Source: This Means of Tactical Communications Infographic is from FM 21-75 Combat Skills of the Soldier August 1984, Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Andrew’s Note: These means of communications are timeless and even hold true to a world a little more basic than one that includes e-mail, fax, text, phone, and high definition television.
The SALUTE Report, also known as the Spot Report is(as in ‘I spotted something’) is a U.S. Army Skill Level 1 Task (Skill Level 1 Tasks apply to everyone from the brand new recruit to the senior General Officer) that makes it easier for a soldier to observe and report information of intelligence value or information that can be used to immediate advantage. Essentially the SALUTE Report is an observation and reporting mnemonic and technique. The Prepper SALUTE Report is an easy skill to learn and it’s definitely worth learning whether you’re a prepper and just a concerned citizen.
SALUTE is actually an acronym and does use a little military jargon so I’ll interpret and help you apply this tool to situations as diverse as use in a Neighborhood Protection District (neighborhood watch on steroids when law enforcement can’t be relied upon) or by a concerned citizen who sees potential criminal or terror activity like the recent bombings in Boston.
In Building a Bug Out Bag Part I we discussed why building a Bug Out Bag is important and what type of bag to select. In Part II we discussed the Transportation Items to consider, in Part III we explored Water preparedness, in Part IV we explored Food preparedness, and in Part V we tackled Shelter, Clothing and Protection from the elements for your Bug Out Bag. Today we’ll discuss Communications preparedness and the communications elements to consider while building a Bug Out Bag. Remember, this is your last ditch, carry on your back, walk away from trouble Bug Out Bag…not what you hope you can get to your bug out location if your car, SUV, or DUKW makes it.
I’m not a licensed Ham (amateur radio operator)…at least not yet. However, I am familiar with radio procedures from my military experience and radio theory from my time as a Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Officer. I found this Infographic from OffGridSurvival to be a great refresher. Learn more about the licensing process at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website.
If you’re a military veteran or a fan of the book Alas Babylon you’re likely already familiar with the term or at least the concept of an ‘Alert Code.’ Simply put, an Alert Code is a trigger to move from peacetime, business-as-usual to deployment for war (in a military context) or survival mode in the case of a preparedness alert code.
In the military an alert code is an unclassified, ‘for official use only’ phrase that tells the service member to grab designated items, a deployment bag for example, and report to the unit for deployment within a set number of hours (or minutes). There are usually two types of alert codes, the real alert code and a practice code for ‘exercising’ an alert roster to make sure that the roster is accurate and sometimes perform a dry run of selected actions.
If you’re familiar with the alert code concept from Pat Frank’s (pen name used by Harry Hart Frank) 1959 novel, Alas Babylon you may recall that the name of the book was taken from the alert code that Colonel Mark Bragg, a U.S. Air Force STRATCOM Intelligence Officer worked out with his brother, Randy so that Randy would know that nuclear war was imminent.