Relaying information in 39th Battalion operations needs to be organised and effective due to the often urgent nature of the content being communicated. Coupled with many air, land and sea assets all simultaneously vying for communication bandwidth, radio communication requires a strict set of procedures and protocols that would be used to facilitate communication by conveying information in a condensed standard form.
Fundamentally all core Ratel follows a universal set of rules and procedures, although the delivery can vary widely depending on the situation or purpose. As the majority of communication traffic within 39th Battalion comprises of infantry to support or command, Ratel protocol can be almost always expected to follow core procedure. However, as 39th Battallion members begin to branch into specialist roles, more complex variations of Ratel become necessary in order to completing irregular mission tasks.
Basic RATEL SOPs
OP – Observation Post – As the name implies an OP is used to observe, without being seen, enemy positions or suspected enemy positions.
FUP – Form Up Point – The position from which forces assault the objective. The last covered and concealed position before reaching an objective.
CP – Check Point – A position where once the unit reaches it stops and reports it’s position
WP – Way Point – Routes are made up of several WP. Normal distinguishable features ie: track junction or top of a hill.
SBF – Support By Fire – A fire support position provides direct fire onto a target providing suppression giving the the maneuver element time to move from the FUP and engage EN whilst maintaining the initiative. (best at Right angles to the Assault force, as this maintains maximum time providing direct fire)
Cutoff - The comd in the SBF gives the order to stop firing when the assault force comes within the danger area of the weapon systems he is employing to provide direct fire. Usually done from a predetermined signal Smoke or radio catch word.
LZ – Landing Zone – A designated landing zone for helicopters
Resup or RS - Resupply point – A designated resupply point. Once marked it is active.
CAS # – Close Air Strike - Used to mark a CAS position i.e. CAS 2
Arty # - Artillery Strike - Used to mark Artillery or Mortar strike position.