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Navigational Lights, Continued
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External Communications,  Continued
External  Communications Methods There  are  several  ways  by  which  to  communicate  with  other  ships  and shore  commands  while  at  sea.  One  of  the  oldest  is  communicating  by flaghoist  using  signal  flags.  The  newest  methods  incorporate  the  use  of satellite  uplinks  to  transfer  data.  The  objective  of  the  material  presented in  this  section  is  to  give  you  a  basic  knowledge  of  methods  of communicating.  You  will  be  referred  to  reference  material  for instructions   concerning   each   method. The  following  table  gives  you  a  snapshot  of  different  methods  used  to communicate  while  at  sea. Method Description VHF  Radio The  VHF  radio  commonly  refer  to  as  the  bridge-to- (Electronic) bridge  circuit  is  often  used  to  exchange  unclassified information  between  ships.  All  vessels  over  100 meters  in  length  are  required  to  be  equipped  with VI-IF  capability. Radiotelephone When  conducting  operations,  the  RT  circuits  are (R/T) probably  the  most  frequently  used  method  of (Electronic) communicating.  Each  ship  involved  is  assigned  a  call sign.  There  are  normally  at  least  two  secure frequencies  assigned  for  any  operation  by  the  officer in  tactical  command  (OTC).  One  frequency  is  used for  encoded  tactical  signals,  while  the  other  is  used for  secure  plain  voice  communications. Flaghoist Tactical  and  information  signals  are  communicated (Visual) using  signal  flags.  The  flags  and  pennants  are  divided into  two  flag  bags.  The  allied  bag  contains  68  flags and  pennants  that  are  used  to  communicate  with  other naval ships. The  international  flag  bag  contains  40 flags  and  pennants  that  are  used  to  communicate  with merchant  ships. Flaghoists  are  always  read  from  the  top  outboard  side then  down  and  inward.  In  other  words,  if  three  hoists are  closed  up  (at  the  top  of  the  halyard)  start  at  the top  outboard  side  and  read  down,  then  go  to  the  top of  the  next  inner  hoist  and  again  read  down,  and  so on. Signalmen  make  up  and  execute  flaghoist  messages  or signals  as  directed  by  the  OOD. 11-19

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