SIGS

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The purpose of the training guide is to give trainers a handbook to deliver SIGS training in a consistent format. Each module should be taught in order, and you should not proceed to the next section without completing any demonstrations or assessments listed.

  • Demonstrations - Actively showing trainees the content you have been teaching them, this aids people who learn from watching rather than listening.
  • Assessments - A checklist to mark against to ensure that trainees are competent before moving on.

Responsibilities of the Trainer

As a SIGS trainer, your responsibility is to train members to prepare them for using the radios in leadership positions. In the case that a trainee does not show competency during an operation, the trainer holds full responsibility for re-assessing SIGS modules.

Responsibilities of the Training Assistant

As a SOCOMD training assistant, your responsibility is to ensure that the training content is delivered properly and to aid in demonstrations listed within the guide.

Additional Remarks

Trainees are permitted to have access to this document in order to assist with their learning and usage of RATEL in the field.

Prerequisites

  • Completion of CDO Probation or,
  • Conducting SOLS Probation


Principles of Radio Communication

Location: Kamino Firing Range

In order to communicate effectively from one radio system to another without causing chaos between stations, a series of rules called radio procedures are enforced to ensure the maximum effect of radio’s throughout the SOCOMD. Verbal Communication Procedures are used because:

  • Every word we say on the radio may be heard,
  • Even the best radio communication may suffer from interference, which may result in misunderstood messages, and
  • With most radio systems, if two or more people on the same net transmit at once, it may result in interference and unreceived messages.

The SAD Procedure

The SAD RATEL procedure consists of a set of rules to achieve three things. These are remembered by the letters S, A and D, which stands for:

  • SECURITY
  • ACCURACY
  • DISCIPLINE

Security

Security on the radio net is extremely important, as the radio is a valuable source of intelligence. It must be remembered that your transmissions may be heard by anyone within range of your frequency. You should always use your common sense and never broadcast information that could identify individuals and/or units.

  • To ensure the security of information, use the following basic rules, essential to transmission security:
  • There is to be no unofficial communications between operators,
  • Personal names are not to be used unless specifically requested by the control station, and
  • Profane or obscene language is not to be used.

Accuracy

Voice messages are to be sent in a way that makes them readily understood. Unless attention is paid to the manner of speech and the position of the microphone/handset, transmissions will be unsatisfactory and time will be wasted in calling for repetitions and corrections. Accuracy follows four simple rules that form the acronym of RSVP, which stands for:

  • RHYTHM: Keep a natural rhythm. Divide the message into sensible phrases,
  • SPEED: The speed in which you talk should be slightly slower than normal conversation,
  • VOLUME: The volume in which you talk should be as for normal conversation, shouting will distort the message, and
  • PITCH: The voice should be pitched higher than usual.

Discipline

Good discipline is essential to the efficiency of radio nets. Radio discipline includes:

  • Adherence to correct radio procedures.
  • Constant radio watch by all stations on the net.
  • All messages should be written down prior to transmission.
  • Transmissions should be short and concise with clarity.
  • Operators must ensure the net is clear before starting transmission.
  • Answer all calls immediately and correctly answer orders.


Assessment

  • Ensure trainees understand SAD procedure

Phonetic Alphabet

The Phonetic Alphabet is used to spell out individual letters or when difficulties are encountered in the pronunciation or understanding of a word. They may be also used as nouns and designations in call signs or alphabetised references.

Letter Phonetic Alphabet
A Alpha
B Bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliet
K Kilo
L Lima
M Mike
N November
O Oscar
P Papa
Q Quebec
R Romeo
S Sierra
T Tango
U Uniform
V Victor
W Whiskey
X X-ray
Y Yankee
Z Zulu


Assessment

  • Have trainees spell out their name using the phonetic alphabet.

Numeric Figures

At times numbers will need to be transmitted over the radio, and just like the phonetic alphabet there is a certain way to pronounce these figures so they can be heard clearly by the receiving station. Below is a table detailing the figures and how they should be pronounced.

Number Pronunciation
0 Zero.
1 Wun with an emphasis on the N.
2 T-oo with a sharp T and and a long OO.
3 Thruh-ee with a short U and a slight roll of R and A long E.
4 Fo-wer with a long O as in ‘foe’.
5 Fi-yiv Emphasis consonants, with a long ‘I’ for the first syllable and a short one for the seconds.
6 Si-X with an emphasis on the ‘X’.
7 Se-ven.
8 A-Te with a long A.
9 Nine-r with a long ‘I’ and an emphasis on each N.


Assessment

  • Ensure trainees understand that 9 is said as “Niner”

Prowords

Prowords are pronounceable words or phrases which have been given specific meaning to increase the efficiency of message handling where radio procedure is employed. Note that “Copy”, “Repeat” and “Over and Out” are not to be used.

Proword Meaning and Use
ACKNOWLEDGE Instruction to a station to acknowledge that a message has been heard.
AFFIRMATIVE Agreement with a statement or a request.
CORRECTION An error has been made in transmission. The correct version follows.
DISREGARD MY LAST Used when wanting to nullify or disregard your last transmission.
GRID Used before a grid reference.
SAY AGAIN YOUR LAST / I SAY AGAIN Used for repetitions.
NOTHING HEARD Indication that no signal has been heard from a particular station.
OUT This is the end of my transmission. No reply is expected.
OUT TO YOU This is the end of my transmission to you and a call to another station follows immediately.
OVER This is the end of my transmission to you and a reply is expected.
ROGER I have received your last transmission satisfactory.
READBACK I request that you read my message back so I can confirm you have received correctly.
PREPARE FOR I want you to write this message for reference to a tasking.
WAIT I must pause for up to five seconds. No other station is to transmit even though I am not.
WAIT OUT Your transmission is received. A further transmission on the same subject will follow later. Other stations may transmit as normal.
UNKNOWN CALLSIGN Used to contact a callsign that has attempted to contact you but you are unaware of their callsign.
WILCO I have received your last transmission and will comply.
MORE TO FOLLOW Additional information will be provided at a later time or upon your response.


Demonstration

  • List common prowords and describe their meaning.

Assessment

  • Ensure trainees understand “Over”, “Out” and “Roger”.

Callsigns

Callsigns are used when referring to specific appointments. Standard radio appointment titles are used throughout the SOCOMD. Below is a table detailing Radio Appointment titles.

Callsign Appointment
HOMESTEAD Headquarters
ALBATROSS SOLS Commander
SUNRAY Callsign Commander
SUNRAY MINOR Callsign 2IC
PRONTO Callsign Signaler
STARLIGHT Callsign Medic
HAVOC JTAC
FIREFLY MH-6 Hummingbird
NOMAD CH-47 Chinook
WARRIOR UH-60 Black Hawk
HURRICANE AH-64 Apache
VANGUARD Boxer AFV
WATCHTOWER Support Team
VOODOO Aeromedical Operation Team


Demonstration

  • List callsigns and the appointments they relate to.

Assessment

  • Have trainees list the callsigns for each type of helicopter unit, “Dragonfly”, “Firefly”, “Warrior”, etc.

Basic Radio Usage

Location: Kamino Firing Range

Radio Specifics

There are 3 different types of personal radios used in SOCOMD, these are: The AN/PRC-343, AN/PRC-152 and AN/PRC-117. Each of these radios are used by different elements and have their own channels for them. These are as follows.

  • AN/PRC-343 - Used by infantry sections for teams and buddies within the section to communicate to each other. This radio has a 1km max range. The default key is CAPS.
  • AN/PRC-152 - Used by section commanders and the platoon commander and SOLS assets. Max range 5km. Default key is CTRL+CAPS
Platoon Net - Used by Section Commanders to communicate with 1-0 Platoon Commander.
SOLS Net - Used by SOLS pilots/units to communicate with Albatross SOLS Commander.
Tasking Net - Used by sections to communicate with SOLS Pilots for support taskings.
  • AN/PRC-117 - Used by 1-0 Platoon Commander and Albatross SOLS Commander to communicate with Homestead. Max range of 20km. Default key is ALT+CAPS.
HQ Net - As above
Platoon Net - Same as with 152.

Radio Communication Format

A simple message can be transmitted over the radio as per the following template. A basic radio call consists of the following parts:

Parts Function
Callsign Identifies the station being contacted.
This is Prowords used to indicate that the callsign of the following station follows.
Callsign Identifies the station calling.
Message The message you intend to send.
End Sign Prowords used to denote that the transmission has ended or there will be a delay in providing a response.

These prowords are as follows:

OVER or OUT

Wait - I must pause for a maximum of 5 seconds. No other station is to transmit during the pause.

Wait Out - I must wait for more than 5 seconds before transmitting again. Other stations can transmit following this sign.

Etiquette

Each radio follows its own etiquette for transmissions; Informal, Semi-Formal and Formal.

  • Formal - All Callsigns must be used, clear and concise information, mandatory use of over’s and out’s. (AN/PRC-117)
  • Semi-formal - Callsigns advised, clear and concise information, appropriate use of over’s and out’s. (AN/PRC-152)
  • Informal - Callsigns not required, usually for general conversations, use of over’s and out’s is not required. (AN/PRC-343)

Section Communication

When conducting intra-section communication, “OVER” and “OUT” are not required. You’re essentially acting like you’re talking to someone face to face. It is also to enable quick transmissions in high stress situations such as sustained contact and ambushes.

Platoon Communication

When on the platoon net, a handshake transmission must be broadcast first. For example:

  • 1-0 / THIS IS / 1-1 / OVER
  • 1-1 / THIS IS / 1-0 / OVER

During communication between two callsigns on platoon, once handshake has been established, overs are not required; however, every transmission must start with YOUR CALLSIGN / THIS IS / MY CALLSIGN. Once the relevant information has been passed on to the receiving callsign, the sending callsign must end the transmission as such:

  • 1-0 / THIS IS / 1-1 / OUT

This informs all callsigns the communication has ended and the net is open for new communications.

NOTE - 1-0, in this example, did not use “SEND”. “SEND” is only to be used when receiving communications that need to be written down i.e. OPDEM, CASEVAC.

HQ/Tasking Communications

When on HQ and/or Tasking Net, “OVER” and “OUT” must be used on all transmissions. This is due to most transmissions on this net being more formal and prepared, rather than hasty and quick as per other nets. Most transmissions on HQ/Tasking Net will be prepared 5 line transmissions such as:

  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / Prepare for OPDEM / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / SEND / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / OPDEM is as follows:
Alpha-Stop: 1-1
Bravo-Stop: Immediate
Charlie-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1
Delta-Stop: 3x ammo, 3x medical
Echo-Stop: Green smoke / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / WILCO / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / OUT”

NOTE - As compared to the previous example, Warrior used “SEND” as an OPDEM is a prepared radio transmission that must be written down.

When broadcasting over the radio, the callsign who is sending and the callsign who is receiving are the only two people who may broadcast. Any other callsign who wishes to broadcast over the same net, must wait until the in progress broadcast is completed by the original callsign stating “OUT". If a callsign has an urgent message which may result in threat to life of section members, platoon, or the operating force in general, they must broadcast “BREAK, BREAK, BREAK”. This signals all other callsigns to cease communication so the breaking callsign can broadcast their message.


Demonstration

  • Explain how to change volume/channel
  • Demonstrate Informal, Semi-Formal and Informal speech

Assessment

  • Have trainees speak to each other over radio using Informal, Semi-Formal and Informal speech.

Radio Taskings

Location: Kamino Firing Range - Lighthouse

During an operation, you may need to request something from another element depending on the situation, such as a resupply, these are done via taskings. Taskings consist of multiple lines depending on the specific tasking, these details the contents of the request. Starting off with your basic format, you may request the tasking in the message portion, after hearing a response, you deliver the lines of the tasking.

If, when tasking a SOLS unit with a 5 or 9 Line, the message has a large amount of content, the broadcasting callsign is to use “MORE TO FOLLOW”. Once SOLS has received and written down/comprehended the entire message, they will broadcast “SEND”. The broadcasting callsign from their last broadcasted point. I.e.

  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / Prepare for OPDEM / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / SEND / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / OPDEM is as follows:
Alpha-Stop: 1-1
Bravo-Stop: Immediate
Charlie-Stop: More to Follow / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / SEND / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1
Charlie-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1
etc.”

NOTE - When reading down a 5 line, you read out loud “Alpha-Stop”. Stop does not mean to pause.

NOTE - After broadcasting “MORE TO FOLLOW”, 1-1 repeats the last transmission they broadcasted before continuing.

NOTE - A grid reference is always said twice.

A unit can also request a “READBACK”. This requires the receiving callsign to readback, verbatim, what was broadcasted to them. This is mainly for situations where the radio signal is weak and to reduce confusion and/or negative results.

Tasking Procedure

When a section wants to request a SOLS tasking, they must first contact Platoon Command seeking permission. If permission is granted, Platoon Command will then contact Albatross informing them of the request. Once a request is granted, Platoon Command will advise the requesting section to swap to Tasking Net. The Section Commander will swap to Tasking Net where a SOLS pilot will be waiting. The Section Commander will initiate a ‘handshake’ and then conduct the relevant tasking request. The Section 2IC must remain on Platoon Net to relay any relevant radio transmissions to the Section Commander regarding platoon communications.

OPDEM (Operation demand)

Operation Demand (OPDEM) is used or requested by one station to get a resupply based on the demand of it.

OPDEM 5 Lines

Alpha. Requesting Callsign - The callsign requesting the supplies.
Bravo. Time Till Drop - Time when supplies need to be dropped off.
Charlie. Drop Grid Reference - Drop off location of supplies, include sector. OR Map marker.
Delta. Item List - List items and quantities.
Echo. Mark Type - Describe marking method. Eg. smoke, laser, none, etc

OPDEM Example

  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / Prepare for OPDEM / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / SEND / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / OPDEM is as follows:
Alpha-Stop: 1-1
Bravo-Stop: Immediate
Charlie-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1
Delta-Stop: 3x ammo, 3x medical
Echo-Stop: Green smoke / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / WILCO / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / OUT”

CASEVAC (Casualty Evacuation)

Called in to SOLS when evacuating a casualty. You might find yourself in a situation where you have stable, but unconscious casualties and insufficient medical supplies to revive them fully. This is where the CASEVAC is useful.

CASEVAC 5 Lines

Alpha. Requesting Callsign - The callsign requesting the CASEVAC.
Bravo. Pickup Grid Reference - Location of pickup, include sector. OR Map marker.
Charlie. Casualty Priority/Count - Priority 1 (unconscious and unstable), Priority 2 (unconscious and stable), Priority 3 (conscious and stable).
Delta. Mark Type - Describe marking method. Eg. smoke, laser, none, etc.
Echo. Remarks - Any additional information needed for the tasking.

CASEVAC Example

  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / Prepare for CASEVAC / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / SEND / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / CASEVAC is as follows:
Alpha-Stop: 1-1
Bravo-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1
Charlie-Stop: Priority 1, Count 1
Delta-Stop: Green smoke
Echo-Stop: Enemy infantry 300m north of LZ / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Warrior / WILCO / OVER”
  • “Warrior / THIS IS / 1-1 / OUT”

NOTE - A CASEVAC can never have a “READBACK” or “MORE TO FOLLOW” transmission accompanying it. Communication from the broadcasting callsign must be clear and concise for pilots to attend the area and evacuate any injured personnel ASAP. Therefore, there can be no time wasted repeating and resending radio transmissions due to poor RATEL.


Demonstration

  • Demonstrate using the above example.

Assessment

  • Ensure trainees understand the 5 Lines.
  • Have the trainees call in their own CASEVAC.

ECAS (Emergency Close Air Support)

Emergency Close Air Support is used when a fast, abbreviated CAS tasking needs to be called in. It uses a 5 line format instead of the usual 9 lines.

ECAS 5 Lines

Alpha. Target Description - Describe Unit(s) or landmark.
Bravo. Target Grid - Grid reference of TGT location, include// sector. OR Map marker.
Charlie. Mark Type - Describe TGT marking method. Eg. smoke, laser, none, etc.
Delta. Friendly Location - Grid reference of friendly forces, include sector.
Echo. Remarks - Any additional information needed for the tasking.

ECAS Example

  • “Dragonfly / THIS IS / 1-1 / Prepare for ECAS / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Dragonfly / SEND / OVER”
  • “Dragonfly / THIS IS / 1-1 / ECAS is as follows:
Alpha-Stop: Enemy technical
Bravo-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1
Charlie-Stop: Laser designator
Delta-Stop: GRID 654 321, sector 2 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 654 321, sector 1
Echo-Stop: Target moving north to south / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Dragonfly/ ECAS inbound / OVER”
  • “Dragonfly / THIS IS / 1-1 / OUT”

Immediately after fire mission is complete

  • “Dragonfly / THIS IS / 1-1 / Good effect on target / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Dragonfly / Returning to base / OVER”
  • “Dragonfly / THIS IS / 1-1 / OUT”


Demonstration

  • Demonstrate using the above example.

Assessment

  • Ensure trainees understand the 5 Lines.
  • Have the trainees call in their own ECAS.

EAS (Emergency Artillery Support)

Emergency Artillery is used when requesting mortar bombardment on a target. It is done in 5 lines rather than the longer 9 lines.

EAS 5 Lines

Alpha. Target Grid - Grid reference of TGT location, include sector. OR Map marker. Bravo. Ammunition Type - Type of round requested, HE/Smoke Charlie. Number of Rounds - How many rounds requested Delta. Delay - Time until firing, Immediate if need urgently Echo. Remarks - Any additional information needed for the tasking

EAS Example

  • “Watchtower / THIS IS / 1-1 / Prepare for EAS / Over”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Watchtower/ SEND / Over”
  • “Watchtower / THIS IS / 1-1 / EAS is as follows:
Alpha-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1
Bravo-Stop: High Explosive
Charlie-Stop: 5
Delta-Stop: Immediate
Echo-Stop: Friendlies NW of Target / READBACK Alpha-Stop / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Watchtower / Alpha-Stop: GRID 123 456, sector 1 / I SAY AGAIN / GRID 123 456, sector 1 / OVER
  • “Watchtower / THIS IS / 1-1/ ROGER / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Watchtower / WAIT OUT”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Watchtower / SHOT / OVER”
  • “Watchtower / This is / 1-1 / SHOT / OUT”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Watchtower / SPLASH / OVER”
  • “Watchtower / THIS IS / 1-1 / SPLASH / OUT”
  • “Watchtower / THIS IS / 1-1 / Good effect on target / OVER”
  • “1-1 / THIS IS / Watchtower / ROGER / OUT”

NOTE - Artillery Support is the only transmission where the receiving callsign will end the transmission.


Demonstration

  • Demonstrate using the above example.

Assessment

  • Ensure trainees understand the 5 Lines.
  • Have the trainees call in their own EAS.

Administration

Assign Teamspeak Tags

1. -- SIGS [perm]

Update Master Doc

1. Qualification Tracker (Change SIGS to Green)

Notify J1

A message needs to be sent to J1 so a record can be kept for evidence and tracking. Please use the following template.

TRAINING

TRAINER:
TRAINEE(S):

MODULES COMPLETED

SIGNALS

TRAINER REMARKS:

Closing

After completing SIGS, members are now able to play operations in leadership roles such as Platoon Commander/2IC, Section Commander/2IC and SOLS.