The sonar operator gets a lot of important information from his gear,
but it is useless unless he reports it properly. In fact, experience proves that
attacks have been hindered by the inability of sonar operators to report
clearly. Every bit of information should be reported at once. If you are not
sure of your data, report anyway and say that you are uncertain. The conning
officer needs correct data, it is true. But he must have all information as soon
as sonar gets it.
Need for standard forms
As soon as a contact is made and battle stations sounded, the captain himself becomes the conning officer. During the exciting minutes that follow, the captain will be giving orders to many different stations on the submarine. He will also be receiving reports from various sources - coming in one after another.
During an attack communication lines become heavily burdened. The
conning officer cannot afford to waste precious seconds trying to figure out the meaning of your own particular brand of
wording. Therefore, to save his time and to
prevent tragic mistakes, you must learn to
use simple, standard forms of phraseology for
Pronunciation of numerals
Since your reports will usually include numbers, it is extremely important that you learn a standard pronunciation for the numerals. At first, the exaggerated pronunciations shown
in the box at the right may seem strange, but there is a logical reason for every one of them. For instance, the usual "nine" may be confused with "five," but "niner" doesn't sound
at all like "fi-yiv." Drill yourself in these pronunciations until you use them automatically.
Call letters in orders and reports
In giving orders, the conning officer avoids confusion by addressing
each sonar operator according to the gear he is on. For example, if you happen to be stationed at the QB gear he will call you "QB." The same goes
for JP. However, if you are on the JK/QC gear, he will call you simply
"JK" -even if you happen to be using the QC side at the moment. In
acknowledging orders and in giving reports, you always start with your call
letters. Then the conning officer will know instantly what gear the information is coming from.
Bearings and turn counts
Always report a bearing or turn count as three separate numerals. If
necessary, add zeroes at the beginning. For example:
"QB, bearing ze-ro ze-ro six."
"JP, turn count is ze-ro eight fo-wer."
Unless specifically ordered to do otherwise, you will always report relative bearings. Therefore you leave out the word "relative" from such bearing
reports. But if you are instructed to give true bearings, you must add the
word "true" after the numerals. For example:
"JK, bearing one two nines, TRUE."
In reporting a range, use "oh" and "double oh", instead of zero and zero
zero. For example:
"QB, range one thuh-see double oh."
"QB, range two oh double oh."
In giving reports, you will leave out the usual courtesies such as "sir,"
"please," "thank you," etc. These expressions are good manners, but they
are pure waste when every word should give information. Stick to the simple,
standard forms- using the fewest words possible.
If the conning officer cannot understand you, or if you misunderstand
him, the consequences may be serious. Therefore, it is important for you
know by heart, and practice constantly, the following standard procedure
1. Repeat every order word-for-word as soon as you receive it.
Order: "JP, make a rapid search."
You say: "JP, make a rapid search."
2. If you do not understand every word of an order, say "Repeat." For example:
Order: "JP, pick up target bearing ugg ugg ugg"
You say; "Repeat."
Repeated order: "JP, pick up target bearing two thuh-ree
3. If you make a mistake in your report, say "Belay that," and
then give the corrected message. For example:
"JP, bearing one two niner. Belay that. JP, bearing one
4. Listen while the man at the other end repeats your report. If
he makes a mistake, say "Belay that" then repeat the correct
information. For example:
Your report: "JK, bearing thuh-ree fo-wer fi-yiv."
Repeated as "JK, bearing, two fo-wer fi-yiv."
You say: "Belay that. JK, bearing thuh-ree fo-wer fi-yiv."
The examples below are typical of the kind of orders you are likely to
"JP, monitor ship's noise."
"JK, pick up target bearing one two ze-ro."
"QB, report bearings every two degrees."
"JP, give me a mark on bearing two one fo-wer."
"QB, shift to fast screws, bearing ze-ro eight one."
Study the examples of reports given below. Model your reports after
"JP, sound conditions poor."
"QB, contact echo-ranging. Long scale."
"JP, target bearing one six ze-ro going down starboard side."
"JP, lost contact. Last bearing was two thuh-ree fi-yiv."
"QB, fast screws crossing target."
"QB, torpedoes running at thuh-ree fo-wer fi-yiv."
"JP, high noise level, bearing ze-ro eight fi-yiv. Sounds like
Of course, a sample of every possible report cannot be given here, but
you can get the general idea. Every report is given in the minimum of necessary words, using standard forms whenever possible.
Reports must be understood
Finally, you must learn to speak clearly enough and slowly enough to
be easily understood. Also, make your voice loud enough to be heard-with
out unnecessary shouting.
Keep this in mind: All the finest information your sonar gear can give
will do no good unless you report it in a clear and understandable manner.
Copyright (C) 2004 Maritime Park Association
All Rights Reserved
Version 1.10, 22 Oct 04