Communications Training

by SSgt P.L. Stokes

CWO-2 Lavender’s Current Training and Maneuver Warfare (Feb82) was right on target! … I have been in several CPXs where one of the main concerns of the staff was ensuring that everyone had a radio net or telephone dedicated to him. This will work in a static situation, but once on the move it is a different story. In a mobile environment, the staff may well find that only 60 to 75 percent of their radio circuits will be working at one time due to terrain and frequency propagation conditions. When this occurs the use of alternative means of communications becomes imperative. The difficulty arises when the members of the staff aren’t trained in the use of alternative means, since their unit’s CPXs have always provided them with reliable circuits. So the result is that traffic is delayed for long periods and effective command and control collapses.

Overcoming this problem will take time. Some possibilities include: 1) Limiting the use of radio to highpriority traffic. 2) Getting away from the “dedicated circuit” trend. (If you have a flash message and the only available circuit belongs to (he S-2, use it!) 3) Using messengers whenever possible, especially for long data type messages. 4) Letting communication personnel operate the radios, not just monitor them. (That’s their job, and they will put out if you give them your support.)

Reliable communications is a must to be successful in maneuver warfare, and the time to train is now, not when our unit is on the beach.