Chapter Four

Chapter Four covers the phonetic alphabet, sound powered phones, flags & pennants, and flagstaff insignias.

When most people hear the word communications, they think of verbal communications. In the Navy the sound powered phones are one of the most used systems of verbal communications. The Navy also uses nonverbal communications, such as flags, pennants, and flagstaff insignias. Pay close attention to the nonverbal communications. They make great exam questions.

The Phonetic Alphabet

• To avoid confusion of certain sounds and letters the Navy requires that phonetic equivalents of letters be spoken instead of the letters themselves. Each word is accented on the capitalized syllable:

The Phonetic Alphabet

A----------Alfa-----------AL fah
B----------Bravo---------BRAH voh
C----------Charlie-------CHAR lee
D----------Delta---------DELL ta
E----------Echo----------ECK oh
F----------Foxtrot-------FOKS trot
H----------Hotel---------hoh TELL
I----------India----------IN dee ah
J----------Juliet---------JEW lee ett
K----------Kilo-----------KEY loh
L----------Lima----------LEE mah
N----------November-----no VEM ber
O----------Oscar---------OSS cah
P----------Papa----------pah PAH
Q----------Quebec--------kay BECK
R----------Romeo--------ROW me oh
S----------Sierra---------see AIR rah
T----------Tango---------TANK go
U----------Uniform-------YOU nee form
V----------Victor---------VIK tah
W----------Whiskey------WISS key
X----------Xray----------ECKS ray
Y----------Yankee--------YANG key
Z----------Zulu-----------ZOO loo

• Sound-Powered Telephones- If you’re not familiar with sound powered phones, you will need to review pages 4-2 though 4-9. Also you can do the Sound-Powered Telephone Talkers Manual, 14232. It is a very short and easy course to do, but you will find a lot of useful information in this course.

• Sound powered phones operate on your voice power and do not require batteries or an external electrical power source.

• When you talk into the mouth piece it should be about 1/2 to 1 inch from your mouth.

• Never secure your phones until you have permission to do so.

• When coiling the lead wire for stowage the loops should be 8 to 10 inches across.

• Headset phones should always be unplugged when they are not in use or they will pick up noise and carry into the circuit.

• Remember the mouthpiece and the earpiece of a sound powered phone are interchangeable. This feature is most important to know because in the event of a break down of one of your other pieces, you can talk into an earpiece and hear through a mouthpiece.

• Sound powered phones fall into three categories:
primary, auxiliary, and supplementary systems.

• Primary system includes all circuits necessary for controlling armament, engineering, damage control, maneuvering, and surveillance functions during battle. Primary circuits are designated JA through JZ.

• Auxiliary system duplicates many of the primary circuits for the purpose of maintaining vital communications in the event of damage to the system. Auxiliary circuits are separated as much as possible from primary circuits. Auxiliary circuits are designated with the letter X (ie XJA, XIJV, X8J)

• Supplement system XiJ-X61-J are short, direct circuits, such as from the bridge to the quarterdeck. These circuits are normally unmanned.

• Because all the power for the sound powered phones is generated by your voice you must speak loudly and clearly, but do not shout.

• Repeat all messages word for word. Do not paraphrase.

• Most messages are divided into three parts.
1. Name of the station called.
2. Name of the station calling.
3. The message.

• “Aye” is not used as an answer to a question. Use “Affirmative” or “Negative”.

• To hear a message over again say, “Say Again”.

• Anytime you leave a circuit, always request permission.

• If you need to transmit an urgent message say, “Silence on the line.

• Intergrated Voice Communications System (IVCS)-
The IVCS is an integrated communications system used in the telephones on board ship. This system can interface with other shipboard communication systems. The system consists of terminals and computer controlled ICommunications Switching Centers (ICSCs).

• ICSCs perform the switching actions necessary to connect calls.

• General Announcing System is the 1MC. The ODD is in charge of the 1MC. 1MC will not be used unless authorized by the ODD, XO, CO, or the DCA for an emergency.

• Intercoms MC circuits (known as “squawk boxes”) provide two-way communications. See page 4-16 figure 4-13 for a picture of an MC transmitter.

• Wifcom are hand-held transceivers (walkie-talkie) used for damage control purposes. Some of the 4 to 12 channels are designated as:
Channel 1- Repair 5
Channel 2- Repair 2
Channel 3- Repair 3
Channel 4- ship to ship

Flags and Pennants

• The Navy uses the international alphabet flags, numeral pennants and a code/answer pennant, a set of numeral flags and pennants, and four substitutes or repeaters. There are many flags and pennants. We will cover only some key information on the subject. You can review pages 4-18 through 4-21 for more detailed information.

Know These!

Code Alfa-------diver(s) down
Kilo-------------personnel working aloft
Oscar-----------Man Overboard
Papa------------general recall, return to ship
Quebec----------Boat Recall-All boats return to ship.
Romeo----------Ready Duty (in port) Preparing to replenish (at sea)

The National Ensign
(referred to as colors)

• When not underway, commissioned ships display the ensign from the flag staff at the stern and the Union Jack from the jack staff at the bow from 0800 to sunset.

• While underway, the ensign is normally flown from the gaff.

• Preparative pennant is flown five minutes before colors are held.

• The Union Jack is rectangular blue part of the United States flag, containing 50 stars.

• The Union Jack is hoisted at the yardarm to indicate a general court martial or court of inquiry is in session.

• U.S. Navy Flag-On 24 April 1959 the President, on recommendation of the Secretary of the Navy established an official flag for the Navy. The U.S. Navy flag is flown:
- At official ceremonies
- In Parades
- Official Navy occasions
- At public gatherings when the Navy is an official participant
- Occasions authorized by the Secretary of the Navy.

• The commission pennant along with the ensign and Union Jack is half-masted upon the death of the commanding officer of a ship.

Flagstaff Insignias

• Spread Eagle: for any civilian or flag officer who rates a 19 gun salute or more.

• Halbert: for a flag or general officer who rates less than 19 guns or for a civil official who’s salute is 11 guns but less than 19.

• Ball: Captain and certain diplomats.

• Star: Commander

• Flat Truck: For an officer below the grade of commander

• See page 4-26 figure 4-29 for picture of flagstaff insignias.

• Review Chapter 4 BMR.

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