RADIOTELEPHONE CALL SIGNS
Call signs used in radiotelephone are commonly
known as voice call signs. They consist of spoken
words, which can be transmitted and understood more
rapidly and more effectively than actual names of ships
and afloat commands, or phonetic equivalents of
international radio call signs. Under certain
circumstances, however, the phonetically spelled
international call sign is used in R/T for station
identification. At other times, a ships name serves as
the call sign.
R/T call signs may be assigned by an operation
order (OPORD), a tactical communication plan
(COMMPLAN), or permanently by commonly held
communications publications. R/T call signs may be
either permanent or temporary, and they may be
internationally usable or locally issued. In any event,
call signs are used to identify the station and to establish
communications. A stations call sign can be any of the
The name of the ship or aircraft tail number;
A voice call sign listed in Joint Voice Call Sign
Book, JANAP 119;
An allied voice call sign listed in Tactical Call
Sign Book (U), ACP 110; and/or
A call sign for ships listed in Call Sign Book for
Ships, ACP 113.
Voice Communications, NTP 5, lists publications
that contain encrypted and daily changing call signs.
A ship must use its call sign when first establishing
a net or when reporting into a previously established
net. After this initial contact, an abbreviated form of
communications may be used.
If call sign encryption is in effect and a ship or unit
name appears in the text, the name should be replaced
by the encrypted call sign or address group of the ship or
unit. When used in this manner, the call sign or address
group may be preceded by the proword CALL SIGN or
ADDRESS GROUP, as applicable.
ACP 113 CALL SIGNS
ACP 113 lists the international call signs and hull
numbers for ships under military control. The call signs
in this publication are unclassified. International call
signs are used for all nonmilitary communications and
military communications using unencrypted call signs.
JANAP 119 VOICE CALL SIGNS
Voice call signs contained in JANAP 119 are
pronounceable words. They are for tactical use and are
designed to facilitate speed on tactical radio circuits.
Secure voice call signs can be achieved only by a
conscientiously applied system for changing call signs
on a frequent and periodic basis.
CALL SIGNS ON LOCAL HARBOR
JANAP 119 does not assign voice call signs to
administrative shore activities. Consequently, a ship
cannot use a tactical call on administrative ship-shore
circuits. When operating on ship-shore R/T circuits, a
ship may use its international call sign. Operators must
speak the call sign phonetically. For example, you
would speak the international call sign NOKB as
November Oscar Kilo Bravo. The procedure
described in the next paragraph may also be used.
In U.S. ports and U.S.-controlled ports overseas,
the name of the ship serves as the voice call sign. As a
rule, the USS prefix, hull designation and number, or
the first name or initials of the ship need not be included
in the voice call unless essential for clarity. This
procedure also applies to shore activities on
administrative nets. Each activity may use its
administrative title in an abbreviated form, consistent
with clarity. For example, Mobile Technical Unit 2 may
have a voice call of MOTU on an administrative circuit.
Port authorities that control local harbor voice
circuits are identified by the word CONTROL. For
example, lets say that the Key is entering port in New
London, Conn. Keys initial call to New London
Control to check into the local harbor net would be:
Control, THIS IS Key, OVER.
If Key were to call Fuel Control, its call would be:
Fuel Control, THIS IS Key, OVER.
You must remember that the simplified type of call
is authorized only in U.S. ports or U. S.-controlled ports.
If a ship is in a port not under U.S. control, it must
conform to the international practice of using
phoneticized international call signs on R/T circuits.
Voice communications requirements are grouped
into two basic categories: operational or tactical, and