Tactical Calls by Larry Fields, WD8LF

Why Tactical Calls

The Tactical Call sign is used to identify a location or function during an event regardless of who is operating.  You don’t need to know the Amateur Call or the name of the individual.

It eliminates confusion at shift change or when an operator takes a break, i.e. the call is the same no matter who the operator is.

Tactical calls should be used for all Emergency Nets when there are more than three participants and at most Public Service events.

The Net Control Station will assign the tactical Call to be used. The call will be unique to the location or function of the station.

Some Samples of Tactical Calls

Net for the Net Control Station

General for Akron General Hospital

City for Akron City Hospital

EOC for the Emergency Operations Center

Summit Red Cross for the Summit County Chapter

These are just a few. Tactical calls should be pre-assigned to some of the more common places we’ll probably cover.

Using Tactical Calls

Initiating a call: “Net, City” or just plain “City”

Net answers go ahead “City”

If you had special traffic you would say: “City, emergency” or “City, priority”

Net will answer “City go ahead with emergency”

Notice how smooth it went and how much info was conveyed in few words.

If you had traffic for “General” you would say: “City with routine for General”

Net would then come back with: “City permission to go direct with General”

After the Exchange is Finished

After all the traffic has been passed and you are ready to sign off, you will say: “WD8ITF, City clear”. This will alert the NCS that you are done and that the frequency is now open again. You also meet one of the FCC requirements for identifying with your Amateur Call.

FCC Requirements

You still have to meet FCC requirements about using your Amateur Call. You are required to give your call at the end of an exchange as shown above or every ten minutes if the exchange lasts that long.

As you can see Tactical Calls can be very helpful when you are working with many stations. This can enhance Emergency Communications greatly and hopefully eliminate confusion. I know I have problems trying to keep call signs straight as to who it is and what they are doing. By using the Tactical Call it has at least made operating NCS easier.