Caching Techniques

CACHING TECHNIQUES

U.S. ARMY, JOHN F. KENNEDY SPECIAL WARFARE CENTER

Caching is the process of hiding equipment or materials in a secure storage place with the view to future recovery for operational use. The ultimate success of caching may well depend upon attention to detail, that is, professional competence that m ay seem of minor importance to the untrained eye. Security factors, such as cover for the caching party, sterility of the items cached, and removal of even the slightest trace of the caching operations are vital. Highly important, too, are the technical factors that govern the preservation of the items in usable condition and the recording of data essential for recovery. Successful caching entails careful adherence to the basic principles of clandestine operations, as well as familiarity with the technicalities of caching.

Section 1

Caching Considerations
Caching considerations that are vital to the success of the caching operation may be done in a variety of operational situations. For example, cached supplies can meet the emergency needs of personnel who may be barred from their normal supply sources by sudden developments or who may need travel documents and extra funds for quick escape. Caching can help solve the supply problems of long-term operations conducted far from a secure base.

Caching also can provide for anticipated needs of wartime operations in areas likely to be overrun by the enemy.

PLANNING FOR A CACHING OPERATION

Caching involves selecting items to be cached, procuring those items, and selecting a cache site. Selection of the items to be cached requires a close estimate of what will be needed by particular units for particular operations. Procurement of the items usually presents no special problems. In fact, the relative ease of procurement before an emergency arises is one of the prime considerations in favor of caching. When selecting a cache site, planners should always ensure that the site is accessible not only for emplacement, but also for recovery. When planning a caching operation, the planner must consider seven basic factors.

1. Purpose and Contents of the Cache

Planners must determine the purpose and contents of each cache because theses basic factors influence the location of the cache, as well as the method of hiding. For instance, small barter items can be cached at any accessible and secure site because they can be concealed easily on the person once recovered.

However, it would be difficult to conceal rifles for a Guerrilla Band once recovered. Therefor, this site must be in an isolated area where the band can establish at least temporary control. Certain items, such as medical stock, have limited shelf life and require rotation periodically or special storage considerations, necessitating easy access to service these items. Sometimes it is impossible to locate a cache in the most convenient place for an intended user. Planners must compromise between logistical objectives and actual possibilities when selecting a cache site. Security is always the overriding consideration.

2. Anticipated Enemy Action

In planning the caching operation, planners must consider the capabilities of any intelligence or security services not participating in the operation. They should also consider the potential hazards the enemy and its witting or unwitting accomplice s present. If caching is done for wartime operational purposes, its ultimate success will depend largely on whether the planners anticipate the various obstacles to recovery, which the enemy and its accomplices will create if the enemy occupies the area. What are the possibilities that the enemy will preempt an ideal site for one reason or another and deny access to it? A vacant field surrounded by brush may seem ideal for a particular cache because it is near several highways. But such a location may also invite the enemy to locate an ordnance depot where the cache is buried.

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