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RockJordan
23-12-2013, 03:32 PM
Components of a Contact Report

Contact reports are intended to be a way for any member of the unit to concisely communicate important information about the enemy in a standard way.

Being able to concisely report enemy locations is a critical communication skill to have. The sooner we know about enemy positions, and the faster it is passed to the entire squad, the better our survivability will be and the more effective we will be at reacting to threats.

A contact report consists of several key elements that must be presented in a specific order for it to be effective. They are as follows.

1. Alert
Typically the word 'Contact!'. This should be the first thing out of your mouth when you spot the enemy. Saying this gives everyone a heads-up that something important is about to be passed over the radio, and that they need to start scanning the area for more enemy as well as think about where they can move for cover and concealment.

2. Orient
This immediately follows your alert. "Orient" is simply a few words to get people looking in the general direction of the enemy.

There are several types of orientation methods available.

Relative bearing. If a direction of movement has been established, relative directions such as "Front", "Left", "Right", "Rear" are great. In a stationary defense, particularly when defending in multiple directions, this is not a usable format.

General compass bearing. Useful at all times, easy to understand. General compass bearings are things like "North", "North-West", et cetera. The ShackTac HUD, if used, can give you an easily indication of your cardinal directions.

Specific compass bearing. Used for high-precision reporting when units are fairly close to each other. This involves reading the exact compass bearing, in degrees. Note that in Arma 3, the compass takes a few moments to stabilize, making this slightly slower than in previous games.

Clock bearing. Clock bearings are never used aside from by single vehicle crews, since a vehicle has a common 12 o'clock that all crew members are familiar with. A vehicle crew can use clock bearings for internal communication if they so desire, though relative bearings tend to be faster overall.

If the target is in range to be a threat, give a rough range immediately - "Contact front, close!" or "Contact west, 100 meters!". This can wait if the target is not a threat, but it must be given one way or the other by the end of the contact report.

3. Describe
What did you see? Was it an enemy patrol, tank, or a little old lady out for a stroll? Say it in as few words as possible while being very clear.

Examples: "Infantry", "Enemy patrol", "APC", "machinegun nest".

4. Expound
If the target range was not given in the 'Orient' step, it must be given here. Target range is essential and allows players to react appropriately to the threat's proximity. The range can be given at whatever level of detail time allows for, from "Close!" to "523 meters" and everything in between. Range is the most important thing to expound on, and must always be given.

If time and the situation allow for it, give more information. This can include things like:

Specific degree bearing to the target. If you only passed a relative bearing at the start for speed's sake, you can refine it into a specific degree bearing at the end of the contact report.

Info about what the target is doing. Such as "They're flanking us" or "They don't see us".
Specific positioning of the target. Such as "two soldiers on the roof, one in the building, the rest are patrolling around it".
For instance, if you spot a patrol that is walking through a patch of woods, step #3 would be "enemy patrol", whereas step #4 would clarify that with "in the treeline, bearing 325".

Note that with contact reports, getting the key information out for everyone to react to is more important than the ordering of the information. As long as people know where to look, what they're looking for, and how far away the contact is, you will have given a successful report.

FeralFoxTrot
23-12-2013, 06:00 PM
Very useful Jordan, thanks.

bogzillar
23-12-2013, 06:36 PM
nice writeup :)

Hairy_Eagle
23-12-2013, 06:37 PM
+1

DRZdeano
23-12-2013, 07:50 PM
+9999999999999

this is an awesome description of the key information needed in a call out.

imo steps 2+3(+4 if channel is quiet) should be how callouts in our bf scrims should sound.