Operation orders are prepared in accordance with a
standing format, as set forth in Naval Operational
Planning, NWP 11 (NWP 5-01).
An OPORD is an operations plan made up of the
heading, body, and ending. The basic plan, contained
in the body of the OPORD, is concise and contains
minimum detail. More detailed information on various
ship departments is contained in enclosures (called
annexes and appendixes).
The annex of most concern to radiomen is the
communications annex. The communications annex,
along with its appendixes and tabs, discusses the many
details to be considered in planning communications for
a particular operation. In this annex, you can find such
information as the applicable circuits, equipment, and
frequencies that will be used in the upcoming opera-
In addition to the OPORDs, you should also
become familiar with the standard operating proce-
dures (SOPs) used by your division and department.
SOPs should be sufficiently complete and detailed to
advise personnel of routine practices. The detail
depends upon such variables as the state of training, the
complexity of the instructions, and the size of the
Staff sections, divisions, and departments often find
it convenient to establish their own SOPs for operating
their respective areas and for guiding their personnel in
routine matters. Some examples of communications
Procedures for persons going aloft;
Handling of visitors in radio spaces; and
Communications SOPs are written to meet an
objective. SOPs may vary from command to command
and may differ according to their objectives. Your job
will be to recommend changes or maybe even write the
objectives. In any event, a complete set of SOPs will
enable you and your shipmates to perform your duties
in a responsible, professional, and safe manner.
Accounting for messages addressed to your guard
list (list of commands for which you receive message
traffic) is the most important part of processing
messages. Accounting for all messages processed in
your message center is accomplished with logs.
Although ashore and afloat automated systems
automatically log, store, and retrieve messages, there
still is a need to manually log and file both incoming
and outgoing messages.
CENTRAL MESSAGE LOG
Depending upon the traffic volume processed, a
message center may use either a separate
outgoing/incoming log or a combined Central Message
Log to record processed message traffic. All messages
are logged in the Central Message Log after they have
been logged in the appropriate circuit log. The normal
practice is to use separate logs for outgoing and
incoming messages (figure 2-5).
The entries in the Central Message Log are station
serial number (SSN), precedence, DTG (original on a
readdressal), originator (original on a readdressal),
subject, classification, time of receipt (TOR) for
incoming messages or time of delivery (TOD) for
outgoing messages for each message. It is also useful
to indicate on the log over which circuit the message
was relayed. This is helpful during tracer situations.
The Central Message Log is filed in the
communications center master file on top of the
messages processed for that radio day (raday).
TOP SECRET CONTROL LOG
Upon receipt of a Top Secret message, including
SPECAT SIOP-ESI, addressed to the parent command
or subscriber of the message center, the center assigns
a sequential number and enters the originator, DTG, and
copy count of the message into the Top Secret Control
Log. A separate entry is made for each addressee. The
messages must be annotated as Copy ___ of ___ and
Page ___ of ___. The message must also be assigned a Top
Secret control sequential number.
Records of messages sent via ship-shore circuits,
whether primary shipshore, full-period termination,
and soon, must be maintained. This ensures continuity
of traffic, accurate times of delivery/receipt, and precise
files for possible tracer action. These actions should be
recorded on the Received Message Record, OPNAV