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Home >> Standard Operating Procedures >> Comms

Channels and Frequencies


This is the default comms plan for missions.

Mission specific channels (11 through 13) are used to fit the scenario of a mission. These may include additional tankers, airport towers & ground, specific tasking channels, JTAC etc. If used for a mission, the table will be updated with said channels' functions in the mission event page.

These common channels are called the PRI (primary) channels. They are used on Com1 (i.e the left radio in the Hornet).

Channel Function Frequency
1 Carrier Tower 305.00
2 Carrier Tower (AI) 264.00
3 Tactical 265.00
4 Carrier Red Crown 256.00
5 CAP A 254.00
6 Ground 250.00
7 Tower 270.00
8 Control 257.00
9 AWACS Check In 255.00
10 CAP B 262.00
11 Air Force Secondary Tanker (AI) 259.00
12 Navy Secondary Tanker (AI) 268.00
13 Mission Specific 269.00
14 Navy Primary Tanker (AI) 260.00
15 Carrier Approach A 263.00
16 Carrier Marshal 261.00
17 Carrier Approach B 267.00
18 AWACS (AI) 251.00
19 Carrier Overhead Tankers (AI) 253.00
20 Air Force Primary Tanker (AI) 266.00

This is the standard comms table for AJS 37. Note that there's no AJS 37 preset for Ground. It has to be manually set to 250.00.

Channel Function Frequency
Ground 250.00
S1 Tower 270.00
S2 Control 257.00
S3 Tactical 265.00
E AWACS Check In 255.00
F Mission Specific 259.00
G Mission Specific 268.00
H Guard 243.00


The AUX frequencies are used by flights for intraflight comms. These are not presets. You have to manually tune your AUX radio to the correct frequency. The frequencies start at 130.10 and increases by .10 for each flight, corresponding to that flight's number.

Flight VHF UHF
Flight 1 130.10 330.10
Flight 2 130.20 330.20
Flight 3 130.30 330.30
Flight 4 130.40 330.40
Flight 5 130.50 330.50
... ... ...
Flight 10 131.00 331.00
Flight 11 131.10 331.10
... ... ...


In the Hornet, MIDS is our main intraflight method. As a flight lead, you may instead opt to use Discord for intraflight comms. (If you do, the recommendation is to use Discord instead of the MIDS, not in addition to MIDS). The recommendation is for everyone to use MIDS over Discord though. In the Training/Mission kneeboards, there is fixed MIDS channels assigned to each flight.

Common Radio Procedures

Also see Mission Procedures

Changing frequency

When the flight lead wants its flight to switch to a new channel (or specific frequency), he declares it on the frequency they are currently on. That way, the flight know where to go, and the controller of the frequency knows that you're now leaving. The brevity is "[Flight callsign], [Channel (or freq) to go to], push!].

Example: (Camel3, flight of four Hornets, is on channel 14 after finishing their aerial refueling, and should now go to channel 3 (tactical channel).

Camel31: "Camel Three, button 3, push!"

Note: The terms "Button" and "Channel" are used interchangeably. "Button" sounds a little more US Navy than "Channel" and we tend to use that, but it doesn't matter.


After a flight enters a new PRI channel, they should "check in". This is done by having the leader say "[Flight name and number]". The wingmen then simply reply (on the channel they are entering) with their numbers in the flight. Note that you should not say the words "check in" or "checking in" at any point.

Example: (Camel3, flight of four Hornets, checks in on Tactical channel)

Camel31: "Camel Three"
Camel32: "Two!"
Camel33: "Three!"
Camel34: "Four!"

Exception: During CASE 1 carrier procedures, flights do not check in on the tower channel (1) before the recovery. The check in is implicit, and nothing is said on the radio.

Contacting controlling agency

After a flight has checked in for the first time, it is common (and in the case of the Tactical channel, mandatory) to contact the controlling agency on that channel. The most common situation is that a flight has checked in on the tactical channel and contacts AWACS. Let the controlling agency know your airframe count, your position and any other relevant information (for instance fuel state on lowest flight member, tasking, any technical issues and so on). If some of these things should already be known by the controlling agency (because they are pre-briefed) and they haven't changed, you don't need to mention them, but instead state "as fragged".

Example: (Camel3, flight of four Hornets on CAP tasking, has just checked in and now contacts AWACS "Stingray" on Tactical channel)

Camel31: "Stingray, Camel31, marking bullseye 270 for 35 at angels 28, lowest state 10.8, as fragged!"
Stingray: "Camel31, Stingray, radar contact, continue as fragged."



This is not always used, but sometimes a controlling agency may ask a flight (or vice-versa) to authenticate themselves to prove that they are friendly. When this happens, we're using a system called "RAMROD". It works by having a certain phrase communicated to all parties in the briefing. The phrase is then used as a key to be able to correctly reply to the querying instance's authentication request. The query consists of two letters from the phrase, with exactly one letter between them. The letter in between is the correct answer. Note that the phrase is assumed to "wrap around", meaning the first letter in the phrase is located between the last and the second letter.

Example 1: (Stingray asks Camel3 for authentication. The prebriefed RAMROD key is "MONKEYSPIT")

Stingray: "Camel3, authenticate October Kilo!"
Camel31: "Stingray, Camel31 authenticates November."
Stingray: "Camel3, approved."

Example 2: (Same situation)

Stingray: "Camel3, authenticate India Mike!"
Camel31: "Stingray, Camel31 authenticates Tango."
Stingray: "Camel31, approved."


AMSL 1.png

When there is a need for more challanges, AMSL can be used. Like RAMROD, it consists of a two-letter challenge with a one-letter answer. The AMSL consists of a table with rows and columns of single letters where no letter can be the same on each row or column. The first letter given in the challange always indicates which row should be used (first column) and the second letter is indicated along that row. The answer is the letter just below the second letter given in the challange.

Example 1: (Stalker asks Hawg81 for authentication.)

Stalker: "Hawg81, authenticate NovemberEcho!"
Hawg81: "Stalker, Hawg81 authenticates Bravo."
Stalker: "Hawg81, authentication sweet."

Transponder Codes

When flying in events (and preferably during casual flying), you are expected to turn on your transponder and enable Mode 3 using a certain code. The way it's done is different in every aircraft. We use a simple system for knowing what code to use.

  • During training events, you should use 0 + your sidenumber. If your sidenumber is 403, you should input 0403.
  • During mission events, you should use 1 + your sidenumber. If your sidenumber is 403, you should input 1403.

Following these instructions, your callsign will automatically display for our ATC and AWACS people using the standalone program LotATC, saving them lots of trouble.

Brevity List

What does brevity mean?

Brevity is code words that are used to speed up radio communication, and reduce the likelyhood of mishearing or misunderstanding a radio call.

Here is a list of the brevity that is frequently used in Master Arms' training and mission flying. A more complete list can be found here: Full brevity list

Important brevity in Master Arms

Directive/informative call to cease action/attack/event/mission.
  1. Orbit about a specific point; refueling track flown by tanker
  2. Informative call to indicate a turning engagement about a specific location.
Height of a friendly aircraft (altitude) in thousands of feet (e.g., "Angels Five" is 5,000 ft).
As fragged
Unit or element will be performing exactly as stated by the air tasking order (ATO).
To request or provide a response for a coded challenge.
(number) Away
Declaration of x number of bombs dropped (e.g. "One away" for one bomb).
Aircraft carrier optical landing system.
An aircraft identified as enemy, in accordance with theater ID criteria. The term does not necessarily imply direction or authority to engage.
Target stabilized within 70 to 110 degree aspect; generally (direction) given with cardinal directions: east, west, north, or south.
  1. Minimum fuel state needed for aircraft to return to base.
  2. Proceed/am proceeding to specified base (field) or carrier.
No visual contact with friendly aircraft/ground position; opposite of "Visual".
A radar or visual air contact whose identity is unknown.
Bogey dope
Request for target information as briefed/available.
Tactical control format providing target bearing, range, altitude, and aspect, relative to a friendly aircraft or bullseye.
Break (direction)
Directive to perform an immediate maximum performance turn in the direction indicated; assumes a defensive situation.
Buddy spike
Friendly aircraft air-to-air indication on radar warning receiver (RWR); to be followed by position, heading, and altitude.
An established point from which the position of an object can be referenced; made by cardinal/range or digital format.
  1. Directive call to establish an orbit at a specified location. (location)
  2. An orbit at a specified location.
Friendly aircraft.
  1. No radar contacts on aircraft of interest.
  2. No visible battle damage
  3. Aircraft not carrying external stores.
Requested action is authorized (no engaged/support roles are assumed).
Cleared hot
Ordnance release is authorized.
  1. Attack geometry will result in a pass or rollout behind the target.
  2. On a leg of the combat air patrol (CAP) pointed away from anticipated threats.
  3. Group( s) heading away from friendly aircraft.
To maneuver beyond the range of a missile; implies illuminating target at radar gimbal limits in a beyond visual range engagement.
Inquiry as to the identification of a specified track(s), target(s), or correlated group.
Aircraft is in a defensive position and maneuvering with reference to an active threat.
Groups/contacts/formation with wingman displaced approximately 45 degrees behind leader's 3/9 (o'clock) line, see Echelon formation.
Radar contact is lost. (Termination of track plotting is not warranted.)
Feet wet/dry
Flying over water/land.
FENCE (in/out)
Set cockpit switches as appropriate prior to entering/exiting the combat area (mnemonic for fire-control system/ECM/navigation/communication/Emitters).
  1. (USAF) Target with a stable aspect of 120 to 150 degrees.
  2. (Naval) Target with stable aspect of 30 to 60 degrees.
Fox (number) 
Simulated/actual launch of air-to-air weapons.
ONE - semiactive radar-guided missile, such as an AIM-7 Sparrow or Skyflash.
TWO - infrared-guided missile, such as an AIM-9 Sidewinder or AIM-132 ASRAAM.
THREE - active radar-guided missile, such as an AIM-120 AMRAAM or AIM-54 Phoenix.
A positively identified friendly contact.
A turning fight involving multiple aircraft with known bandits and friendlies mixed.
Directive/informative call to fly as quickly as possible, using afterburner/maximum power.
Hold fire
An emergency fire control order used to stop firing on a designated target, to include destruction of any missiles in flight.
Home plate
Home airfield or carrier.
A contact identified as enemy upon which clearance to fire is authorized in accordance with theater rules of engagement.
  1. Attack geometry will result in rollout in front of the target.
  2. On a leg of the CAP pointing toward the anticipated threats.
  3. Group heading towards friendly aircraft; opposite of COLD.
  4. Ordnance employment intended or completed.
  5. Anti-Aircraft weapon is operational and tracking.
Fuel state above BINGO at which separation/bugout/event termination should begin.
Aircrew has radar/visual contact on the correct target, has taken control of the intercept, and only requires situation awareness information. Controller will minimize radio transmissions.
Launch of friendly anti-radiation missile (such as AGM-88 HARM, ALARM).
  1. Information that friendlies and targets have arrived in the same visual arena.
  2. Call indicating radar returns have come together.
Informative call advising that command and control (C2) functions are no longer available; opposite of "Sunrise".
Parent ship.
Radar warning receiver (RWR) indication of an AI radar in search mode. Add clock position/azimuth and radar type, if known.
New picture
Used by controller or aircrew when tactical picture has changed. Supersedes all previous calls and re-establishes picture for all players.
No factor
Not a threat.
No joy
Aircrew does not have visual contact with the target, bandit or landmark; opposite of Tally.
Geographically isolated collection of groups/contacts/formations.
Provide tactical situation status pertinent to mission.
Informative call that an active radar-guided missile (such as AIM-120, AIM-54, Meteor) is at active range and no longer requires radar input from launch aircraft.
Push (channel)
Go to designated frequency. No acknowledgment required.
Indicates a radar lock-on to unknown aircraft; a request for a buddy spike (position/heading/altitude) reply from friendly aircraft meeting these parameters (to prevent friendly fire).
Snap (direction) 
An immediate vector to the group described.
Radar warning receiver (RWR) indication of an AI radar in track, launch, or unknown mode. Add clock position/azimuth and radar type, if known.
A/A or A/G target hit with expended munition.
Squawk (number/code)
Operate IFF as indicated or IFF is operating as indicated.
Informative call that C2 functions (Command & Control) are available. (opposite of midnight).
Sighting of a target, bandit, bogey, or enemy position; opposite of no joy.
Cannot comply as requested/directed.
Sighting of a friendly aircraft/ground position; opposite of blind.
Will comply
No ordnance remaining, can be used to refer to specific