5 FAM 540


(CT:IM-217;†† 10-17-2018)

(Office of Origin: †IRM/FO/ITI/LWS/RPB)


(CT:IM-217;†† 10-17-2018)

a. All radio networks used by U.S. Government personnel in a foreign country (except those personnel under the command of a U.S. area military commander) are under the authority and direction of the Chief of Mission (COM) in accordance with 22 U.S.C. 3927.† This section does not pertain to radio stations operated by or allied with the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).

b. All embassies and consulates in foreign countries under COM authority must have operational high frequency (HF), ultra-high frequency (UHF), and/or very high frequency (VHF) Emergency and Evacuation (E&E) and Emergency Action Committee (EAC) radio systems.† These systems must be tested monthly (at a minimum) in coordination with the regional security officer (RSO) or post security officer (PSO) and in accordance with postís Emergency Action Plan (EAP).† All direct hire Americans at post must be issued an E&E or EAC radio and participate in radio testing.† Any exception to this policy must be approved by the COM.

c.† The head of each agency at post must obtain COM approval before obligating funds to acquire new radio networks or to make major changes to existing networks.† A major change is defined as altering an existing radio network in size or technical characteristics enough to require the host government to re-license, issue new frequencies, or to increase the traffic affecting network access by current users.

d. The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations requires host country consent before installing and using wireless transmitters.† The COM or a designee will consult with the host government to obtain consent and, where practicable, obtain specific frequencies from the host government to ensure interference-free radio use (See 5 FAM 542.1, 543, and 544).† The information management officer (IMO) at post must be given a copy of all frequency host nation approvals.

e. All agencies under the authority of the COM must participate in post EAP networks unless the COM determines that an agency is not required to participate.

f.† See 5 FAH-2 H-700 series, Telecommunications Handbook, for procedures on procuring, installing, maintaining, repairing, and operationally testing voice radios.

g. For security and separation requirements for radio equipment in Controlled Access Areas (CAAs), see 12 FAH-6 H-542.5-12 paragraph h


5 FAM 542.1 †Information Resource Management/External Affairs (IRM/EA)

(CT:IM-195;†† 07-13-2017)

IRM/EA coordinates reciprocity issues for the foreign affairs community with the Office of Foreign Missions (M/OFM) and the DS International Programs Directorate (DS/IP) or DS High Threat Programs Directorate (DS/HTP) when agreements involve emergency or security networks.† IRM/EA, in coordination with post, bureau, Radio Programs Branch (IRM/FO/ITI/LWS/RPB), and the Regional Information Management Center (IRM/OPS/RIMC), also prepares and coordinates interagency agreements relating to new radio networks and major changes to existing networks and their use.

5 FAM 542.2 †Radio Programs Branch (RPB)

(CT:IM-195;†† 07-13-2017)

The IRM/FO/ITI/LWS/RPB is the Departmentís program manager for all voice radio systems (whether leased or U.S. Government-owned) domestic and abroad, except for DS Security Radio systems and systems owned and operated by other agencies, or provided to, and operated by host governments.

5 FAM 542.3 †Information Management Officer (IMO)/Information Programs Officer (IPO)

(CT:IM-211;†† 06-26-2018)

The IMO or IPO is the postís focal point for all radio matters.† The responsibilities of the IMO or IPO include:

(1)† Managing all Department of State HF, UHF, and/or VHF radio systems and providing guidance to users of other radio systems under the authority and direction of the COM.† This includes administrative network discipline and operational efficiency, notwithstanding the ownership of these systems.† Routine testing of the E&E and EAC network is addressed in 5 FAM 542.4 and 5 FAH-2 H-732.7† The IMO/IPO may also be required to consult with host government authorities for operating licenses and frequency approvals;

(2)† Providing radio operating procedures and maintenance guidance to radio equipment users;

(3)† For systems funded by other agencies, the IMO/IPO will be provided all radio network information (frequencies, power levels, etc.) to de-conflict or isolate radio interference;

(4)† Determining test schedules and procedures for administrative networks and high-frequency networks; and

(5)† Confirming the area custodian of IRM property ensures that inventories and controls are in place and followed. (See 14 FAM 410, Personal Property Management for Posts Abroad)

5 FAM 542.4 †Regional Security Officer (RSO)

(CT:IM-217;†† 10-17-2018)

The RSO is responsible for ensuring that radio communication systems security standards and Department policies and guidelines are implemented at post:

(1)† The RSO is responsible for the administration and operations of the local guard force (LGF) radio program.† The RSO should coordinate with the IMO or IPO regarding LGF radio and cell phone communications equipment.† For procurement guidance and technical and operational support, the RSO should also contact the RIMC.† If time is available during a post visit, the RIMC radio technician may provide guidance and support for the LGF radio system; and

(2)† The RSO is also responsible for conducting required testing and radio checks for the local E&E and EAC networks.† The objective of EAC and E&E network testing is to insure reliable communications by American U.S. mission members between official facilities or building compounds, the alternate command center, and the primary evacuation point as stated in postís Emergency Action Plan.

5 FAM 542.5 †Regional Information Management Center (RIMC)

(CT:IM-195;†† 07-13-2017)

The RIMC provides direct technical and operational support to each COM within its geographic area of responsibility.† The RIMC provides guidance, installation, and maintenance support for emergency action plan (EAC and E&E radio networks) and administrative radio networks under COM authority.† The RIMC and RPB will provide technical guidance to post to ensure compliance with the Departmentís established radio program standards and specifications.† The RIMC also provides technical advice and guidance to the COM with regard to the LGF radio system and other agency systems.


(CT:IM-195;†† 07-13-2017)

United States law prohibits licensing foreign governments or their representatives to operate short-range radio systems.† Employees must not offer reciprocity in return for introducing and using short-range UHF and/or VHF radio systems at posts abroad.† Foreign governments may subscribe to commercially offered cellular radio services in the United States.† Foreign governments may also enter into commercial arrangements with U.S. firms licensed to provide, for example, security guard or motor pool services.


(CT:IM-195;†† 07-13-2017)

United States law permits a foreign mission, in special circumstances and based on reciprocity, to construct and operate a fixed low-power transmitter in Washington, DC for communications to points outside the United States.† Permission requires the approval of both the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Commerce.† These installations must respect local zoning, land-use planning, historic preservation, structural codes, and similar building regulations.† For information on obtaining host country consent, contact IRM/EA.


(CT:IM-195;†† 07-13-2017)

a. Radio systems may be owned or leased.† Radio requirements are prioritized through the Departmentís budgetary process to obtain IRM central funding. (See 5 FAH-2 H-760.)

b. All proposals relating to introducing new radio systems or making major changes to existing systems overseas must be coordinated with the COM or his or her designee, the Radio Programs Branch (IRM/FO/ITI/LWS/RPB), and the Department (IRM/EA) in consultation with the RIMC.

c.† All proposals relating to introducing new radio systems or making major changes to existing systems domestically must be coordinated with the Radio Programs Branch (IRM/FO/ITI/LWS/RPB) and IRM/EA.

d. RIMC and RPB provide technical guidance and validation based on applicable federal standards and life-cycle support.† Life-cycle support for emergency action plan (EAC and E&E radio networks) and administrative radio networks are the responsibility of RIMC and RPB.† LGF radio networks are the responsibility of post RSOs and funding is provided by the Facility Protection Division (DS/OPO/FPD).

e. Other agencies must fund their own radios and related equipment used on the EAC, E&E, or any other network, except those provided by RPB for EAC members.† Radio systems funded and operated by other agencies are the property of the funding agency.† Individual agencies are responsible for installation, life-cycle support, and equipment accountability.† However, the installation and use of all systems are subject to procedures and/or restrictions established by the COM.