c. The limitations of single-channel radio must be considered.
(1) Radio is the most detectable means of electronic communications and is subject to
(2) To be capable of operating together, radios must have common, or at least some
overlapping frequencies. They must transmit and receive the same type signal and must be located
within operating range of each other with a clear transmission path.
(3) Radio is the least secure means of communications, and interception can occur every time
d. Tactical applications. The extent to which radio is used in combat operations depends on
secrecy and surprise requirements, balanced against the urgency of communications. When surprise is
important, radio operations are limited initially to units in contact with the enemy. Higher headquarters
(HQ) may direct the operation of dummy stations to increase deception and surprise. A unit moving into
an area just prior to attack may maintain listening silence until the attack is launched. When a unit is
already occupying a sector from which it is to launch an attack, and its radio stations are in operation, it
may be directed to maintain normal radio operations without substantial change in traffic load until the
attack is launched. A unit moving to another sector or being relieved by another unit may have to
provide dummy radio stations to continue operations until the attack is fully underway. Once the attack
is launched, special restrictions on radio operations are generally removed.
Single-Channel Radio Nets. These nets provide initial command, control, and communications at
the brigade HQ and throughout the brigade. Threat electronic warfare (EW) capabilities determine our
use of single-channel radio. Single-channel radio requires special considerations, especially when
operated from static locations such as a command post (CP) area. Radio transmissions should be limited
to information of an immediate operational nature. The basic single-channel radio nets are the command
and operations net, the intelligence net, the administrative/logistics net, the fire direction net, the HF
voice net (AM), and the general purpose (GP) radio teletypewriter (RATT) net. The following
description of these nets is based on FM 11-50, Combat Communications Within the Division (Heavy
a. The command and operations net (FM) is used to pass orders and immediate command and
operational information (tactical control, combat coordination, and tactical data reporting). This net is
given the highest installation priority.
b. The intelligence net is used to pass intelligence information and spot reports. This net is the
backup for the command and operations net and is given the second highest installation priority. In
addition, operations and intelligence nets are often combined at brigade and battalion levels.