The Phonetic Alphabet was developed to make communicating more clear via radio. As people we all have different slang, dialects, accents, etc. When communicating over the radio it can be difficult to clearly understand the other person. Using the Phonetic Alphabet helps to overcome those issues.
How to use it?
Let’s say you wanted to tell some one to meet you in Deming, NM. And you wanted it to be crystal clear…or they were having trouble understanding you. You could spelling out “Deming”…but does your “D” sound like a “B” to the listener? Or does your “m” sound like an “n” to them?
You overcome that by using the Phonetic Alphabet to spell it out, “Deming” becomes
“delta”, “echo”, “mike”, “india”, “november”, “golf”
D e m i n g
Now they are very clear on what word you are using.
There is also another way to use the Phonetic Alphabet…code.
Let’s say you have already planned with your friend to meet in Deming…but you have 4 possible places to meet (north side, west side, east side, south side). To make things easier to communicate and to be secure (keep others from knowing your plans) you could simply use the following:
Deming north side = “delta novermber”
Deming south side = “delta sierra”
Deming east side = “delta echo”
Deming west side = “delta whiskey”
Let your mind come up with creative solutions to communication issues…the Phonetic Alphabet can provide unique answers.
WARNING!!!! – Do not start to substitute different words for alphabet letters! Keep to the standard and you will be compatible with other radio users and emergency responders.
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