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How are callsigns used within a US Army Attack Helicopter Battalion/Company?


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Am 9.11.2021 um 16:39 schrieb Zeagle:

Callsigns are assigned to flights. They don't just pick them themselves. For example, take the 93rd TFS MAKOS. Their approved callsigns include MAKO, SHARK, and AKULA. They usually append a number on the end of that to help differentiate callsigns in the ATC environment.  You might have MAKO11 flight of 4 and SHARK21 flight of 4.  The individual callsigns would be MAKO11, MAKO12, MAKO13, and MAKO14 and likewise for the SHARK flight. When joined-up they use the callsign of the lead aircraft. When they split up they use their individual callsign such as SHARK22 or SHARK23, etc. When a flight is joined up, only one aircraft talks to ATC.

Those numbers appended to the callsign have no relevance to any number physically on the plane. The Navy is a different in that they use the board number or MODEX for certain operations. I do not know how the Army does it. 

I am sure that an ATO would direct a squadron to use certain callsigns and flight numbers in order to cut down on confusion. 

Now, a JTAC or AWACS controller, or some other kind of commander onboard an aircraft will usually have a pre-briefed callsign that they will use. All players are usually aware of this callsign.  An AWACS controller might have a specific callsign to use independent of the callsign of the aircraft he is in.  

 

 

 

That's how it's done in the Air Force... As someone mentioned above, the Army Air Corps is a bit different.

I found the "Dragon 34 dash -1" bit very interesting, as I've never heard, read this before. 

 

Shagrat

 

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2 hours ago, shagrat said:

That's how it's done in the Air Force... As someone mentioned above, the Army Air Corps is a bit different.

I found the "Dragon 34 dash -1" bit very interesting, as I've never heard, read this before. 

 

Only time I do it is when working terminal control with a jtac so he doesn’t get confused on what ship he’s talking too. Because when we check in it’s Apache 1-1 flight of 2. So if I’m dash 2 I’ll call -2 in etc. or are you exampling the 34 part specifically. 


Edited by kgillers3
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4 hours ago, shagrat said:

I found the "Dragon 34 dash -1" bit very interesting, as I've never heard, read this before. 

That's because, depending on the structure of the theater ATO assignments, the lead aircraft could be Dragon 34, and the trail could be Dragon 27.

In this case it would get very confusing calling one aircraft vs the other to coordinate fires, and trying to keep them sorted. Since the lead aircraft's primary responsibility is talking to the ground force, the flight just uses the lead callsign, but appends "dash 1" or "dash 2" to signify lead or trail.

Afterburners are for wussies...hang around the battlefield and dodge tracers like a man.

DCS Rotor-Head

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vor 4 Stunden schrieb Raptor9:

That's because, depending on the structure of the theater ATO assignments, the lead aircraft could be Dragon 34, and the trail could be Dragon 27.

In this case it would get very confusing calling one aircraft vs the other to coordinate fires, and trying to keep them sorted. Since the lead aircraft's primary responsibility is talking to the ground force, the flight just uses the lead callsign, but appends "dash 1" or "dash 2" to signify lead or trail.

Yep, but air force usually organizes flights under the same callsign and "No." so a "Mako 3" flight consists of "Mako 3-1 and Mako3-2 (-3, -4)" and "Mako 4" would be another F-16 flight. It seems that numbering logic for the callsign does not translate 100% to the Army Air Corps?

I noticed the British WAH-64 squadrons start counting with 0 so you happen to have "Dragon 0-1" and "Dragon 0-2" as callsigns, but then it's not the Army anyway, but apart from that they follow the Callsign FlightNo.-Position scheme. 

 


Edited by shagrat

Shagrat

 

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vor 6 Stunden schrieb kgillers3:

Only time I do it is when working terminal control with a jtac so he doesn’t get confused on what ship he’s talking too. Because when we check in it’s Apache 1-1 flight of 2. So if I’m dash 2 I’ll call -2 in etc. or are you exampling the 34 part specifically. 

 

What is interesting is the Callsign + No. with 34 and(!) dash 1/2 for the aircraft. I mostly read it as the first number after the Callsign as the flight and the second already identifying the position. So "Apache 34" 'should' be Apache 3 flights second elements wingman?

Are there situations where you have 27 or even 34 flights with the callsign Apache scheduled or is that 27/ 34 from the aircraft ID and the individual calllsign of the aircraft?

Shagrat

 

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1 hour ago, shagrat said:

Yep, but air force usually organizes flights under the same callsign and "No." so a "Mako 3" flight consists of "Mako 3-1 and Mako3-2 (-3, -4)" and "Mako 4" would be another F-16 flight. It seems that numbering logic for the callsign does not translate 100% to the Army Air Corps?

I noticed the British WAH-64 squadrons start counting with 0 so you happen to have "Dragon 0-1" and "Dragon 0-2" as callsigns, but then it's not the Army anyway, but apart from that they follow the Callsign FlightNo.-Position scheme. 

 

 

It goes both ways. So it depends. Our lts are 1-6 and 2-6 for 1st and 2nd plts. It could be someone using their actual call sign, it could be an ato requirement, or it could be us just doing the flight and gun order number. 
 

best answer it depends on who’s flying, what are the requirements, and who we are talking too. 
 

Rewording this so it’s less confusing. If I’m not lead. I monitor, if I need to talk to the ground peeps I use leads c/s -2 so ground knows he’s talking to the second ship. It’s less confusing for them trying to remember multiple c/s especially in a stack. Other units might do it differently. Trying to take the work load off of the dudes down below they have enough things to worry about. 

 


Edited by kgillers3
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59 minutes ago, shagrat said:

What is interesting is the Callsign + No. with 34 and(!) dash 1/2 for the aircraft. I mostly read it as the first number after the Callsign as the flight and the second already identifying the position. So "Apache 34" 'should' be Apache 3 flights second elements wingman?

Are there situations where you have 27 or even 34 flights with the callsign Apache scheduled or is that 27/ 34 from the aircraft ID and the individual calllsign of the aircraft?

Yep, I'm aware of the various methods for assigning callsigns among flights.  However, I'm referring to the common methodology that US Army Aviation is placed on the Air Tasking Order.  As I mentioned, it depends on theater; or more specifically how the CAOC/JAOC is managing the ATO.  In the example I listed above, Dragon 34 and Dragon 27 are assigned to two specific AH-64 tail numbers on the ATO.  Regardless of whether they are in the same flight, those are the callsigns assigned to those aircraft.  There may be more than one naming convention for labeling aircraft callsigns that exists in the same ATO document.  You could have two AH-64's in a flight with callsigns Dragon 34 and Dragon 27, and overhead working the same area are a flight of F-16's with callsigns Viper 71 and Viper 72.

But again, as I mentioned, it can vary depending on the circumstances.  You could have two AH-64's assigned callsigns of Dragon 34 and Dragon 27, where those two callsigns are assigned to specific tail numbers, and then another pair of AH-64's from the very same unit, that very same day, are assigned callsigns of Dragon 03 and Dragon 04 because of the specific mission tasking they are on, regardless of what tail numbers are placed on that mission.  And this is all in the same ATO cycle.

The point being is that there is no universal standard, even within a single ATO cycle in a theater.  It is all based on how the over-arching command, control and communications plans are implemented on any given day, and you may have all sorts of different countries and military branches operating in that theater.  This is why, depending on the unit the AH-64's are talking to (and I'm only speaking about US Army Aviation AH-64's here), they may simply use the lead aircraft's callsign, regardless of the number of digits, and then just add "dash 1", "dash 2", "dash 3", etc, to make it easier for the supported ground unit they are communicating with.

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Afterburners are for wussies...hang around the battlefield and dodge tracers like a man.

DCS Rotor-Head

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On 11/25/2021 at 7:13 AM, Sinclair_76 said:

Dutch SF have used the callsign Nassau. I would consider that more patriotic than Windmill.

Well yes, but I'm not SF, I'm just a humble apache driver, hence I had to make do with Windmill.

Worst of all we don't even get to use the Redskin callsign anymore nowadays because it gets the Americans knickers in a bunch... 🙄

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4 hours ago, Remco said:

Well yes, but I'm not SF, I'm just a humble apache driver, hence I had to make do with Windmill.

Worst of all we don't even get to use the Redskin callsign anymore nowadays because it gets the Americans knickers in a bunch... 🙄

What are you using instead?

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