Back to Basics: Brevity Codes

The biggest issue I had when I approached this hobby was putting all those cool words listed here and there over the Internet into an understandable context. There are many sources around but the vast majority are never-ending lists of words with little practical meaning the first you read them.
In this article I try to separate and arrange by context the most commonly used brevities. This is by no means a comprehensive list and it is mostly focused on Air-to-Air operations.

If I missed obvious brevities please let me know and I will add them 🙂

Parentheses: Message format

Messages usually follow this structure:

Recipient, Sender, Message.

For example, if the callsign of our F-14B is Diamond 1-1 and the Controller is Darkstar the message we will send on the net to get the picture will be:

Darkstar, Diamond 1-1, Request Picture.

Brevity List

Controller status: used when a controller starts providing or terminates services. SUNRISE, MIDNIGHT

  • SUNRISE: Controller on Station, repeated three times;
  • MIDNIGHT: Controller terminating services, repeated three times.
Classification (ROE): classification relative to the ROE of a specific contact/Group, usually filled-in in BULLSEYE/BRAA calls.
  • HOSTILE: Contact identified as enemy, fire authorized;
  • BANDIT: Contact identified as enemy, fire (usually) not authorized;
  • BOGEY: Unknown identity;
    • OUTLAW: Unknown but coming from an enemy position (i.e. Airfield);
    • SPADES: Contact lacking IFF modes and codes to identify it;
  • FRIENDLY: Friendly contact.
Request Correlation DECLARE (GROUP/BRAA): Request current identification for specified BRAA or Group.
Request information: different way to obtain information. PICTURE is default post check-in and it provides information about the tactical theatre using BULLSEYE. Other means use lower tactical level and BRAA. SNAP and CUTOFF can be used to rejoin / intercept tankers or other friendlies.
  • PICTURE: Request for air theatre information in Bullseye format;
  • STATUS (GROUP): Update about the specified GROUP in Bullseye format;
  • BOGEY DOPE: Request closest or specified Group information in BRAA format;
  • SNAP: Request immediate BRAA to the specified Group;
  • CUTOFF: Request for cutoff intercept geometry.

PIGEONS: Request Magnetic bearing and range to Homeplate.

Providing Awareness: used as a heads-up for friendlies that an untargeted hostile is close. THREAT (Direction): Specified direction where an untargeted HOSTILE, BANDIT, BOGEY is. Distance is briefed and defined depending on the type of threat. BRAA format is used. HOT TA is assumed for THREAT calls.
Request distance SEPARATION: Request for separation between two Groups.
Positional References: typically the answer from an enquiry to the controller, BULLSEYE is used for the picture to all the players in the AO, BRAA for tactical control.
  • BULLSEYE: Bearing, Range, Altitude form a common reference points.
  • BRAA: Position of an objected relative to another (Bearing, Range, Altitude, Aspect).

ANGELS: Altitude in thousands of feet. Friendlies only.

Contact Description Altitude:

  • VERY HIGH: Contact altitude above 40000ft;
  • HIGH: Contact altitude between 25000ft and 40000ft;
  • MEDIUM: Contact altitude between 10000ft and 25000ft;
  • LOW: Contact altitude lower than 10000ft.

Speed:

  • SLOW: Contact GS lower than 300kts.
  • FAST: Contact GS between 600kts and 900kts / M1-M1.5
  • VERY FAST: Contact GS higher than 900kts / M1.5
Taking/Releasing responsibility: these are used for deconfliction and space management. By default, once a friendly has taken responsibility for the specified Group, other friendlies will not COMMIT/TARGET it.
  • COMMIT: aircrew starts the intercept relative to the Picture.
  • TARGET: directive call to take responsibility for a specified Group.
  • TARGETED: informative call that an aircrew has taken responsibility for the Group.
  • RESET: proceed to pre-briefed position (disengaging);
  • DROP: the aircrew has released tracking responsibility;
  • MONITOR: maintain radar awareness on the specified Group.

SKIP IT: negate fighter COMMIT.

Missile launch call (Employment): broadcast to alert friendlies on the net of a specified missile launch. FOX 1-2-3: Abbreviation from FOXTROT (FIRE) for launch of ait-to-air weapon.

  • FOX-1: semi-active radar guided missile;
  • FOX-2: IR-guided missile;
  • FOX-3: active radar missile.
Post Employment tactics
  • SKATE: executing Launch-and-Leave tactics (Leave pre DOR);
  • SHORT SKATE: executing Launch-and-Leave tactics (Leave pre MAR/DR);
  • BANZAI: executing Launch-and-Decide.
Post Employment missile status
  • HUSKY: AIM-120 is at HPRF guidance range;
  • PITBULL: AIM-120 is at MPRF guidance range, AIM-54 active;
  • TIMEOUT: missile as reached its intended target (hit not implied);
  • THRASHED: missile defeated.
Intercept Control JUDY: The crew has radar or visual contact with the target and doesn’t need additional guidance. The controller minimizes comms and provides SA information.
Fuel status
  • JOKER: Fuel status above Bingo at which separation begins;
  • BINGO: Fuel status when recovery begins;
  • TIGER: Enough fuel and ordnance to accept a commit.
Status WHAT STATE (Active/Radar/Heat/Fuel): Request number of:

  • Active: Active radar guidance missiles;
  • Radar: Semi-active radar guidance missiles;
  • Heat: IR guided missiles;
  • Fuel: lbs of fuel or time remaining.

WINCHESTER: No ordnance left

Radio Comms PUSH (Channel/Frequency): Select specified channel (or frequency if no preset is available).

  • VICTOR: VHF/AM;
  • FOX-MIKE: VHF/FM;
  • UNIFORM: UHF/AM.
System/avionics status

  • SWEET: Equipment working correctly;
  • SOUR: Equipment broken, or malfunctioning.
IFF / Transponder. Supported by SRS and LotATC.

  • PARROT: IFF Equipment;
  • SQUAWK (CODE): Set IFF to the specified Code;
  • SQUAWK IDENT: Request to press IDENT.

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