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#1 Posted : Monday, October 23, 2017 11:00:37 AM(UTC)

Rank: Administration

Posts: 31
United States

[AT A GLANCE: Find the jist of this post by reading the bold text]

In our virtual gaming world we don’t use actual military radios, but with TeamSpeak and other Internet voice technologies, the similarities to real world radio practices are quite a good fit.

All military units are trained to minimize extraneous or redundant radio traffic, primarily to permit valuable air time to be effectively maximized for clear and concise messaging relating to command and control, or contact reports and sitreps. Additionally, the security of radio traffic is paramount as you must always assume the enemy is listening. Therefore, the more you say, the more content they can analyze and have time to triangulate on signal strength.

A secondary factor is often termed "net noise" which is created by multiple call signs all trying to send at the same time, resulting in simply too much incoming chatter. This "net noise" can cause fire teams to lose focus on their SA (situational awareness), as they're constantly attempting to separate important command and control information destined only for them, from the general "net" traffic. Fighter pilots have an expression called "lose sight, lose the fight". Similarly, a ground based fire team needs to focus on their mission and the environment around them to be constantly alert for threats, while not being distracted with unnecessary traffic in their headsets.

One of the greatest contributors to "net noise" is the classic acknowledgement phrase such as "roger", "affirmative", "wilco" etc. If nine members of the same fire team are all sending these kinds of acknowledgements throughout a mission there's a lot of wasted bandwidth, besides a constant chatter of voices all saying basically the same thing. Fighter pilots and special forces teams in the real world, often use a technique of "keying" their microphone switch twice as a way of acknowledging a message for them that they've received and understood. On a radio net you would hear the distinct tones of someone keying their microphone and it sounds like a double click, or "click click" in a quick sequence. If any message is so important that the sender wants an actual call sign "verbal" acknowledgement, then they would often say "acknowledge verbal" at the end of their transmission sequence.

With our on-line virtual world using voice activation or a user defined "send" key, there's no discernible microphone clicking sound. However, because we have this great visual computer screen sitting in front of us, there's a substitute technique which works very well for on-line gaming. A player simply types or pre-programs a hotkey to send "cc", which obviously stands for the "click click" of the mic -- indicating message received.

It's not as distracting as there's no verbal noise in everyone's ear, plus it consumes virtually no net bandwidth. After a bit of practice using this technique, it becomes almost second nature and can have a positive and calming impact on all squad radio communications. We would encourage all players on any gaming server attempt to utilize this SOP technique as much as possible.
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