Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

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Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

Post by Alchemist on Tue 2 Nov - 21:38:42

One have not need to be reminded that second to most important aspect on battlefield that is situational awareness is clear communication. When first can be achieved by focus and absolute
comms discipline, second allows all squad members to think and process information.

Gradually ensure your comms are accurate and concise. Get the message to the right person at the right time and then clear the mic. Let the recipient hear the message, understand it and begin his decision making process without hindering him with further superfluous comms.

When the Sl is chatting freely, join in, have a laugh. When he says "Clear radio", "Break, break..." stop talking immediately, mid word if necessary. Let the SL deal with his additional comms and process the information and formulate his plan. Be patient, you will be able to chat later.

When engaged squad members can state their pattern of movement to ensure the rest of the unit knows which sectors are covered. In addition they should call targets engaged and confirm kills. Confirming kills has 2 key benefits:-

- Allows the squad to make educated assessments of how many enemy remain unaccounted for, assuming you have positively identified the size of the force prior to or at the point of contact.

- Psychological impact, in the same way that cries of “I’m down, medic” ringing out through your squad can have a negative impact, shouts of “1 down east, 2 down front” boost the squads collective mentality and establishes a feeling of dominance. There will be evident tangible benefits to this attitude.

Remember, you do not want to be distracting this guy with comms chatter because you are down. Let him think, let him hear, he is quite possibly the last chance you have of reviving your squad. He needs to be able to use all his senses, including his initiative. I have lost count of the number of times that I was last man standing and I’m in the process of trying to retrieve the situation when I am killed due to not being able to hear my enemy over the ‘talk of the dead’. Quite possibly the single dumbest, most selfish thing you can do in that situation and also the most counter productive.

All comms temporarily reduce the recipients audio awareness of a situation whilst being transmitted, so it’s short, to the point and accurate all the way. With that said it is critical to add that your ears need to be opened at your squad and ft leader as a priority.

Note that there are additional terms for more specific situations, but these are the most common ones that everyone must be familiar with as it is a simple mix of semi militaristic jargon that should be understood by most.

• Copy/Copies - Standard acknowledgment. "Bravo, enemy armor headed your way from the north", "Bravo copies".

• Roger - This is a simple affirmative acknowledgment. If told to watch to the NW by your fireteam leader, you should sound off with a quick "Roger" to let him know that you heard him and are complying.

• Wilco - Short for "will comply". Typically used in conjunction with roger, so that it ends up as "Roger, wilco" which translates into "Understood, and I will comply with the order". For the sake of brevity, only very important commands should be answered with a "Roger, Wilco". "Roger" by itself suffices for most things.

• Stand by - This acts as either a wait request or a preparatory command. When used as a preparatory command, it is a warning to anyone listening that an important event is about to happen, typically one which other players will need to participate in. For instance, a squad leader might tell his fireteams to hold their fire while an enemy patrol approaches unaware. He would then say "stand by" to indicate that they are about to initiate the ambush (alternatively, he could say "stand by to open fire"). Upon hearing "stand by", all squad members would prepare to engage the enemy. The squad leader would then announce "Open fire!", at which point the squad would ambush the enemy patrol.

When used as a wait request, it is a way to tell the person asking you a question that you need a few moments to get the answer. If the Commander asks Squad Two if they can get eyes on an enemy patrol near them,S2 SL might answer back with "Command, this is Squad Two, stand by..." and then try to accomplish that goal before radioing back with a yes/no.

• Radio Silence / Break, Break, Break - Typically used by a Squad Leader or Commander to tell everyone in their channel to be quiet while command chat occurs. Also can be used to get everyone to shut up so that faint sounds, such as distant vehicles, can more clearly be heard.

• Be advised - Used to indicate important information during a radio communication, typically to another leadership element. "Command, be advised, Bravo squad took heavy casualties and is down to one reinforced fireteam"

Team Movement & Control

• On Me - Command by the element leader to tell his element members to form up on him and follow him. Typically prefaced with the element name, ie "Bravo 2, on me!"

• Move out / moving - Commands used to indicate the beginning of a period of movement.

• Hold - Used to control movement. "Hold" is ordered when a unit needs to make a temporary halt. Oftentimes used to maintain cohesion between multiple elements.

• Go Firm - The short version is that once "Go Firm" is ordered, all squads consolidate their position, assume a defensive and secure posture, get a count of their numbers, check their ammo situation, and stand by for orders. Occasionally misunderstood and used as a 'hold' command.

Personal Status

• Up - General statement to indicate that a player has returned to a ready state. A player can use "Up" to indicate that they have caught up to their team, have successfully reloaded, have received medical aid, et cetera.

• Set - Said to indicate that an element is in position. If Bravo One is tasked with securing an intersection before Bravo Two crosses, Bravo One FTL would say "Bravo One set" once his fireteam was positioned to provide cover. Can be used by buddy team members as well to coordinate low-level movement.

• Weapon Dry / Empty / Reloading - Used to indicate that your weapon is temporarily out of action due to running out of ammo in your current magazine. Only spoken when it's urgent, with the intent being to notify teammates so that they can cover you / your assigned sector while you correct the issue.

• Overheated / Cooked - Used to indicate that your weapon is temporarily out of use. Same usage as the above - only when it's urgent, so that teammates know to cover/help you.

Fire Control

• Cease Fire - Used to cause a temporary lull in the shooting. Cease Fire is used when all enemy are seemingly dead and no further shooting is necessary. Individual players can continue firing at living enemy soldiers at their own discretion, under the assumption that the person giving the order did not see that there were still living enemies.

• Check Fire - A "Check Fire" command is given when it's suspected that a friendly unit is being fired upon by friendlies. Cease Fire can be used in that situation as well, as long as the person giving the command makes it clear that friendly units are possibly being engaged by friendly forces, but "Check Fire" specifically is meant as a way to cut off potential friendly fire.

• Hold Fire - Distinctly different from "Cease fire", this command is used to maintain stealth. When under a "hold fire" order, players do not engage the enemy until the fireteam or squad leader specifically give the go-ahead, or the enemy spots a friendly and appears to be ready to fire on them.


• Frag/Frag Out - Warning call given when throwing a grenade. Same with Smoke and Thermite. Adding "Out" points that grenade was already been thrown.

• Grenade - Warning call given when an enemy grenade has been thrown at friendlies.

• Incoming / IDF / Indirect - Warning calls given when enemy indirect fire (grenade launchers, mortars, artillery, etc) is inbound on friendly positions. IDF is pronounced "Eye dee eff".


• Mount up / Remount - Command given to order players to mount into their assigned vehicles. "Remount" is sometimes given after players have temporarily dismounted, such as when providing security at a halt.

• Dismount - Players who are not driving or gunning on a vehicle will exit the vehicle on this command.

• Bail out - All players in a vehicle will exit the vehicle on this command. This is considered to be an emergency command.

Components of a Contact Report

Being able to concisely report enemy locations is a critical communication skill to have. The sooner we know about enemy positions, and the faster it is passed to the entire squad, the better our survivability will be and the more effective we will be at reacting to threats.

1. Alert

One mistake I hear a lot of people making when identifying enemy forces is the calling ‘contact front’ instead of enemy spotted when they are not in contact. This is actually a critical error when trying to move stealthily as the correct response to contact front is to bring overwhelming firepower to bear on the point of contact. You would then either push through the contact and eliminate your opponent or begin a fighting withdrawal. Now if your point man had correctly called ‘enemy spotted/sighted, 100 m north, you would have the option to consider your options and simply avoid contact if desirable. The outcome is clearly quite different.

2. Orient

This immediately follows your alert. "Orient" is simply a few words to get people looking in the general direction of the enemy.
There are several types of orientation methods available.

• Relative bearing. If a direction of movement has been established, relative directions such as "Front", "Left", "Right", "Rear" are great. In a stationary defense, particularly when defending in multiple directions, this is not a use-able format.

• General compass bearing. Useful at all times, easy to understand. General compass bearings are things like "North", "North-west", et cetera.

• Specific compass bearing. Good for high-precision reporting when units are fairly close to each other. This involves reading the exact compass bearing, in degrees.

• Clock bearing. Clock bearings are never used aside from by single vehicle crews, since a vehicle has a common 12 o'clock that all crew members are familiar with. A vehicle crew can use clock bearings for internal communication if they so desire, though relative bearings tend to be better overall.

3. Describe

What did you see? Was it an enemy patrol, tank, or a little old lady out for a stroll? Say it in as few words as possible while being very clear.
Examples: "Enemy patrol", "APC", "machine-gun nest".

4. Expound

If time and the situation allow for it, give more information. This can include things like:

• Target range. Can be at whatever level of detail time allows for, from "Close!" to "523 meters" and everything in between. Range is the most important thing to expound on, and should always be given when possible.

• Specific degree bearing to the target. If you only passed a relative bearing at the start for speed's sake, you can refine it into a specific degree bearing at the end of the contact report.

• Info about what the target is doing. Such as "They're flanking us" or "They don't see us".

• Specific positioning of the target. Such as "two soldiers on the roof, one in the building, the rest are patrolling around it".

For instance, if you spot a patrol that is walking through a patch of woods, step #3 would be "enemy patrol", whereas step #4 would clarify that with "in the tree-line, bearing 325".

Note that with contact reports, getting the key information out for everyone to react to is more important than the ordering of the information. As long as people know where to look, what they're looking for, and how far away the contact is, you will have given a successful report.

When making a contact report over the radio, one must remember that the level of detail used should be proportionate to the amount of time you have to give it and the urgency of the threat. If there is an enemy squad far away that does not see you or pose a threat to you, take the time to clearly describe where it is. If on the other hand there is an enemy squad on the other side of a small rise 50 meters away, and it's heading in the direction of your element, you'll want to be as brief and fast as possible so that everyone has time to react and get prepared for contact.

Here's an example of a very poor radio transmission of a contact report:

Uh, guys... I see enemy infantry. Uhh... they're over there, by that tree. No, uhh... the other tree." (Note that the squad is in a forest at the time of this transmission)

It's pretty clear that this is not the way to do things - too much time is spent waffling around, no significant detail is given, and generally nothing productive has been said aside from the fact that there are enemies "somewhere". No kidding!

A more proper contact report would be as follows. Note that this is an intra-squad report - while reporting across squads it may be necessary to identify yourself prior to sending the contact report. Simply preface it with your callsign (this is Squad One) prior to starting the report, or close with that information (...from Squad One's position).

"Contact front! Enemy infantry in the open, bearing 210, three hundred meters!"

Once the element leader (squad or fireteam leader) hears the contact report, he will give an engagement command if necessary. This typically only happens when the element is in a stealth or hold-fire mode.

Here are some examples of engagement commands in response to a contact report:

"Copy that, get to cover and stand by to take them out."

"Bravo, hold fire. If you have a suppressed weapon, stand by to engage."

"Charlie One, open fire, they see us!"

More example contact reports, color-coded for clarity


"Sighted, North-West, sniper, in the second story window of the brown-roofed white-walled building at the crossroads."

"Spoted, bearing zero eight five, T-72, hull down behind the rise 200 meters to our front, looking the other way. "

"Contact left! Machinegun bunker, dug into the palms across the river due West, middle cluster, 400 meters."

Last Notes.

• If the element leader is giving the contact report, he will give the engagement command at the end of the report if necessary. Otherwise, the element will wait for the element leader's commands before engaging.

• Only the Squad Leader is authorized to give an open-fire command if the squad is in stealth mode.

• Fireteam Leaders will only give an open-fire command in stealth mode if their fireteam is in imminent danger of being engaged. By the same token, fireteam members will only open fire if it's necessary to protect themselves or friendly forces from being imminently engaged.

For Credits I combined Dslyecxi's and A.Wickens guide because it is only for our use and I belive what since it is alredy writen well why rewrite it. Please don't sue me Wink. I hope this will serve all new members to come but also hardcore players will find something usefull.

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Re: Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

Post by Fuggut on Tue 2 Nov - 21:58:03

Good job Alchemist :) I can see you put alot of work into this :D as it took me alot of work reading it ^^

Just to add, when someone does say "Break break" for radio silence, please be aware that Microphones do have delay, so don't expect the person to be quiet dead on the mark as I have it a lot in games. I can be talking freely and someone will tell me to be quiet and then unnecessarily get angry with me after I did stop talking when I heard the message. Just keep that in mind :D

But GJ Alchy! ^^


Registration date : 2010-09-08

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Re: Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

Post by ivandobsky on Tue 2 Nov - 22:01:44

Good work here Alky.....
Everyone MUST take time to read this! :study:


"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." Robert J. Hanlon

Registration date : 2009-09-18

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Re: Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

Post by Alchemist on Wed 3 Nov - 15:41:18

Thanks for the feedback.
I realized that dooring late stage of firefight it might be difficult to establish how many targets have been taken without some one like sl specifically counting reports. " 1 down front, 2 down at bravo" "tech secured" etc... might be sufficient in insurgency or public aas but in skirmish I would suggest different solution. What would you say if we were subtracting each time we achieve confirmed kill. First person to shot some one dooring firefight says minus one, than when some ones kills another say minus two, person who than kill 2 more say minus four and so on. This way we will track how many forces we are dealing with, with just little effort and keep every one aware.

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Re: Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

Post by Da-Fort on Thu 4 Nov - 18:03:42

I remember this in CATA bootcamp, in the end not many people used this but people did tend to say the enemy bearing.
But that doesn't mean it is bad it just has to be trained. Maybe a training specifically on comms?

I always get my spotted from my contact wrong and I know it but I try to correct myself
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Re: Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

Post by speedhound1-WYD- on Mon 7 Mar - 3:57:24

good read Alky,


this is the sort of thing that (could?) work if people had the basics nailed.

to produce a good working coms and contact protocol i think you need to re-write that with about 500 less words.

i realise that might come across as ungrateful but seriously i still all to often hear "ENEMIES" thrap thrap "DEAD SCREEN"

i prefer for contact reports something like this;

"contact, infantry, 100 meters North West, to the left of the house, permission to fire?"

"enemy, close, south, watch my tracer, where my tracer lands, enemy"

these type of reports are both quick and easy to learn and are authentic military protocols.

fire control orders are rarely needed in a fast based video game with the these sorts of exceptions;

"everyone provide covering fire north for sq2"

"LMG suppress the the gap in the wall"

particularly in skirmish fights the lone cry of "ENEMY" is so often the last thing the squad hears before having to respawn, remember the the squad leader is only one sixth of the eyes of the squad.

hope this helps



Registration date : 2010-02-20

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Re: Basic Communication Procedures and Technique of a Contact Report.

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