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 ACRE Materials

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Mono The Elderish

Posts : 250
Join date : 2012-02-13
Age : 22

PostSubject: ACRE Materials    Thu Mar 01, 2012 1:36 pm

This is a preview of the Radio Ops S.O.P. we will use during ACRE enabled ARMA 2 games

Source material is here http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/policy/army/accp/ss0002/le3.htm


CRITICAL TASKS: 01-5878.04-0005,
01-5778.07-0003, 01-5778.07-0007



In this lesson you will learn the basic procedures for operating a voice radio including: operating rules, phonetic alphabet, correct pronunciation, procedure sign (PROSIGN) usage, authentication procedures, and operations within a radio network.



Describe the necessity for using proper radiotelephone procedures.

Define the uses of the phonetic alphabet and the numerical pronunciation.

Describe the use and meaning of the more commonly used PROSIGNs.

Define the necessity for and give examples of authentication.

Describe the procedures for opening and closing a net using authentication.


You will be given information from this lesson.


To demonstrate competency of the terminal learning objective, you must achieve a minimum score of 70% on the subcourse examination.


The material contained in this lesson was derived from the following publications: FM 11-32, FM 11-50, FM 24-18, and SOI KTV 1600 C Supplemental Instructions.

The tactical effectiveness of any communications equipment is no greater than the skill of the operators. By the same token, the most efficient communications within a net or command is

attained when the operators habitually use proper procedures in transmitting and receiving messages. This lesson will introduce you to the basic procedures and protocol associated with tactical radio communications.

1. Preparations.

Before attempting any communication, there are certain preparations that any operator should perform. These preparations ensure that the equipment is properly set up, that the operator is familiar with the operation of the equipment, and that the operator is familiar with the signal operation instructions and proper communications procedures.

2. Equipment Checkout.

Before operating any piece of radio equipment you should be certain it is properly configured and that you are familiar with its operation. The equipment technical manual is the best place to begin when you check an equipment configuration. The technical manual will have directions, diagrams, and procedures for aligning and operating the equipment. If the technical manual is not available, you should at least have some sort of abbreviated checklist that you can use to verify the setup of your system. Things to check should include tuning, power settings, ensuring all connections are tight and insulated, and ensuring that all components of your communications system can handle the power output of the transmitter.

3. Signal Operation Instructions.

The SOI and the standing operating procedures (SOPs) contain instructions pertaining to radio communications. The SOP is a standard document that governs the routine signal operations of a unit. It should include such items as communications systems priorities and general guidance on communications protocol. The SOI is a unit-specific document that deals with actual communications organizations in much more detail. The SOI contains such information as organization of stations into radio nets, assigning of net control stations (NCSs), and assigning of primary and alternate operating frequencies for each net. The SOI also provides guidance on authentication procedures and other communications security measures. FM 24-16 provides additional information about the SOP and FM 24-35 provides additional information on the SOI. Review of these manuals is not required for completion of this subcourse.

4. Phonetic Alphabet.

If radio communication was as clear and understandable as face-to-face communication, there would be no need to use special procedures when talking on the radio. Radio communications, however, can vary widely from extremely clear to barely intelligible. Because of this, there are certain rules of pronunciation when you are talking on a radio circuit. The phonetic alphabet employs these rules. Many times during radio communications you may need to say letters or numbers in the course of conversation. For example, call signs (which will be discussed later in this lesson) are made up of letters and numbers. If you only pronounce the name of the letter or number, the operator on the other end could confuse it with another letter or number. Spoken, the letter B sounds very much like P, V, or D. Likewise, the numbers nine and five often sound alike. The phonetic alphabet was designed to eliminate this confusion. Each letter and number has a distinct and understandable word associated with it. Tables 3-1 and 3-2 list the letters and numbers and their phonetic pronunciation.

Table 3-1. Phonetic alphabet

Table 3-2. Number pronunciation guide
As you can see, in each instance the emphasized syllable is underlined. For example, the letters BPV would be pronounced "Bravo Papa Victor." The use of the phonetic alphabet makes the letters clear to the receiving operator.

5. Procedure Words and Procedure Signs.

Along with being understood in radio transmissions, another very important point is that messages be as brief as possible. Lengthy messages run the risk of becoming garbled at some point and losing the meaning of the message. In today's world of electronic countermeasures and electronic homing devices, the less time a radio station is transmitting, the less likely it is to be discovered and targeted by enemy forces. In order to standardize certain common phrases used in radio transmissions, a set of procedure words (PROWORDs) has been devised and is recognized as a standard in radio communications. The same factors that make it desirable for spoken messages to be short and concise also apply to typewritten messages. Most PROWORDs have a corresponding PROSIGN to help abbreviate teletype messages. Table 3-3 lists some common PROWORDs and their corresponding PROSIGNs and meanings. Where no PROSIGN is listed there is not a common PROSIGN associated with that PROWORD.

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)

Table 3-3. PROWORDs and PROSIGNs (cont.)
When you are conducting radio communications it is important that you and your operators use the proper PROWORDs and PROSIGNs so that your messages will be clear and concise to the receiving station.

6. Call Signs.

In radio communications it is not only important to know what is in a message, but it is also important to know who sent the message. A system of CALL SIGNS has been developed so that stations can identify themselves and to the stations they are talking. A call sign normally consists of a three-character letter-number-letter basic call sign followed by a two-digit suffix. If the command issuing call signs has more than 99 users, an expander letter may appear after the suffix. This total of five or six characters is called the complete call sign. The last letter of the basic call sign plus the two suffix numbers (and expander letter if applicable) is called the abbreviated call sign and should be used except when entering a net or when requested by the net control station. The following is an example of a complete and abbreviated call sign.

Complete call sign - C 3 T 8 5
Abbreviated call sign - T 8 5
Always pronounce call signs phonetically. For example, the above complete call sign should be pronounced "Charlie tree tango ait fife" and the abbreviated call sign "Tango ait fife." Your command will issue call signs in its SOI. Each call sign will have a certain duration, usually 24 hours.

7. Authentication.

You have many means of Secure communications at your disposal. It is not unreasonable to suspect, however that an enemy might somehow be able to break into your net and provide misinformation or give false orders. The SOI provides a transmission authentication system to prevent this. The only authentication systems authorized for use are those produced by the National Security Agency (NSA) and provided in your SOI supplement. The SOI will also define the period of validity for each authentication system. There are two types of authentication: challenge and reply authentication and transmission authentication. You should conduct authentication on your net when any of the following circumstances occur.

When any station suspects imitative deception on any circuit. For example, when contacting a station following one or more unsuccessful attempts to contact that station.

When any station is challenged or requested to authenticate. This is not to be interpreted as requiring stations to break an imposed silence for the sole purpose of authenticating.

When directing radio silence, listening silence, or requiring a station to break an imposed silence (this requires the use of transmission authentication).

When transmitting contact and amplifying reports in plain language.

When transmitting operating instructions that affect the military situation. For example, closing down a station or watch, changing frequency other than normal scheduled changes, directing establishment of a special communications guard, requesting artillery fire support, and directing relocation of units.

When transmitting a plain language cancellation.

When making initial radio contact or resuming contact after prolonged interruptions.

When transmitting to a station that is under radio listening silence.

When authorized to transmit a classified message in the clear.

When forced, because of no response by the called station, to send a message in the blind (transmission authentication).

8. Challenge and Reply.

Whenever possible, you should use challenge and reply authentication as it can validate both the transmitting and receiving stations. Figure 3-1 is a reproduction of the challenge and reply and transmission authentication tables. Refer to this figure in the following discussion of authentication procedures. When two stations establish radio contact, the station being called should always issue the first challenge. This prevents an enemy from entering your net just to get a valid authentication to use in another net. When the called station has challenged and the calling station has replied, the calling station should challenge in order to also validate the called station. The following paragraphs detail the challenge and reply process. For illustration purposes, assume that station M21 is calling station M35.

Figure 3-1. Authentication tables
M21 issues the call "Mike tree fife, this is mike too wun, over." This establishes the identities of both the calling and the called stations.

M35 must now issue an authentication challenge. Looking at the challenge and reply system, he chooses a letter from the far left column. This is the line indicator column. He then chooses another letter from the row indicated by the first letter he chose. These two letters make up the challenge. Thus, his transmission would be "Mike too wun, this is mike tree fife, authenticate delta golf, over." M35 has chosen delta and golf as his two letters to challenge.

M21 must now reply to the challenge and issue a challenge of his own. To reply, he must have the same table as M35. He looks up the letter Delta in the left-hand column. He then looks up the letter Golf in Delta's row (row 4 in this case). His reply should be the letter directly beneath Golf on the table. In this case it would be Bravo. He then chooses two different letters to issue as a counter challenge to M35. His transmission should be "Mike tree fife, this is mike too wun, I authenticate bravo, authenticate yankee victor, over."

M35 must now respond to M21's challenge. He looks up yankee on his authentication table, and then finds victor in yankee's row. Since yankee is the last row on the table he gets the reply from the first row on the table as if it wrapped around. His reply letter, then, is tango, and his transmission is "Mike too wun, this is mike tree fife, I authenticate tango, over." At this point, both stations have authenticated and they may continue to communicate and pass whatever traffic they need to pass.

9. Transmission Authentication.

You should only use transmission authentication when the station you are calling cannot answer because of some problem or silence condition that has been imposed. The transmission authentication system is based on the second table in figure 3-1. The table consists of 40 numbered columns of five, two-character combinations. Each station will be assigned certain columns to use if transmission authentication is necessary. When you need to use this system, you take the first column you are assigned and use the first two-character combination in that column that you have not already used. Those two characters then become the authentication for the message. Once used, you cross out the particular authentication code so that you do not reuse it. If you need to send another transmission authentication, you use the next code in the column. For example, you are assigned column 33 and have already sent two transmission authentication messages. Your next transmission authentication code would be OX. Your authenticated transmission should be "(Call sign), this is (your call sign), authentication is oscar xray, (your message), out." You would not end a transmission authenticated message with "over," because that would imply that the other station should reply. If the other station could reply, you should use challenge and reply authentication instead.

10. Radio Nets.

A group of radio stations that communicate on the same frequency is called a network or net. Radio stations are generally divided into nets according to the function that each station serves within the command. Figure 3-2 shows a typical HF operations voice net and figure 3-3 shows a VHF tactical employment division command operations net. The station in charge of maintaining the net is called the NCS and is usually a station in a superior unit communicating with stations in one or more subordinate units. Each station on a particular net will have its own unique call sign. The net will also have a call sign which is the basic call sign of the NCS. Thus, for a net whose NCS is A6V58, the net call sign would be A6V. Nets will be assigned on a command level, along with call signs for each net station.

Figure 3-2. Typical HF operations voice net

Figure 3-3. Tactical employment division command operations net VHF/FM
11. Opening a Net.

The NCS is responsible for opening and closing the net. Normally upon initial opening or reopening of the net the NCS will initiate authentication procedures. The following paragraphs detail this process.

The NCS will call the stations on the net using the net call sign and will issue the first authentication challenge using the challenge and reply system.

The station with the first call sign in alphabetical order will answer the NCS's call and reply to the challenge. He will then issue a challenge to the NCS.

The NCS will reply to the first station's challenge and issue a second challenge.

The station with the next alphabetical call sign will reply to the NCS's second challenge and issue a challenge of his own.

The station with the third alphabetical call sign will reply to the challenge issued by the second station and will issue a challenge to the fourth station.

This process will continue until the last station in alphabetical order has replied to a challenge. The last station will not issue a challenge of his own.

Once all stations have authenticated, the NCS will issue instructions on the operation of the net.

12. Closing a Net.

As in opening a net, the NCS is also responsible for closing the net. When opening the net you recall that all stations were required to authenticate. When you close down a net, however, only the station ordering the net to close is required to authenticate. This is because the net will not be operating and it is only necessary to determine if the order to close down is necessary. The procedure for closing the net is outlined in the following paragraphs.

The NCS calls the net and issues the order to close down the net.

The first alphabetical station calls the NCS and issues an authentication challenge.

The NCS replies to the authentication challenge.

The stations, in alphabetical order, will call the net and acknowledge the order to shut down.

Once all stations have receipted the order, stations may shut down.

13. Summary.

In this lesson you have learned the basic organization and procedures for operating voice tactical radios. The next lesson will introduce you to radio teletypewriter equipment and procedures.

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Mono The Elderish

Posts : 250
Join date : 2012-02-13
Age : 22

PostSubject: Re: ACRE Materials    Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:26 pm

Since we will be using this for ARMA 2, Which is a military sim, I figured It'd make sense to use the real material.
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