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Introduction

After you start using your radio, you really should start using good communication protocols. For convenience, I am going to explain some of the protocols players should know. Find a detailed article about gear in Communications Rigs . You will also find more information about using the club maps at Tactical and Safety Field Guide#Maps and Directions.

Remember to have two sets of spare batteries and verify your radio works before entering the Field.

Example radio exchange

SQUAD 1

Overlord, Angel. Sitrep: halted at 55-60, over.

COMMAND

Angel, Overlord. Withdraw to 35-25, out.

COMMAND

Gator, Overlord. Rendezvous with Angel at 35-25, over.

SQUAD 2

Sparrow, Overlord. Location and Sitrep, over.

SQUAD 3

Overlord, Sparrow. Enemy spotted at 15,65. Moving to 15,70 to avoid them, over.

SQUAD 3

Overlord, Sparrow. Request support at 15,70, over.

Compare Good and Poor

Comparison of poor and good protocol, showing the increase in responsiveness and clarity:

Poor Protocol

LONE SOLDIER

I have enemies at my two o'clock.

COMMANDER

Last station this is Command. Who are you? Over.

LONE SOLDIER

Do you want me to go get them?

COMMANDER

Last Station this is Command. Who are you and where are you and which direction are you facing? Over.

LONE SOLDIER

I'm at the forward defense post.

COMMANDER

Last Station this is Command. Which one, and who are you? Over.

Good Protocol

LONE SOLDIER

Command. Rattrap. Enemy spotted southwest of Post 1. Over.

COMMANDER

Rattrap. Command. Stand by for reinforcements. Out.

Radio Checks

To confirm that your radio is operating properly, and you can do it informally at any time or at the start of an event as an organized group.

Individual Check Example

At any time one operator can request another confirm they are transmitting.

Requests

ALFA ONE

Alfa Two this is Alfa One, Request radio check. Over.

ALFA ONE

Alfa Two this is Alfa One. Radio check 1 2 3 4 5. How do you read me? Over.

Responses

ALFA TWO

Alfa One this is Alfa Two, Good and Readable. Out.

ALFA TWO

Alfa One this is Alfa Two, Loud and Distorted. Out.

ALFA TWO

Alfa One this is Alfa Two, Poor and Intermittent. Out.

A2's response tells A1 his signal strength and readability. Available options:

Signal Reporting
Condition Types
Strength loud, good, weak, poor
Readability clear, readable, distorted, intermittent

See also RST code

Team Check Example

As a team, the leader, exec, or an experienced operator can direct the net and make sure everyone is on. This way ensures that all radios are checked at once so everyone can focus on the team's mission briefing.

ALFA ONE

All elements this net this is Alfa One. Sign in using your callsign, over.

ALFA TWO

Alfa Two

ALFA ONE

Alfa Two. Alfa One. Good and readable.

ALFA THREE

Alfa Three

ALFA ONE

Alfa Three. Alfa One. Loud and clear.

BRAVO ONE

Bravo One

ALFA ONE

Bravo One. Alfa One. Good and distorted.

BRAVO TWO

Bravo Two

ALFA ONE

Bravo Two. Alfa One. Good and readable. Break.

All elements this net, this is Alfa One. Any missed elements check in now, over

SPARROWHAWK

Sparrowhawk

NIGHTHAWK

Nighthawk

ALFA ONE

Sparrowhawk. Alfa One. Loud and clear. Nighthawk. Loud and clear. Break.

All elements this net, this is Alfa One. Radio Checks completed, out.

It takes a bit of attention from an experienced player, but can help ensure everyone is checked. Works best when everyone can see each other so everyone can take their turn when the guy next to them finishes his turn.

Overcoming Static in Games

We use radios with a wavelength of approximately 2 feet; anything that holds water and is at least 4 inches long will absorb our radio transmissions. Around many live tree and shrub branches, anyone?

Two things you can use to improve your radio communication during the game:

  1. move so that trees or shrubs aren't directly between you and the player you are trying to reach
  2. move to higher ground (keeping the transmitter higher than the receiver improves transmit range)

Message Format

To ensure that your team understands your messages.

  1. Receiver Callsign - get their attention
  2. Sender Callsign - tell them who you are
  3. Transmit Instruction (optional) - for radio operators
  4. Priority / Precedence (optional) - for radio operators
  5. Content - tell them the message
  6. Final Instruction - for radio operators
  7. Close (Over / Out) - tell them you're done

Examples

BRAVO DELTA

Bravo Lima.

This is Bravo Delta. Read back. Flash. Enemy spotted southwest of Post One. Wait.

Over.

BRAVO DELTA

Bravo Lima.

This is Bravo Delta. Read back. Flash. Enemy moving northeast.

Over.

BRAVO LIMA

Bravo Delta.

Bravo Lima. I read back. "Flash". "Enemy spotted southwest of Post One, moving northeast".

Over.

Wording - see also Brevity Words

Along with the wording examples below, please refer to Recommended Phrases and Brevity Words. Examples of the message elements:

Transmit Instructions

READ BACK / RELAY TO / DO NOT ANSWER / SAY AGAIN

Priority or Precedence

FLASH / IMMEDIATE / PRIORITY / ROUTINE

Final Instructions

MORE TO FOLLOW / WAIT / CORRECTION

Questions

  • SITREP? (What's going on?)
  • LOCATION? (Where are you?)

SitReps (Situation Reports)

  • MOVING AT [position]
  • HALTED AT [position code]
  • IN RALLY POINT [code name]
  • AT OBJECTIVE [code name]
  • ENEMY SPOTTED AT [position or position code]
  • COMPROMISED AT [position]
  • CASUALTIES AT [position or position code]
  • MISSION COMPLETED

Orders

  • MOVE TO [position code]
  • HALT AT [position code]
  • ATTACK [codename]
  • WITHDRAW
  • CONTINUE MISSION
  • RENDEZVOUS AT [position code]

Requests

  • REQUEST REINFORCEMENT AT [position]
  • REQUEST MEDIC AT [position]

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