18/01/2016 at 21:19 #3793
Over the past couple of shifts, I have been listening in to the Command Comms relay,and the conversations going on between ships and between Command and Control.
The conversations are interesting to hear, and it is clear we communicate effectively. Where it falls down is when two ships are trying to talk to the same ship at the same time. The most common instance is when a conversation is occuring between the flag ship (whichever is leading the operation) and command and control, and another ship calls in to the flag ship.
There are a couple of solutions I can think of off the cuff
One – stricter comms protocol ship-to-ship. You call in first and wait for the ‘go-ahead’ signal before continuing with the message. No ‘go ahead’, then you sit and wait, trusting that you’ve been heard (comms officers could listen out and remind the captain if theh forget). This would also be applied to calls from command and control.
Two – a dedicated comms officer on the flag handles all comms from command and control relaying information to the flag captain. Needs a good/ skilled comms officer to do this.
Three – command and control contact a comms officer saying they want to talk,they pass it to the captain at an appropriate moment and c&c waits until the flag captain calls in.
Four – comms to and from command and control and the flag ship are broadcast fleet-wide. Ships can use ‘ducking’ on crosstalk to talk over the comms if needed.
Any other ideas? I had started a discussion on how to implement stricter comms protocol and what to do, but that would require learning and then sticking to protocol.
Thought I’d open this up and see what I get back. Whatever ideas we have though, there will be a decision made on one to pursue in order to avoid getting confused. (These are ideas for the moment).18/01/2016 at 22:13 #3817Lewis RemmickParticipant
I’m a fan of anything that gives more to Comms. I prefer options 2 and 3, with 3 being my favorite.19/01/2016 at 00:59 #3832AramondParticipant
One – This would be the best if we didn’t want to make any major changes to how the ships are run. It would certainly give the “sender” more assurance that their message was heard the first time around.
Two & Three – These are actually the ones that I’m leaning more towards, and could both be in practice, depending on the situation. If all C&C wants to do is relay information, that could be left with Commms, who would then give it to the flag captain at the opportune time. If C&C wants to get a dialogue going, then Comms playing secretary and putting command “on hold” would work as well. (Also, the mental image of Leonard listening to muzak tickles me) The only thing is that the Comms officers will need to make sure that they have their whisper keys up to date before the start of a mission.
Four – I’m not a fan of this one. It seems like this would just create even more comms chatter than there is already.19/01/2016 at 02:23 #3845Leonard HallParticipant
A more thematic thing I’d like to pull up is actual commanders (COs and sometimes XOs) differentiating themselves as such on the radio from comms officers.
Generally, from the point of CIC anyways, I am talking to actual commanders most of the time, but occasionally I have gotten word from comms officers instead of COs. I think that, especially if we move towards a model that re-engages the (SCI)comms officer in the role of ship to ship comms, the distinction be made and enforced.20/01/2016 at 13:55 #3971Gabriel WadeParticipant
I think option #1 would be the most efficient and easiest to implement to clean up communications and still allow the flow of a mission and response time to be optimal.
That being said, I do think we need to put a little more thought into how we can make the role of Comms more exciting, if possible. It’s a tough thing to accomplish, I know, considering most of the time we don’t have enough people to have dedicated Comms officers and we’ve got people Sci/Comm-ing. But if we have enough people to have separate Comms officers, if we don’t have some difference in practice the station can be somewhat dull.
Perhaps we can have a few different protocols in place for each scenario.
Coming back to the original post, as I said, I think option #1 would be ideal for how we communicate and work together as of now, without major change to our practices.20/01/2016 at 14:31 #3975Maurice AllardParticipant
Why not mixing 1 and 2? Remember on Star Trek how the comms would be like “blank is hailing us” and then they would put it on the main screen? So the hawk’s comms would contact the Hydra’s comms, Hydra comms would say that it was okay to patch directly through, and then I could scold Verok for blowing us up again.20/01/2016 at 19:20 #3982
Option two only requires the flag ship to have a full crew, and therefore a dedicated comms officer assigned. Bridge to bridge communications still needs to be direct due to the urgency of the comms being passed about.
One main issue to address is ships interrupting the flag when talking to command and control. How can we make sure that ships know not to disturb the flag?20/01/2016 at 20:05 #3984AramondParticipant
I’m seeing two ways for this.
One – Upon the conversation starting between the flag and command, the flag would put out a very brief fleetwise message over comms that the flag is not to be disturbed. This message could either be a few words, or a sound. The same thing could then be done when the conversation has been ended.
Two – This one would cut down on the ever-present fleet-wide comms chatter. If the Hydra (for example) needs to talk to the flag, the captain would first hair the Comms officer with something like “TSN Hydra to TSN Raven.” The Comms would then inform the fleet captain that the Hydra is hailing them, prompting the fleet captain to contact the Hydra directly.24/01/2016 at 20:43 #4083
Last night, I took the opportunity to try out an idea for communicating with command and control.
Basically, when I called to command and control, I held down the whisper key for C&C AND for Channel Commanders, starting my communication with “Command and Control, this is TSN Raven”.
After that opening, I released the Channel Commanders’ whisper key, but continued to hold down the whisper key to C&C to relay the rest of my message. When I had finished talking to C&C and they had finished talking to me, I held down BOTH the whisper keys for Command and Control AND for Channel Commanders and ended my communication with “Command & Control, TSN Raven out.”
This seemed to work pretty well – it didn’t interrupt crews, just informed the captain of the ship that I was “busy” talking to command and control. The captains then knew I had finished by the way I ended the message.
For communication from the flag ship to command and control, this seemed to work well. I think reversing the process for command and control to speak to the flag ship should be a simple way for C&C officers to initiate comms, i.e. they would state “TSN Raven this is Command and Control,” over both whisper to the TSN Raven and to Channel Commanders.
The main thing with this method is that it was quick, efficient and informative for captains.
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