Operations Billet Specialty

Surface Warfare Officers School Commnd

Department Head Combat Systems

Newport, Rhode Island



REV: 03/98




a. NTP 4(C) Fleet Communications


c. NAVCAMS LANT/MED Instruction C2300.2A


I. There are several communications systems which are used to send and receive information to commands external to your ship. Voice circuits may be used to deliver high precedence traffic to your chain of command or accomplish routine coordination with another command. Record traffic circuits include the fleet multi-channel broadcast and terminations.


A. Voice Communications

1. The HICOM or High Command network is both High Frequency (HO) and Satellite. The HO system is composed of three smaller networks, each under the cognizance of an area control station. Each has connectivity with and operates under the control of the Coo. HICOM is a simplex, HO unencrypted voice net; however, by using the KYV-5 cryptosystem, it can become secure voice when required. The satellite system has limited access points at 4 Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station (NCTAMS) and NAVCOMMSTA Stockton, Cal, which serve as an interface to STU-III and the Defense Switching Network (DSN, formerly AUTOVON). This system is normally called Fleet Satellite Secure Voice (FLTSEVOCOM).

2. FLTSEVOCOM provides long range secure voice communications via satellite. Each NCTAMS maintains at least one satellite secure voice net which provides real time communications among operational commanders, National Command Authority, and tactical units. With NCTAMS and NAVCOMMSTA Stockton providing interface, FLTSEVOCOM can be used with the DON and STU-III systems for extensive ship to shore voice connectivity,

including conference calls, which require reliable, quick, and secure communications.

  1. The Command Switch Board/Command Switching System (CSB/CSS) provides a manual switchboard interface between voice radio circuits and shore telephone systems. CUB/CSS is operated by the area NCTAMS. Frequencies and operating procedures for using CUB are contained in the area Communications Information Bulletins (CIB).

4. The Military Affiliated Radio System (MARS) and commercial radiotelephone networks provide an interface between ships and commercial telephone systems. The procedures for using these circuits are outlined in NIP 9.

B. Record Traffic Communications

  1. Fleet Multi-Channel Broadcast (FMCB)

a. The FMCB is the primary means of delivering message traffic to the fleet. It is a highly flexible system providing global coverage via 4 major communications areas and is "keyed" by the Navy Communications Message Processing and Routing System (NAVCOMPARS). The 4 areas are:


2. HMUL Broadcast-NCTAMS EASTPAC Honolulu

3. LMUL Broadcast-NCTAMS LANG Norfolk

    1. MMUL Broadcast NCTAMS MEL Naples

b. The FMCB may be transmitted via Satellite, which is the primary method, or by High Frequency (HF) or Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio. HO and UHF are strictly on-call, contingency methods. Frequencies for FMCB transmissions can be found in the communications area CSBS or Fleet Telecommunications Procedures for that specific area.

c. The FMCB combines (multiplexes) a maximum of 16 channels of intelligence or information. on the Satellite FMCB, the maximum is 15, with the 16th channel being used for satellite timing. Ships with their own guard are required to copy the common channel. Those units without a full period termination are also required to copy a type channel, based on similarity of mission, task and equipment capability. For example, DD/CG/FFG type ships are required to copy channel 1, in addition to the common channel. Amphibs and Carriers are required to copy channel 4. The remaining channels are configured in accordance with fleet CINC direction. A unit may also be required to

copy an overload channel, activated when the traffic tempo becomes too great for one channel. Rerun channels are also available, which transmit messages previously transmitted two hours earlier on the "first run" channel. For example, messages transmitted on the common channel between 1400Z and l500Z are retransmitted between 1600Z and 1700z on the designated rerun channel. Recap messages are sent hourly by the broadcast keying station (BUS) listing the message channel number, originator, date time group and addressees of the message. Using the recap, the Broadcast operator maintains a continuity log of all messages received, whether addressed to the unit or not.

    1. A Communications Guard Shift (COMMSHIF) message is necessary whenever a command or detachment shifts its guard to/from a full period termination (FIT), Broadcast/Broadcast channel or serving communications center. The nature or requirement for the COMMSHIFT will dictate the precedence. During normal operations, COMMSHIFT are sent by Routine precedence, in time to reach the Common Source Route File (CSRF) in Honolulu, Hi. between 48 and 72 hours prior to the effective time of shift. Priority COMMSHIFT are sent if the shift is required within 24 to 48 hours prior, and Immediate COMMSHIFT can be sent if the shift is required within 24 hours. Normally, these are reserved for emergencies. When possible, COMMSHIFT, should be effective at 0001Z on the day the shift is required. Address all COMMSHIFT messages action to the gaining and losing communications facility, as well as NAVCSRF Honolulu, Hi., including the Broadcast Keying Station (BKS) if a COMMSHIFT involves moving to or from a broadcast. COMNAVTELCOM Washington DC should be included when shifting to/from an activity not governed by Navy procedures. Also include the NAVCAMS for the ocean area involved. The message will contain the following information:
    1. Unit shifting guard.
    2. Time of shift
    3. Broadcast channel, commcenter or ship assuming guard.
    4. Reason for shift
    5. When unit in par a . is the host unit for other embarked guarded addressable PLA’s, they must be identified in this paragraph.

6. (1) guard list requests. (routine COMMSHIFT only).

(2) general messages required and command assuming reroute responsibilities if shifting to a non-Navy/USMC/USCG communications facility.

(3) Crypt system and Key list for encryption or command assuming classified communications guard if shifting to a foreign communication facility.

The format for Communications guard shift messages are found in annex A, NIP-4. (See ENCL 1).

    1. When broadcast numbers are missed ships must first screen other ships in company for the missing numbers prior to submitting a broadcast screen request (BSR) to the NCTAMS. A BSR is a service message requesting a rerun of messages, and is sent to the Broadcast Keying Station unless otherwise directed (ENCL 2A). If the BSR is requesting a rerun of over 25 messages, the numbered fleet commander must be listed as an INFO addressee. If the numbered fleet commander is not listed, and there are more than 25 messages on the BSR, the servicing COMMCEN will readdress the BSR to the numbered fleet commander. once a BSR is received by the BUS, the information is manually entered into NAVCOMPARS. NAVCOMPARS will then generate a response based on the requesting unit's guard requirements (ENCL 2B).
  1. HF Terminations are dedicated, two way communications systems between a ship and a shore communications station, using HF as the radio path. HF terminations are used primarily for training, and have, for the most part, been discontinued due to the reliability of Satellite Communications paths and the high cost of operating and maintaining HF equipment.

3. Common User Digital Information Exchange System (CUDIXS) terminations, like HF, are point to point, two way dedicated systems between a ship and a shore communications station. The 5 NAVCOMPARS sites (all four NCIAMS plus NAVCOMMSTA Stockton) are equipped with CUDIXS systems. CUDIXS is a high speed, digital data exchange system employing Navy Satellite systems to provide ship to shore communications for afloat units. Each CUDIXS shore facility operates two full time CUDIXS nets, each providing up to 60 subscribers with two types of terminations; Primary, which allows afloat units send only capability, and Special, which provides afloat units with both send and receive capability. Ships equipped with the V-1 Navy Modular Automated Communications System (NAVMACS) system or those units unable to maintain continuous, uninterrupted terminations cannot be assigned Special Subscriber Identifiers (SID). Fleet units shifting to a CUDIXS termination which are capable of a Special Subscriber assignment but do not desire 2 way message flow must justify assignment to a Primary SOD in the remarks section of the COMMSHIFT. Special SID subscribers must submit a TERMINATION REQUEST message (ENCL 3) 5 - 10 days but not later than 48 hours prior to the desired time of activation. Units desiring a Primary SID assignment may activate SID 56 and informally request the assignment. NCTAMS will assign him an available SID.