sure if there are hard rock mines out west that might also serve the purpose with huge deep chambers, but I'm not sure.


I'm still going to stick with my live rabies virus in the smallpox vaccine story for the destruction of Prime Base and why the field teams were never woken up. Someone on here reported that CDC had found rabies may not be 100% fatal to humans. I went and looked up the report http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/0...to-rabies.html

The population that CDC looked at have lived in South America in a region where rabies carrying vampire bats are very common. This is a tiny population in an extremely specific environment with very little genetic variability from outside sources. I am willing to concede that there might be a person in the Prime Base who is from this group and has this amazingly rare genetic modification. I really doubt it though. So I'm going to stick with all the field teams getting one batch of smallpox vaccine before freezing and the Prime Base getting the tainted batch after a suspected breach of the base. Krell had tainted the vaccine. Prime realized what happened after symptoms surfaced. They couldn't know if all the vaccine was bad. If the field teams got bad vaccine waking them up without getting the rabies vaccine to them would be a death sentence.

I know folks have complained about the small pox vaccinations. It seems a prudent policy to vaccinate against this known potential biowarfare agent for the field teams and to have a supply of the vaccine for the base as well. With the CDC protocols in place in the 1980s the live rabies virus would have gone unnoticed in the QC process.

Just a few notes on this Christmas Day-Happy Holidays to all
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Old 12-26-2016, 07:38 AM
dragoon500ly dragoon500ly is offline
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Alrighty then, have to disagree with you about the size of Prime Base, no argument with the need to automate as much as possible, but Prime was also intended to be the command facility for the entire project, including having field teams calling in for emergency tech support, etc.. I think that Prime would consist of around 400 personnel, with the majority being techies and Scientists/Engineers.

I think you are onto something with the exits, so a loading dock type level with a entrance and exit; another 3-4 sally ports to let a Recon or MARS Team out to clear the immediate perimeter; as for the emergency exits, I'd say at least 3 per tower, and another 5-6 in the annex levels.

As for the live rabies theory....it beats my idea of trained ninja mice...LOL!

Looking forward to the feedback, and a Happy New Year!!!
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Old 12-27-2016, 04:25 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Thanks for the feedback!

400 isn't a bad size. In fact I think it's too small. My original estimate was about ten times that, including families and everyone else. I'm going for something between these two sizes.

I agree with your number estimates for exits. I was thinking along those same lines.

So the two types of exits for the operational phase aren't actually finished. They are drilled to about 1000 feet from the surface and the big ass boring machines are parked in the tunnels, waiting to be activated to drill out the last 1000 feet. There are probably two very large machines, capable of digging large vehicle sized exits and two-four smaller machines for exits for smaller vehicles or personnel. The undug tunnels mean that they don't have to be disguised. They have 1000 feet of natural "camouflage".

I think those Ninja Mice might well be an issue.

Getting back the size of Prime Base. I go with the philosophy "It is better to have something or someone and not need them than to not have them and to need them" I'd make the base very resource heavy. If it needs one guy to do a job there are three people to cover it. If it might need a skill set there is certainly two people there to do it. If it would never in a million years need such a person there is one just waiting.

It needs several recon teams, both inside the base and nearby. There should be a number of resources available within easy reach of the base so that if the area over the base has some problems they don't need to uncork to get them cleaned off, they just call these support teams (Recon, MARS, Engineering in particular) and have them show up and deal with the problem. They should have some clever methods to scout the area, communicate securely with the base without compromising it and decoying anyone off the site, or otherwise causing anyone to scurry off.

But it will still need a dozen recon teams and half a dozen MARS teams. These will be charged with base security during the inactive phase, as well as scouting upon activation. That's about 180 folks right there.

I figure each tower gets the equivalent of an engine company and an ambulance crew so about 8 people. This is multiplied by three shifts so that is 24 people per tower, so if there are four towers that's about 100 more. There will also be a hazardous materials response team staged for the industrial areas, an EOD team for the ordnance area so let's say another fifty total for those groups.

There needs to be all the plumbers and HVAC technicians and electricians and such to run the place, so I think a staff of between 20-40 for those services.

A crew of a couple of dozen to run the diggers when they are operational. These guys will keep the basic structure of the underground buildings together otherwise

A fully staffed hospital, ready to uncork and get sent someplace to set up, but also to deal with anything and everything within the base.

I'm going to have to look over the operational people for command staffs and such, but I feel the base should be able to handle 3-5 regional level incidents at one time-These would be floods, or wildfires or epidemics or military campaigns. They should also be able to juggle a dozen "minor" problems. This means full commo for the bandwidth needed for all these simultaneous events 24 hours a day.

So I think 500 for the major events and 120 for the minor issues, so about 650 all together.

Add Janitors, catering staff, hydoponics, assorted other folks

So with all this its around 2000 people, plus families, so maybe 3000 total?

Im open to discussion about this, of course
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  #4  
Old 12-27-2016, 06:53 PM
bobcat bobcat is offline
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thinking about it from the perspective of automated everything that doesn't need a human brain or human hands based on likely morrow tech.with minimal manning until the project goes live(staff that won't be needed during the inactive phase will be in stasis to reduce logistical needs) this is roughly how i would staff it. remembering that the project tried to avoid people with families for obvious security reasons.

(Staff numbers are Awake/Stasis)

C3: 15/30
Intelligence: 20/20
Maintenance:20/40
Supply: 5/25
Medical: 5/45
Laboratory:10/50
Agricultural: 20/40
Engineering: 5/45
Manufacturing: 5/45
MARS teams: 0/120
Recon Teams: 18/30

this gives us a total of 613 personnel of whom the vast majority are in stasis. which also would explain the loss of prime base and the lack of a wakeup signal had most of the prime base staff be caught still in stasis.

now the reason i have all of the MARS team members in stasis is because barring a complete failure of the intelligence and recon teams there should be some warning before they would be needed and it reduced the logistical strain of having to keep a combat force mission capable without revealing their existence.
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Old 12-27-2016, 07:51 PM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
Getting back the size of Prime Base. I go with the philosophy "It is better to have something or someone and not need them than to not have them and to need them" I'd make the base very resource heavy. If it needs one guy to do a job there are three people to cover it. If it might need a skill set there is certainly two people there to do it. If it would never in a million years need such a person there is one just waiting.
As an observation, this is in direct contrast to both the "reality" of the Project and the feel of the game: scarcity was always supposed to be there, the Project was always trying to do too much with too little. Why make Prime Base so abundant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
But it will still need a dozen recon teams and half a dozen MARS teams. These will be charged with base security during the inactive phase, as well as scouting upon activation. That's about 180 folks right there.
Other than actual security for the base (which should be well less than 6 full MARS teams!), why have all this? Seriously, they have the entire rest of the Project to go out and do these things, why expose the HQ when you can call in a nearby team to do the same thing? There is no good reason for the HQ to be anything but an HQ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
I figure each tower gets the equivalent of an engine company and an ambulance crew so about 8 people. This is multiplied by three shifts so that is 24 people per tower, so if there are four towers that's about 100 more. There will also be a hazardous materials response team staged for the industrial areas, an EOD team for the ordnance area so let's say another fifty total for those groups.
There is no way Prime Base or the Project can afford dedicated fire and ambulance crews. Think about how Navy ships operate - everyone learns how to fight fires and you trust that the minimal distance to the medical bay is short enough to not require dedicated EMT's just for transport. Likewise, your hazmat teams are likely to be your regular maintenance staff - you don't have space for such specialists who are otherwise likely to spend all their time training for disasters that don't come.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
A crew of a couple of dozen to run the diggers when they are operational. These guys will keep the basic structure of the underground buildings together otherwise
Do you really need a couple of dozen people to maintain the structure? For the relatively short period of time Prime Base is expected to operate in isolation, the structure should require minimal maintenance, perhaps none at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
A fully staffed hospital, ready to uncork and get sent someplace to set up, but also to deal with anything and everything within the base.
The base hospital needs to serve the base. There is no need for Prime Base to also serve as a general hospital.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
I'm going to have to look over the operational people for command staffs and such, but I feel the base should be able to handle 3-5 regional level incidents at one time-These would be floods, or wildfires or epidemics or military campaigns. They should also be able to juggle a dozen "minor" problems. This means full commo for the bandwidth needed for all these simultaneous events 24 hours a day.

So I think 500 for the major events and 120 for the minor issues, so about 650 all together.
Why would Prime Base be handling these issues, and what would they be doing, anyway? Prime Base can coordinate a response, but they don't need 100 people to remotely manage a wildfire. I think you need to define more exactly what these people are doing, but I think C&C is likely on the order of 50-100 general staff plus a small pool of experts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian View Post
So with all this its around 2000 people, plus families, so maybe 3000 total?
What is the total size of the Project? And how many links are there in the command chain? 2000 operational staff is huge for a Project even as large as 50,000, even if it is the only level of command. Throw in regional commands and group commands (both of which exist in canon) and you quickly have a Project that is all HQ and no line.

3000 people is the crew of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. For comparison, the USS Blue Ridge has an operational staff of 842 to run the ship and a command staff of 599 to run the 60-70 ships, 300 aircraft, and 40,000 personnel of the US 7th Fleet*. The mission of the Project was expected to be lower tempo than large-scale war, and the resources were expected to be lean or outright scarce. 2000 people is just too much for the Project to have sitting in the desert listening to radios.

And as a note... there is really no good reason for Prime Base to do more than national-level command, and lots of great reasons for them NOT to do anything else. Everything else in the Project is compartmented into little sections for security, there is no sense in having the national HQ also be responsible for local assistance and national transportation and logistics and everything else in the original Prime Base. All those entrances and traffic make the base a target. Prime Base should be a few hundred people buried in the desert with radios.

Someone gets sick? Have a separate hospital. If the site gets compromised, you lose a hospital and not a headquarters. Need some big planes? Keep 'em at a dedicated air base. If someone targets it, you lose some planes and not your entire command staff. The Pentagon does not include manufacturing and the White House does not handle local law enforcement beyond securing its own perimeter, and there are good reasons for both of these things.

EDIT: I know that the canonical Prime Base could do all those things, but I think that is the result of the designers wanting to make things easier on the players - all of those resources in one location make it a lot easier for a handful of people to "run" the Project if you don't think about it too hard. But it makes zero sense from the perspective of someone designing a command structure with the expectation that it will actually be used as designed. And as a bonus, the fewer assets present at Prime, the fewer assets LOST in the fall of the base and therefore available to the team in resurrecting the Project.

*: Yes, there are additional "command" assets NOT on the ship, but the Fleet is supposed to be able to be commanded from the Blue Ridge for extended periods without land-based resources.

Last edited by cosmicfish; 12-27-2016 at 08:01 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-27-2016, 11:18 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmicfish View Post
Do you really need a couple of dozen people to maintain the structure? For the relatively short period of time Prime Base is expected to operate in isolation, the structure should require minimal maintenance, perhaps none at all.
There are many maintenance needs that still need to be done, so a staff of 25 is not unreasonable. Take the geothermal power plant for instance. The main power was provided, as described in canon, by a kind of binary power plant. This make sense, since all the water is returned to the reservoir making depletion a non-problem. The way it is described though is not quite how actual binary plants work and would be terribly inefficient. But assuming in the rewrite it is an actual binary plant, the geothermal heated water is in one loop and a working fluid is in a separate closed loop that gets heated by the first one via a heat exchanger and the working fluid drives a turbine. Prime Base has four of these as modules and requires only two to be operating to supply the base will all the power it needs.

This means your regular maintenance includes cleaning the heat exchangers, checking the pump and turbine seals, checking the water return pumps and replacing them periodically (most are on a 4 year rotation), and performing routine lubrication, filter changes, chemistry checks for the cooling water in the condenser and adding scale inhibitors in the geothermal water loop. You can automate some of this, but definitely not all. Then you have the normal things in underground structures that need to be maintained, like air handling so everyone can breathe, lights, plumbing, HVAC, etc. 25 people sounds about right.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:53 AM
mikeo80 mikeo80 is offline
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Default Just a thought

As I was reading this thread, a thought popped up. (Spell check wanted to say pooped up. That might be true as well)

Instead of small pox or rabies, I want to explore another avenue. IF you work with Ver. III, 1989 Big Bang, remember what was happening. AIDS. NO ONE knew just what the hell was going on. It had long incubation, multiple symptoms. It SEEMED localized in the gay community, but with the first non gays being infected. (Blood transfusion)

Sooooo

What if some of the conspiracy theories of the day were true. It was a weapon released first into Africa as a test. Slow morbidity did not make it a very viable weapon.

So Krell scientists developed a faster response bug. Days instead of years. NOW it is a weapon. IIRC, the first attempt at gene splicing was happening at this time. Mix AIDS with the flu you have an air deployable, fast acting multiple symptom KILLER.

Just a thought. I have run MY Prime Base fall on this premise.

My $0.02

Mike
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:19 AM
cosmicfish cosmicfish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmartin798 View Post
There are many maintenance needs that still need to be done, so a staff of 25 is not unreasonable. Take the geothermal power plant for instance. The main power was provided, as described in canon, by a kind of binary power plant...
I have no problem assigning staff to the power plant, that's just not what I understood as "structure".
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Old 12-28-2016, 10:24 AM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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The interesting thing for me on the actual Prime Base supplement is it seems to lean towards the project as being good hearted but less than competent.

The only entrance had that little security area which wouldn't have been much use in defence.

Most bunkers by the time someone got to the actual entrance it would be over.

And unlike other scenarios there are no automated weapons or other further out posts.

As such I think the project as designed has quite an interesting feel. Most of the Recon and MARS teams were scattered with seemingly little support all across the land. Whilst the lucky few were allowed to have a lifestyle most likely equal or better than they had before in their sanctum sanctorum.

As such it's not surprising that Prime Base descended into a poorly defended refugee camp and disaster. One wonders if the Phoenix teams were created as a secret way of making sure this bad situation didn't go to far wrong?
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Old 12-28-2016, 02:57 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
Getting back the size of Prime Base. I go with the philosophy "It is better to have something or someone and not need them than to not have them and to need them" I'd make the base very resource heavy. If it needs one guy to do a job there are three people to cover it. If it might need a skill set there is certainly two people there to do it. If it would never in a million years need such a person there is one just waiting.
Let’s see if I can post in colors on this board. I’m just cutting Cosmicfish’s full post, putting it in word and putting my replies in. Let’s see if this works.

As an observation, this is in direct contrast to both the "reality" of the Project and the feel of the game: scarcity was always supposed to be there, the Project was always trying to do too much with too little. Why make Prime Base so abundant?

First off the “scarcity” of the project is only relative. The project is very well funded, well equipped, well staffed. They have enough resources that they can build bolt holes with the intention of abandoning them. So a blast resistant structure that can house a team for several decades. It has a fusion power plan, a radio communications external sensors and a number of other systems. A bolt hole is a non trivial cost and is just going to get abandoned.

Each team has two or three expensive vehicles. They have expensive personal equipment. The resources seem scare is because they are spread very thin. Plus it’s a single team or perhaps a very few that are awake. It isn’t even the whole project that is awake, just a tiny fraction of it.




Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
But it will still need a dozen recon teams and half a dozen MARS teams. These will be charged with base security during the inactive phase, as well as scouting upon activation. That's about 180 folks right there.
Other than actual security for the base (which should be well less than 6 full MARS teams!), why have all this? Seriously, they have the entire rest of the Project to go out and do these things, why expose the HQ when you can call in a nearby team to do the same thing? There is no good reason for the HQ to be anything but an HQ.

There are lots of good reasons. There are many ways to skin a cat. There isn’t any single right answer. I don’t claim to have the right answer. I claim to have answers that work for me and the way our local folks run MP. One reason is that it’s the most protected place in the project, so it might make sense to put other critical resources there. It might be a case where the planners thought there would be synergy between resources if they were collocated. It might be economy. They can only afford two really big bases, so they need to hold everything in them (Prime and back up). It might be security. Keep two locations secret will be hard enough, keeping a dozen or more becomes exponentially harder. I can come up with more reasons but that should be enough.




Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
I figure each tower gets the equivalent of an engine company and an ambulance crew so about 8 people. This is multiplied by three shifts so that is 24 people per tower, so if there are four towers that's about 100 more. There will also be a hazardous materials response team staged for the industrial areas, an EOD team for the ordnance area so let's say another fifty total for those groups.
There is no way Prime Base or the Project can afford dedicated fire and ambulance crews. Think about how Navy ships operate - everyone learns how to fight fires and you trust that the minimal distance to the medical bay is short enough to not require dedicated EMT's just for transport. Likewise, your hazmat teams are likely to be your regular maintenance staff - you don't have space for such specialists who are otherwise likely to spend all their time training for disasters that don't come.

EMS does far more than just transports. They provide initial treatment, get vitals push drugs provide IV access, support respiration with O2. Also a warship has a dedicated set of damage control people, the Navy had a whole rating for them: DC. Yes everyone is trained onboard ship because damage control is an all hands evolution but there are still people dedicated to it. Of all the resources in Prime Base the ones that are closest to being irreplaceable are the people. There is an old saying that when someone dies a library burns. This is even more true at prime base. First most people there are experts. They represent a human technical library. In addition, billions of other libraries were burned during the war so each person at Prime Base represents a substantial fraction of all human expertise left on Earth. Putting a lot of resources into ensuring the safety and health of these people isn’t a foolish use of those resources.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
A crew of a couple of dozen to run the diggers when they are operational. These guys will keep the basic structure of the underground buildings together otherwise
Do you really need a couple of dozen people to maintain the structure? For the relatively short period of time Prime Base is expected to operate in isolation, the structure should require minimal maintenance, perhaps none at all.

A lot depends upon where the base is, but consider this. The base is in a MINE. A mine that is in rock that may shift, or suffer from faulting or other events. So not only does the base structure need to be constantly inspected and dealt with, but the caverns that enclose the base need to be constantly monitored and inspected and such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
A fully staffed hospital, ready to uncork and get sent someplace to set up, but also to deal with anything and everything within the base.
The base hospital needs to serve the base. There is no need for Prime Base to also serve as a general hospital.

There needs to be that sort of resource available to the project. There are pros and cons to it being at Prime Base

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
I'm going to have to look over the operational people for command staffs and such, but I feel the base should be able to handle 3-5 regional level incidents at one time-These would be floods, or wildfires or epidemics or military campaigns. They should also be able to juggle a dozen "minor" problems. This means full commo for the bandwidth needed for all these simultaneous events 24 hours a day.

So I think 500 for the major events and 120 for the minor issues, so about 650 all together.
Why would Prime Base be handling these issues, and what would they be doing, anyway? Prime Base can coordinate a response, but they don't need 100 people to remotely manage a wildfire. I think you need to define more exactly what these people are doing, but I think C&C is likely on the order of 50-100 general staff plus a small pool of experts.

Why would Prime Base be handling these issues? Because it is the Command and Control center for the Project. The Project is designed to help people and people will need the most help during disaster. If the US Government and State governments have ceased to exist only the Project has a regional, let along continental network of communications and resources. So if the Project is to have any value above local levels it better be able to handle regional crisis. If Prime Base isn’t handling things like this why does it exist?

As for how many people it takes to run a regional disaster I can say it generally takes a lot more than most people think. Having been involved in the responses to several regional or national disasters including the Missouri State response to Katrina and the St Louis responses to several severe storms and power outages as well as assisting with response to flooding in Panama which knocked out most of their water treatment I can say first hand that 30 people per shift is going to be very tight for a lot of events, remember the 100 people is for extended 24 h


Quote:
Originally Posted by tsofian
So with all this its around 2000 people, plus families, so maybe 3000 total?
What is the total size of the Project? And how many links are there in the command chain? 2000 operational staff is huge for a Project even as large as 50,000, even if it is the only level of command. Throw in regional commands and group commands (both of which exist in canon) and you quickly have a Project that is all HQ and no line.

3000 people is the crew of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. For comparison, the USS Blue Ridge has an operational staff of 842 to run the ship and a command staff of 599 to run the 60-70 ships, 300 aircraft, and 40,000 personnel of the US 7th Fleet*. The mission of the Project was expected to be lower tempo than large-scale war, and the resources were expected to be lean or outright scarce. 2000 people is just too much for the Project to have sitting in the desert listening to radios.

The battlegroup analogy is not a particularly good one. Each ship has a CIC, each carrier has a command staff as well. I also disagree that resources were to be outright scare. There were supply bases and other resources. YES in game play resources are scare, but that is because “The Project” doesn’t exist as a going concern. This wasn’t the way things were supposed to be. The fragmentation of the Project makes for interesting game play, but it was not the Plan.

And as a note... there is really no good reason for Prime Base to do more than national-level command, and lots of great reasons for them NOT to do anything else. Everything else in the Project is compartmented into little sections for security, there is no sense in having the national HQ also be responsible for local assistance and national transportation and logistics and everything else in the original Prime Base. All those entrances and traffic make the base a target. Prime Base should be a few hundred people buried in the desert with radios.

That is your opinion and you are welcome to it. I disagree with it. The Project is to support all sorts of field team activities. They won’t micromanage but they are the “on call” service for the teams. Yes there will be intermediate levels of command and control, including Group command teams and probably regional or branch command groups. That being said Prime Base is the point where the top level of C3I is found.
The Project is compartmentalized prewar and in the early postwar period. I don’t think it can perform its mission once the Project is active and maintain its secretive nature.


Someone gets sick? Have a separate hospital. If the site gets compromised, you lose a hospital and not a headquarters. Need some big planes? Keep 'em at a dedicated air base. If someone targets it, you lose some planes and not your entire command staff. The Pentagon does not include manufacturing and the White House does not handle local law enforcement beyond securing its own perimeter, and there are good reasons for both of these things.


The more bases and facilities you have the more likely one will get stumbled on pre war. It is a trade off. There is no “right” answer. If you have separate hospital and someone gets sick at Prime Base they can’t get treated because they can’t get to the hospital.

EDIT: I know that the canonical Prime Base could do all those things, but I think that is the result of the designers wanting to make things easier on the players - all of those resources in one location make it a lot easier for a handful of people to "run" the Project if you don't think about it too hard. But it makes zero sense from the perspective of someone designing a command structure with the expectation that it will actually be used as designed. And as a bonus, the fewer assets present at Prime, the fewer assets LOST in the fall of the base and therefore available to the team in resurrecting the Project.

*: Yes, there are additional "command" assets NOT on the ship, but the Fleet is supposed to be able to be commanded from the Blue Ridge for extended periods without land-based resources.
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  #11  
Old 12-29-2016, 06:30 AM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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Of course an interesting thought is did anyone actually expect the Prime Base to survive?
Bear with me on this.
Prime Base would have begun planning in say the 1960s and construction in the 1970s. Back in those days it was feasible to build a bunker that couldn't just be blown up by a couple of nukes. Cheyenne Mountain could take a 30 meg hit if it hit about a mile away. By the 80s most Russian nukes could be dropped within a couple of hundred meters. These included those fired from a submarine hiding off the coast of California. So Prime Base for all its amazing sophistication was as likely as not to vanish in a burst of light as soon as the end war kicked off. Perhaps mistaken by a Russian spy sat for a NORAD base or some such thing being constructed. You can't protect anything really from 30 million tonnes of TNT a couple of streets away.

As such the staff on board would probably be a bit more "second rank and disposable" than the actual key Morrow project staff. Most likely when they weren't killed within the first hours, never mind the months of the war they were delighted. It may also explain why they started saving the world so disasterously.

To beat the power of the nuke, the only real solutions were dispersal and secrecy. So like any government the Morrow project would have probably invested in disparate sites all over the place. A small regional airport with surprisingly large runways, a local hospital with a large number of speciality wards and a nearby solar farm. These sites might need some basic strenghtening and have really good air filtration systems. But mostly they would just be secret and dispersed. This can be seen in scenarios such as Starnaman.

As such Prime Base may just be a very fancy, expensive, white elephant an example of a much older version of the project. The actual Project maybe in far better shape than the players realise.

Finally why would you build the actual headquarters in the continential USA? For obvious reasons this is an option the US government wouldn't have had. But supposing the actual hq of the project were linked via dedicated land cables to regional hqs etc it could be anywhere, far from potential hits. Perhaps Antarctica or a remote Carribean island. Maybe the actual leadership is still slumbering many miles away waiting too for their signal?
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:33 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Of course an interesting thought is did anyone actually expect the Prime Base to survive?
Bear with me on this.
Prime Base would have begun planning in say the 1960s and construction in the 1970s. Back in those days it was feasible to build a bunker that couldn't just be blown up by a couple of nukes. Cheyenne Mountain could take a 30 meg hit if it hit about a mile away. By the 80s most Russian nukes could be dropped within a couple of hundred meters. These included those fired from a submarine hiding off the coast of California. So Prime Base for all its amazing sophistication was as likely as not to vanish in a burst of light as soon as the end war kicked off. Perhaps mistaken by a Russian spy sat for a NORAD base or some such thing being constructed. You can't protect anything really from 30 million tonnes of TNT a couple of streets away.

As such the staff on board would probably be a bit more "second rank and disposable" than the actual key Morrow project staff. Most likely when they weren't killed within the first hours, never mind the months of the war they were delighted. It may also explain why they started saving the world so disasterously.

To beat the power of the nuke, the only real solutions were dispersal and secrecy. So like any government the Morrow project would have probably invested in disparate sites all over the place. A small regional airport with surprisingly large runways, a local hospital with a large number of speciality wards and a nearby solar farm. These sites might need some basic strenghtening and have really good air filtration systems. But mostly they would just be secret and dispersed. This can be seen in scenarios such as Starnaman.

As such Prime Base may just be a very fancy, expensive, white elephant an example of a much older version of the project. The actual Project maybe in far better shape than the players realise.

Finally why would you build the actual headquarters in the continential USA? For obvious reasons this is an option the US government wouldn't have had. But supposing the actual hq of the project were linked via dedicated land cables to regional hqs etc it could be anywhere, far from potential hits. Perhaps Antarctica or a remote Carribean island. Maybe the actual leadership is still slumbering many miles away waiting too for their signal?
Seems like a lot of work for a stalking horse.
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Old 12-29-2016, 10:50 AM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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I don't think Sardonicus is suggesting that Prime Base was purposely built to be a stalking horse, but rather that the changing technology climate made the original design less secure and as such its role was changed. Just like his example of Cheyenne Mountain where NORAD Command has been moved and Cheyenne Mountain was redesignated the NORAD Alternate Command. It is possible that the Prime Base we are discussing was redesignated as the Alternate MP Command and that a second location is the actual MP Command. Kind of like how the books say there are two bases.
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Old 12-29-2016, 12:56 PM
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I can see the construction of a new hole in Nevada attracting Soviet interest so, of course, it must be a new military installation and thus deserving a couple of MIRVs.

Perhaps it would be more logical to go with a mine that is worked for several years and then closed.

As far as if this is THE Prime Base, or the Alternative Prime Base, perhaps it is the facility were Bruce parked all of the old Council of Tomorrow as they reached the end of their usefulness, just gives the PD more ways to entertain the players...
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Old 12-30-2016, 01:53 AM
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I am different from everyone else. I structure my vision of the Project as a Corporation and not a Military.

It has Departments and Divisions, but the only Branches that have a military hierarchy are Recon and MARS.

While a base or Prime Base has a commander, this person is running the day to day stuff; not the strategic. The Project has a Board of Directors meant to be thawed as the precursor to the Five Year plan.

So I am fully in line with things not going like a General or Admiral might have done it. It is a corporation that organizes and prepares stunningly well; yet may stumble on implementation.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:02 AM
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In late '70s with the ghost of Vietnam still influencing the US military strategic thinking, the army placed the research and reference material derived from its experiences in WW2 about military government and civil affairs in the deepest, darkest library shelf it could find with the attached note "Contents non-viewable". The US government, the US military and, especially, the US Army was 'out of the nation building business'. The few experienced servicemen involved in such endeavors would be reluctant to include that on a resume, making it difficult for the MP to recruit them because that skill set, nation building, is exactly what the MP needs in a five year, post war environment.

Fast forward to 2003. In January, two months before the invasion, the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA) was created as a caretaker administration once the Iraq government was dissolved with the 2003 invasion. Those dust encased books about US military government and the transition to civil authority of Germany post WW2 sitting on the last shelf were found and opened. Once the military mission was accomplished, the Coalition Provisional Authority was installed. The reconstruction of Iraq began primarily through private contracts. After fourteen months the Iraqi Interim Government was established. As of 2013, the reconstruction of Iraq continued and was judged to be a failure due to corruption and insurgent activities.

In 2000s + the MP has a larger pool to draw from of experienced servicemen involved in military and civil affairs than what was available in the 1970s and 1980s. As written in the 3rd edition of MP there was no regional command structure, C&C was located, exclusively, at Prime Base. In 4th edition, the addition of the regional command structure was added. Now, the teams would coordinate activities through a regional commander who was under the supervision of Prime Base. This layer would be have many personnel that had military or contract experience in the M&CA activities of the Iraq war and reconstruction. IMO, this was implemented as a last resort mission "fail-safe" in case PB (and BuPB) was (again) destroyed. A regional commander (typically, a general or field grade officer with M&CA command experience) would know the wake-up codes of some of the teams (including a few group commanders) within his region to activate. From one regional base and command team the process of rebuilding the US could begin without PB. The overall process would take longer but it could be done.
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Old 12-30-2016, 03:05 PM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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In the real world it can be interesting to consider that there were only really two kinds of bunkers. The military ones like Titan Silos or aircraft shelters on base. Who's only basis was to give some key staff and equipment are passable chance of surviving a surprise attack.

And then command and control bunkers, who's sole purpose was just that command and control.

They took information in, processed it and sent instructions back out again.

In the UK the old government HQ bunker just outside of London is now a museum and it's an interesting view point into the thinking of how these things worked. It's pretty big built over 3 levels (so about the size of one of the 15 inner buildings in Cheyenne mountain so 6% the size). It would have had space for up to about 600 staff.
And would have operated like a warship (a submarine most likely no one gets on or off).

This would have meant.

1 Hot bunking and a very small locker for your belongings if you were lucky.
2 Strict rationing on water (about a litre a day and chemical toilets)
3 MREs the only source of food
4 A medical bay as opposed to any sort of hospital.
5 All staff would have been focused on the task of getting information via telex, radio then processing it, then back out again. Or actually maintaining the bunker (mechanics, electricians etc) or being in charge of services in the outside world (e.g. one person being supreme commander for all the police services for millions of citizens).
6 Most military staff would be signal corp communciation engineers. With a very limited role in maintaining order and providing military services so to speak. According to interviews I've read about soldiers on these dutys during these exercises, the arsenal of the bunker would have been a locked case containing 2-4 38 Webley revolvers of WW2 vintage and maybe 100 rounds of pistol ammo.
In theory other troops would be guarding the perimeter around the bunker. Not counting senior officers in the bunker its self etc.


Obviously this is nothing like Prime Base, which was meant to stay open for 5 years. Most bunkers of any size were expected to stay locked down and operating for no more than 3 months.

But it offers some interesting thoughts. The space in a bunker is amongst the most expensive in the world, so it can't be wasted. If you park one v-150 or even a humvee its taking space for maybe a week of week for the residents or bed space for 20.

As such it increases my view that Prime Base was a big white elephant and the actual project may still be slumbering else where.

http://www.secretnuclearbunker.com/t...-e321d028-a99d
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:22 AM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Originally Posted by ArmySGT. View Post
I am different from everyone else. I structure my vision of the Project as a Corporation and not a Military.

It has Departments and Divisions, but the only Branches that have a military hierarchy are Recon and MARS.

While a base or Prime Base has a commander, this person is running the day to day stuff; not the strategic. The Project has a Board of Directors meant to be thawed as the precursor to the Five Year plan.

So I am fully in line with things not going like a General or Admiral might have done it. It is a corporation that organizes and prepares stunningly well; yet may stumble on implementation.
I can see this, and I agree
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:51 AM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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Yup I tend to agree with Army Sgt, but I think one of the issues is who's actually in charge?

I'm not sure the MARS major or general or whatever his rank is would automatically knuckle under the commands of the CEO of the science division.

Who would have the highest authorising password to operate the various items of equipment?

It's an interesting question, I mean in essence there would be no external authority to sort these things out.

I think it leads to an intriguingly chaotic setting.

What happens when the science division demands 50 MARS troopers fight a suicidal rear action so they can evacuate a really important lab.

or conversely[LIST]


What happens when the local MARS commander decides he's going to draft all the agricultural experts as infantry in his brilliant campaign to crush Krell once and for all.

As the team wake up the project and its component parts is it stirring up a dormant hornets nest?
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Old 12-31-2016, 04:21 PM
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These are really good questions and I am wiling to be that the Project gamed through these and many more many times, using both early AI and live role players.

This is one of the deals Prime Base might well have been designed and built to handle. Being outside the issue they may be more objective, they may also have more and better data to make decisions.

Here is how I see it going down. There is a local or regional incident. There is some confusion over what local resource will be in charge. Prime Base decides and sends out the chains of command. In certain circumstances Prime Base may start issuing orders. Like yep, the lab has to be saved and if it costs a few MARS folks the effort is worth it. Conversely if a MARS group has a chance to put paid to a big bad but needs some extra muscle, that is why everyone in the Project has combat training and a weapon. Yes the harvest might be delayed but the brains at Prime have determined the effort is again worth the downside.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:56 PM
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Add Janitors, catering staff, hydoponics, assorted other folks
This is one of the mysteries of TMP.

How do you get several hundred people to give up their lives, families, and futures to be a janitor, line cook, waitress, launderer, and dozens of other low paying service jobs.

I get all the smart kids with degrees in the cool jobs, but where do these service skills people come from?

I have only one explanation. They are poor or otherwise at a disadvantage in society. So the project hires them by doing something for them. They disappear into the Project and their family gets a big life insurance pay off. Their children are accepted into great universities, maybe with an eye to making Project members of them too.
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Old 01-01-2017, 12:33 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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This is one of the mysteries of TMP.

How do you get several hundred people to give up their lives, families, and futures to be a janitor, line cook, waitress, launderer, and dozens of other low paying service jobs.
Having done a lot of those jobs in the service I'm not so sure its that servile. The cooking staff certainly doesn't have to be meanials.

Terry
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Old 01-01-2017, 05:59 PM
tsofian tsofian is offline
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Default Digging Machines

It dawned on me that the digging machines will almost certainly be completely disassembled. They know that the tunnel out won't be dug for 3-5 years from the end of the war. There will be a period of years between the completion of the base and the beginning of the war that the machines will not be needed. This means there will be X=3 to 5 years when the machine will either need a lot of upkeep. I think it will be easier to take it apart and then put it back together. Just a thought
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Old 01-01-2017, 07:20 PM
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It dawned on me that the digging machines will almost certainly be completely disassembled. They know that the tunnel out won't be dug for 3-5 years from the end of the war. There will be a period of years between the completion of the base and the beginning of the war that the machines will not be needed. This means there will be X=3 to 5 years when the machine will either need a lot of upkeep. I think it will be easier to take it apart and then put it back together. Just a thought
Depends... Do you think they are going to have the 50 ton and 100 ton cranes to move components and assemble the combined components? These look like there is hundreds involved in the minute by minute running of one of these.

Last edited by ArmySGT.; 01-01-2017 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 08:59 PM
mmartin798 mmartin798 is offline
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Another consideration is the technology in the tunnel boring machine or subterrene. Experiments in the 80's using a fission reactor melting lithium to heat rods used to melt and fractures the stone and soil in front showed some promise. The Project has fusion reactors and laser technology. It is possible that a Project built borer could be arguably simpler than modern borers.
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:58 PM
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I just can't see the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) being a viable idea for deployment post War. These require hundreds of people. A concrete plant to make the wall sections. Dozens of dump trucks and drivers to remove spoil. The power requirement could be met by the Base systems. I get it before the War, when the place is being built, just not as a plan for after.
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:22 AM
Project_Sardonicus Project_Sardonicus is offline
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Having done a lot of those jobs in the service I'm not so sure its that servile. The cooking staff certainly doesn't have to be meanials.

Terry
I think everyone would have multiple roles, post apocalypse safe real estate will be the only real estate with any kind of value.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:00 AM
Matt W Matt W is offline
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I don't know if I've posted this link before, but this seems an easier way to build Prime Base: take an existing hole and put a roof on it

http://www.evolo.us/architecture/sky...round-society/
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:27 AM
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I'm not sure the diggers will need some of the infrastructure they usually do. The spoils can be mechanically handled by conveyor belts. Prewar pits could have been dug for all the spoils and they are just dumped the debris in them. So instead of a Conga Line of dump trucks going to a site miles away they just run the belt from the digger to the pit. The cranes and everything could be in the caverns. Heavy lifting gear isn't a bad thing to have on hand for a lot of reasons, so it isn't unlikely that they have that already.

I don't agree with the cut and cover construction method. It is way too public.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:03 AM
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First off the “scarcity” of the project is only relative. The project is very well funded, well equipped, well staffed.
The scarcity is indeed relative... relative to the immensity of the task before them. I do not disagree that the Project must be vastly well funded, but if they had the entire GDP of the US to work with it would still be a fraction of what was needed to rebuild the country. Every resource must be apportioned and used as efficiently as possible if the Project is to succeed.


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They have enough resources that they can build bolt holes with the intention of abandoning them. So a blast resistant structure that can house a team for several decades. It has a fusion power plan, a radio communications external sensors and a number of other systems. A bolt hole is a non trivial cost and is just going to get abandoned.
The bolt hole is abandoned because there is no better alternative - Saturn V rockets cost more than a billion (2016) dollars apiece and were completely disposable, but no one had a cheaper or reusable alternative so that's what we used. Having the bolt holes doesn't mean the Project can waste resources, it just means that those particular resources had to be expendable.

That having been said, I always presumed that the equipment in the bolt holes would be harvested later if possible, and the structure itself repurposed. It just cannot be used as a team base because nuclear survival bunkers are not inherently well-defensible against non-nuclear combatants.

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"There is no good reason for the HQ to be anything but an HQ."

There are lots of good reasons... One reason is that it’s the most protected place in the project, so it might make sense to put other critical resources there. It might be a case where the planners thought there would be synergy between resources if they were collocated. It might be economy. They can only afford two really big bases, so they need to hold everything in them (Prime and back up). It might be security. Keep two locations secret will be hard enough, keeping a dozen or more becomes exponentially harder. I can come up with more reasons but that should be enough.
1) It may be the most protected place, but you're putting all your eggs in one basket and doing so at the cost of operational security - all that traffic means that all those resources could not be used without drawing attention to the HQ. This is not even hypothetical, this is exactly how Prime Base went down in canon.
2) Synergy requires co-location only for detail work. At the level of national command, there should not be any work detailed enough to require more than radio.
3) Economy does not appear to be an issue - while the Project needs to be efficient with its resources, a handful of medium bases does not seem to be vastly more costly than a single large base, and the advantage in security seems substantial.
4) The Project is already keeping thousands of sites secret, including at least a dozen canon sites that would seem to be sizable. I would argue that the difficulty in keeping a site secret goes up exponentially with size, and a 3000-person Prime Base would be impossible to conceal pre-war.

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EMS does far more than just transports. They provide initial treatment, get vitals push drugs provide IV access, support respiration with O2.
Sure they do. But hospitals don't have EMS to get people from offices to the surgery. EMS is about extending medical care into the field, and if you take away the "in the field" part then you lose the value of dedicated personnel. Give a few people in each section additional training (First Responder or EMT) and spread some crash kits around.

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Also a warship has a dedicated set of damage control people, the Navy had a whole rating for them: DC.
Yes, but it only has a handful and that is for a ship that is explicitly expecting to take damage. The Project is expecting to survive by stealth and cannot hold the base against any enemy able to inflict significant damage on the facility itself.

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Of all the resources in Prime Base the ones that are closest to being irreplaceable are the people. There is an old saying that when someone dies a library burns. This is even more true at prime base. First most people there are experts. They represent a human technical library. In addition, billions of other libraries were burned during the war so each person at Prime Base represents a substantial fraction of all human expertise left on Earth. Putting a lot of resources into ensuring the safety and health of these people isn’t a foolish use of those resources.
That's why I don't think you should spend resources on those people. You have a hundred dedicated personnel to service a population of roughly 3000 who have presumably already been screened and prepped to be healthy and reasonably athletic. How many of those can be expected to die in the course of a decade of operations? Maybe 1%? Even if you couldn't save them, it seems like an extra 100 skilled staff would be a better use and would more than make up for the expected loss of 30 people. And making emergency services a secondary job for other staff should save the majority of those 30 anyway.

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A lot depends upon where the base is, but consider this. The base is in a MINE. A mine that is in rock that may shift, or suffer from faulting or other events. So not only does the base structure need to be constantly inspected and dealt with, but the caverns that enclose the base need to be constantly monitored and inspected and such.
It sounds like the base was poorly located. "Survivability" can't just be about the nukes, it has to be about everything. If you're siting a huge underground bunker that needs to remain sealed in a geologically active area then you're already in a lot of trouble.

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There needs to be that sort of resource available to the project. There are pros and cons to it being at Prime Base
The base needs a hospital or clinic to serve its own population, but I cannot think of any pros that come near to the cons of integrating a general-access hospital with your command center.

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Why would Prime Base be handling these issues? Because it is the Command and Control center for the Project. The Project is designed to help people and people will need the most help during disaster. If the US Government and State governments have ceased to exist only the Project has a regional, let along continental network of communications and resources. So if the Project is to have any value above local levels it better be able to handle regional crisis. If Prime Base isn’t handling things like this why does it exist?
I misspoke a little. The Project would be coordinating responses... but that coordination should not require more than a couple of people per "regional issue" simply because there is not much that the national HQ can do besides dispatch teams... which is already part of their ordinary jobs. If you really want these people to be effective beyond ordering teams to relocate then they need to be located outside Prime Base where they can get their hands dirty.

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As for how many people it takes to run a regional disaster I can say it generally takes a lot more than most people think. Having been involved in [/COLOR]the responses to several regional or national disasters including the Missouri State response to Katrina and the St Louis responses to several severe storms and power outages as well as assisting with response to flooding in Panama which knocked out most of their water treatment I can say first hand that 30 people per shift is going to be very tight for a lot of events, remember the 100 people is for extended 24 h
The response by the Project to such a disaster is going to be very different than a contemporary response. The resources available are going to be very different as are the "acceptable" options. A Project response is going to tend strongly towards evacuation and with poor non-Project communications the majority will need to be coordinated on the ground.

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That is your opinion and you are welcome to it. I disagree with it. The Project is to support all sorts of field team activities. They won’t micromanage but they are the “on call” service for the teams. Yes there will be intermediate levels of command and control, including Group command teams and probably regional or branch command groups. That being said Prime Base is the point where the top level of C3I is found.
The Project is compartmentalized prewar and in the early postwar period. I don’t think it can perform its mission once the Project is active and maintain its secretive nature.
You asked for opinions, I'm giving one. I have no particular expectation that you will do anything with it.

I am glad that you expect intermediate command structures, but have you done any accounting to figure out how large they (and the Project) will be? I have always worked with the assumption that total Project staffing was in the 10-50 thousand range, and in that size a 3000-person national base seems like huge overkill - too many Chiefs, not enough Indians. Every person you have at Prime Base is another person you can't have in the field (just like every person who is a full-time firefighter in Prime Base takes a spot that could have had a scientist or MARS teamer or comms staff or...), so you really need to put Prime Base in the context of the Project at large, something NOT done anywhere in 3ed.

As to post-war operations, it depends on what is there. There is no reason for a command and control center to EVER "go public". That is why I endorse keeping Prime Base as it was originally described in 3ed - a small command and control base with no other functions. It can do this just fine for decades without ever opening a door anyone would notice. When you add in all these other groups, it exposes the HQ precisely because they cannot operate long in the dark and therefore drag the most vulnerable part of the Project into the dangerous light.

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The more bases and facilities you have the more likely one will get stumbled on pre war. It is a trade off. There is no “right” answer. If you have separate hospital and someone gets sick at Prime Base they can’t get treated because they can’t get to the hospital.
The first part I already addressed. The second part assumes that removing a "national" hospital from Prime Base would somehow prevent having a hospital sized and staffed appropriately to handle its own needs. It doesn't.
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