Lesson 2 – Tactical Call Signs

Tactical Call Signs are often used in addition to your FCC call sign.   Tactical call signs are usually descriptive term that describes a function or location.   For instance Net Control is a tactical call sign.    There might be more than one person at the NCS location, so using that tactical call sign allows the location to be reached without necessarily know who exactly is acting as NCS.

In a community service net, Water Stop 3 or Repair Truck 1 could be possible Tactical Call Signs.   Within the Omaha Metro Medical Response System (OMMRS), the various hospital and other locations are used as Tactical Call Signs.   Methodist,  Bergan, Midlands, Poison, etc are used.   During SKYWARN nets, watch point locations are use.     All of these make communications easier as staffing changes occur and also allows everyone listening to the net to know the station’s assignment or location.

Tactical call signs are encouraged in ARES nets, but are used at the discretion of the Net Control Station.   Only the Net Control Station (NCS) may authorize a tactical designation be used as a call sign.   Once tactical call signs are assigned, stations should respond to that Tactical Call.

Remember you must still identify your stations using your FCC issued call sign.
This is easily accomplished by using your station call sign at the end of the exchange as you normally would.


“Net Control, Watch Point Alpha 7”
“Alpha 7, Net Control, go ahead”
“We have sustained winds out of the west at 40 miles per hour with gusts to 60 mph”
“Copy sustained winds of 40 mph with gust to 60 mph out of the west at Alpha 7, WØXYZ Net Control”
“KXØZZZ, Alpha 7”

The use of the tactical call sign, conveyed the location of the report, reducing the amount of information to be spoken.  FCC Call Signs are only used at the end of the exchange or every 10 minutes.     Tactical Call Signs enhance communications, they do not replace your station call sign.