"The ATC Communications badge, earned by many of the 51 Squadron Cadets, has found a snazzy place on our brassards. This allows us to use sophisticated equipment without supervision and will also enable us to teach students all about radios. Using radios entertains us regardless of the situation because you can improvise greatly with them, such as playing battleships and hide ‘n’ seek!"
The Air Cadet Radio Operator syllabus covers:-
- Voice Procedures - This covers such things as how to use call signs, how to obtain and give a radio check, how to authenticate other stations, what pro-words (like 'over' and 'say again') mean, writing and sending messages etc.
- Operating Rules - This covers things like knowing not to transmit until stations already in contact have finished their traffic, to keep transmissions short and to-the-point etc
- Operating Techniques - How to hold the microphone, the advantages of speaking slowly and clearly, how to operate as part of a net, where the best place to transmit from is if using a portable radio set etc
- Call signs - How call signs are made up and allocated, how to find out which squadron a call sign is allocated to, how and when to abbreviate call signs, what SCC, CCF and ACF call signs look like etc
- Security - Information which must NOT be transmitted over the air.
- Exercise information - How to write the various types of message and how to take part in exercises.
- Log keeping - How to keep a record of your radio operating sessions.
There are three qualifications available to cadets for radio operating skills:
Provisional Radio Operators' Certificate - This certificate is available for either HF or VHF operating - or both... Awarded locally to cadets who can demonstrate a knowledge of Air Cadet radio operating procedures, techniques and basic radio operating skills.
Full Radio Operators' Certificate - As above - awarded to cadets who can demonstrate more advanced radio operating knowledge and skills.
Communicator Badge - Awarded to cadets who have achieved their Full Radio Operators' Certificate and who undertake training in a number of additional communications modules and can demonstrate knowledge of the subjects covered.