Led by Gen. Lens Rekeene, the Roughnecks have a difficult mission. The Fakir sector is close enough to the core that if they are too successful, they will quickly be overwhelmed and stamped out. If they are not successful enough, they will not be able to protect Alliance High Command at Echo Base.
The majority of the Roughnecks are not professional soldiers. There are a few fighter pilots and officers who enlisted before Yavin, but most of the warriors lack formal military training. While that allows for more lateral thinking and innovative problem-solving, some recruits have not been properly vetted and so are not up to their tasks. Add to that the fact that the Alliance is channeling the vast majority of material to Echo Base and to the fleet, and the problems facing the Roughnecks become apparent: supply and recruitment.
The Roughnecks consist of eight cells made up of five to ten members and the general staff at Home Base. Each cell has its own ship and possibly some fighter support, and each one acts independently, receiving orders via hologram in most cases. The secrecy ensures that, should one cell be captured, the rest of the organization would remain safe. Cells may arrange to board Home Base to resupply, but such appointments are only made by accessing a communications satellite in the Flankers system.