Hi. I wanted to make this so that you, the reader can have a place to get information on communications procedures. These are not set in stone and mandatory, but they will help get everyone on the same page so that I'm not shouting "duck", and you're replying "鸭".
This guide will be divided into two bigger sections, 1st one for general comms, and the 2nd one for specialized comms, which includes JTAC/FAC, RTO , and FO. That was a lie.
For introductory reading I very strongly suggest you read the abbreviations guide as well as Badger's guide to Task Force Radio
General comms procedure for squadleaders, 2iC's and the common Rifleman.
- Duplex: Firstly I'd like to introduce the concept of a Half-Duplex network. A full duplex system would be something like a phone, where both parties can speak at the same time. In a half duplex network, you can only receive ortransmit, never both at the same time. This means that if two people transmit at the same time a collision occurs and the receiving devices will receive random information. The radios we use are in fact full duplex, but this is somewhat unrealistic, not to mention useless, since most of us know what it's like to have more than one person speaking at the same time, so for intents and purposes, I'll write this as if we're on a half duplex net.
- Transmitting starts the moment you press that button, and doesn't end until you let go. Receiving, is whenever you're, well... receiving some else's transmission. Pretty straight forward.
- Brevity and clarity are very important. Don't say anything that doesn't need to be said, and don't work around words. Be straightforward and direct. Simple words and sentences. Like this.
- Confirmation of orders is important as often is a read-back of them, so the person giving the orders is assured you interpreted it correctly.
- Intra-squad comms on the short range can be way more relaxed than this, just remember that you can fuck about in the radio, but try to refrain from doing it during mission critical moments, keep to direct chat at those times.
- How to start a transmission: In very simple terms a basic form for a transmission is Whom the message is addressed to, Who is transmitting, followed by your message, and a Qualifier
Qualifiers: You know what these are- the little words at the end of you transmission that give other people on the net and idea of what follows next.
- Over- I have finished my transmission and expect a response from the other party.(If this was applied perfectly you would never join in on a conversation after an "over" unless you were referenced in the transmission)
- Out- I have finished my transmission, expect no response and the net is once again available.
- Break- Is for when a conversation is over, but you wish to start another one(Example: "Charlie, Platoon copy that, Break, Delta, Platoon sitrep please over"
- Send- Can also be used as a qualifier, as follows "Charlie, Platoon send".
- Wait- I require a few second to provide a response.
- Wait out- I require more than a few seconds to provide a response. Net is now free while the other party waits.
Other pro words: : Radio terms of common usage that you might see employed
- Interrogative- Used somewhere in the transmission to clarify that you are in fact asking a question. You shouldn't use this every time, but whenever you feel you can't adequately transmit the tone of a question on the net.
- Break! Break! Break!- Your require silence on the net to transmit a priority/emergency message.
- Silence! Silence! Silence!- Silence is now established upon the net and no one may transmit. This requires authentication by the transmitter, more on that later. Silence Lifted- Ceases the net silence, also requires authentication.
- WILCO- Will comply. Pretty straight forward, I have received your order and will follow it. Never to be used along with Roger, since the meaning of it is included in WILCO.
- Long Message- Used when you have to transmit a message 20 seconds or longer. Correct usage is as follows. "Charlie, Platoon long message over" "Platoon, Charlie send [or] roger/copy over" Platoon now waits at least five seconds so that anyone with emergency messages may transmit them, and proceeds to send his message.
- Authentication is something we don't use, but could be nice for the more immersive ones like Digby's with their gigantic briefing documents. Using solely "Authenticate" is an optional challenge for the other station to authenticate, and to reply to the challenge or to simply authenticate from the get go use "Authentication is ..." Example: "All sections, Platoon, Authentication is Texas . Silence! Silence Silence!"
- NATO Phonetic Alphabet: Very useful to know. Link here
1- "Oh noes a BTR/BMP/enemy infantry/unicorn has shown up. Whaddo?"
Fear not, I have the answers you seek:
- Say WHAT you've spotted, preferably while alerting everyone to that fact; saying "BTR!" or "Contact" over the shortrange is usually guaranteed to get everyone's attention.
- Say WHERE it is, at this stage you can provide information on where everyone else should orient themselves to see the contact. This information can be provided in direction like "Left" "Right "Front", in cardinal directions like "South" "East-north-east" and in degrees.
- Give a DISTANCE. This does not need to be precise.
- If you have time, expand on the info you've already given. If you said "Armoured vehicle" at the beginning of your transmission, this is the time to say whether it's a BTR, a BMP or a T-90; if you said enemy infantry provide info on how many they are and if they've spotted or the squad, or if they're patrolling. Be adaptive to the situation.ACE Report
An ACE report consists of the following elements:
- AMMO - If your team is low on ammo, give details on it. This can be in general ("Low on ammo") or more specific ("AR is low on ammo, but we have plenty of rifle ammo").
- CASUALTIES - State your dead first, then wounded or call how many are "up".
- EQUIPMENT - If your team lost valuable assets (AR, AT) it is stated here.
Calling for the medic
Can usually be done in direct, especially since it allows for the medic to track your voice, and find you. If you must say it on the radio, say you name in the transmission, not everyone knows you by your voice, not with the numbers we're getting these days. Example: "Medic on Kreeper, south of the blue house.". Not too hard.
Speaking of direct chat though here's
Stuff that generally should be said over direct chat and not the radio since it kind of clutters and might actually be better on direct for other reasons:
- Talking to people in other squads(duh)
- Movement- When moving as a fireteam, issue directional/formation/movement commands over direct, to avoid radio clutter
- Calling out reloads/jams/barrel switches- Lets whomever is closest and available know that you need to be covered while you're busy
- Clearing buildings- "Clear!", "Breaching!",ready calls for breaching etc.
- Calling frags- Whether it's "Grenade!" "Frag out!" or "Bad 'nade!" Saying this over direct helps other people localize and know if they're in danger and if the call applies to them.
Thanks to Nopryl for their RadioSpeak guide found here