5 FAH-2 H-700

5 FAH-2 H-710


(CT:TEL-70;   10-12-2018)
(Office of Origin:  IRM/FO/ITI/LWS/RPB)

5 FAH-2 H-711  TERMS

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

a. Radio communication is the use of electromagnetic waves in a radio frequency range to transmit or receive electric signals without wire connecting the transmit and receive points.

b. A radio repeater receives a radio signal at one frequency and retransmits the signal on another frequency and/or power level.  Repeaters and hi-gain antenna systems enhance radio signals.

c.  Typical radio wave frequencies are measured in megahertz, one million cycles per second.  The Department uses radios that broadcast in one of three frequency ranges:

(1)  High frequency (HF):  A radio frequency between 2 and 30 megahertz;

(2)  Very high frequency (VHF):  A band of radio frequencies between 30 and 300 megahertz; and

(3)  Ultrahigh frequency (UHF):  A band of radio frequencies from 300 to 3,000 megahertz.


5 FAH-2 H-712.1  Authorities

(CT:TEL-70;   10-12-2018)

This section does not pertain to radio stations operated by or allied with the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).  The Department of State coordinates frequency use for U.S. government foreign affairs agencies with host foreign governments, except for certain international military channels that have been established for military frequency planning and coordination.  International frequency allocation and registration is accomplished through the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in accordance with current international agreements.  The International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB), a permanent organization of the ITU, publishes the International Frequency List (IFL), which is based on the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR).

5 FAH-2 H-712.2  Host-Government Permission to Use Frequencies

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

a. Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states that:

    "The receiving state shall permit and protect free communication on the part of the mission for all official purposes.  In communicating with the government and the other missions and consulates of the sending State, wherever situated, the mission may employ all appropriate means, including diplomatic couriers and messages in code or cipher.  However, the mission may install and use a wireless transmitter only with the consent of the receiving State."

    The Information Programs Center (IPC) should permanently file diplomatic notes and all other records regarding permission to use frequencies.

b. The information management officer (IMO) should inform the Chief of Mission (COM), Regional Information Management Center (RIMC), and the Radio Programs Branch (RPB) immediately if host-government officials request detailed information about a post’s radio inventory.

5 FAH-2 H-712.3  Interoperability of Radio Networks

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

The (COM) has the authority to disclose radio frequencies used by the mission to “friendly” third-country missions, international organizations, or U.S. businesses.  The purpose of exchanging frequencies is to facilitate the broadcast of information in emergency situations.  The COM determines which missions or organizations are considered friendly.  If a post intends to share frequencies with third countries, it must follow these guidelines:

(1)  The COM must approve the disclosure of mission frequencies to third countries;

(2)  The regional security officer (RSO) must participate in any third-country frequency-sharing plans;

(3)  The Department will accept no financial responsibility to provide radio equipment or resources to implement interoperability.  The post must fund any units it chooses to exchange with third-country missions;

(4)  Procedures should be established to test the frequency and interoperability of exchanged equipment; and

(5)  The designated third-country party may only use a mission frequency or radio in scheduled tests or in an emergency.


5 FAH-2 H-713.1  Security Enhancement

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

The primary purpose of radio networks is to enhance the security and protection of U.S. government personnel and property domestic and abroad.  The Department establishes radio networks at Diplomatic Security offices domestically and in each embassy, consulate, and mission where U.S. government personnel are present.  As examples, radio systems are used to support security operations, the Emergency Action Plan (EAP), daily mission administrative functions (ADM/motor pool), official visits, or the local guard force (LGF).

5 FAH-2 H-713.2  Emergency Communication

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

Radio systems are ideal for rapidly disseminating information during emergency situations.  Radio broadcasts provide paging and immediate, simultaneous communication to multiple network participants.  Emergency radio systems are designed to be independent of local infrastructure in order to continue operations when local infrastructure fails.

5 FAH-2 H-713.3  Emergency Action Committee (EAC) Networks

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

The emergency action plan (EAP) provides procedures and guidance to prepare post personnel for their roles and activities in crisis situations.  The EAC radio network supports the EAP.  EAC networks, whether VHF or UHF, are used to broadcast official instructions to EAC members, Marine security guards, and other designated personnel during an emergency, evacuation, or potentially dangerous situation.  EAC networks are specially configured with signal-enhancing equipment to ensure reliable radio contact among participating network subscribers.  The radios used on this network are capable of encrypted transmission.  The EAP should contain the most recent radio network configuration information and revisions (see 12 FAH-1 Appendix 7).

5 FAH-2 H-713.4  Emergency and Evacuation (E&E) Networks

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

The E&E network is used to broadcast information and guidance during emergency, evacuation, or potentially dangerous situations.  These radios are assigned to all Department of State employees and authorized agencies under COM authority.  Authorized agencies use radios procured by their agency.  The E&E channel is not typically encrypted.

5 FAH-2 H-713.5  Administrative Networks (ADM and/or Motor Pool)

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

Administrative networks are used to facilitate daily operations such as facility maintenance, the General Services Office, and motor pool.  The EAP may utilize these networks in order to assist in emergency situations.

5 FAH-2 H-713.6  Local Guard Force (LGF)

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

LGF radio networks are an important asset for the local guard program and in support of post’s overall security efforts.  The network provides communications between LGF posts and supervisory security personnel.  The network capabilities may be used to complement other communication assets in emergency situations.  NOTE:  Post should plan to have some government furnished equipment available for the LGF if equipment for the LGF is contractor provided.

5 FAH-2 H-713.7  Ambassador Protection Detail (APD) Networks

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

The APD radio network is an encrypted radio network used in the official capacity of movements and protection of the ambassador or Chargé d'affaires.  Typically this network is only available to the ambassador’s protection detail, the RSO, and MSG.  However, at the RSO’s discretion it can be made available to other security personnel.

5 FAH-2 H-713.8  Marine Security Guard (MSG) Networks

(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

The MSG radio network is an encrypted radio network used by the embassy marine security guards.  The radio network provides communications among the MSGs and the RSOs as they perform their security patrols and quick reaction defensive maneuvers.  In accordance with the DOS/USMC Memorandum of Agreement for the MSG program (12 FAM 430), initial radio requirements for new detachment activations are funded with FC 5732 funds.  Replacement funds for MSG detachments are included in the Radio Programs Branch’s (RPB) life-cycle replacement program.


(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

Any radio equipment used in a controlled access area must comply with Department unclassified electrical/electronic equipment security Standards.  Radio equipment installed, stored, and used exclusively in the Information Programs Center (IPC) must be handled in accordance with applicable DS security standards and guidelines.


(CT:TEL-60;   07-26-2017)

General on-air protocols for operating radio equipment are derived from Allied Communications Publication 125F (ACP-125 F) guidelines.  The RSO and IMO should enforce the following protocols to maintain the security of the network and to keep EAC channels clear for urgent or emergency communications:

(1)  Keep communiqués brief and clearly state your intention or information you wish to convey;

(2)  Use call signs and mutually recognizable code words when identifying network participants, mission personnel, or locations;

(3)  Use the EAC channel only for substantive communication.  Communications for administrative purposes should be restricted to secondary channels and never allowed to infringe on any channel assigned for EAP purposes;

(4)  End each transmission by saying “over.”  End radio contact by saying “out"; and

(5)  Use the International Phonetic Alphabet (see 5 FAH-2 Exhibit H-715) to spell words or acronyms that may not transmit clearly.


5 FAH-2 Exhibit H-715  

(CT:TEL-36;   04-18-2013)