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Panzer_Leader

Question re: US call sign templates

Hi All

I have a few questions for those who know more about the organisation of US units in the late Cold War period than me:

  • In the generic US call sign template, the CO is 66x and the XO is 65x; where a FISTV is attached to a company/troop, what would be a suitable call sign for this unit?
  • In a US cavalry troop of the late eighties and early nineties, there is a maintenance section of an M113, M88 ARV, HMMWV and two cargo trucks. There is also a headquarters section with (excluding the M1 and M3) an M577, M113 for the 1SG, cargo truck and two HMMWVs (ref FM 17-97 1995). For the purposes of a Steel Beasts scenario, would the maintenance section operate independently of the 1SG or would maintenance and supply (CSS) operate together consolidated under the 1SG? And, depending on the answer to this, what would be suitable call sign(s) for the CSS elements of a troop?

Thanks in advance for your help.

EDIT: OK, you can ignore the question in red above, I found the answer by looking a little harder at FM 17-97, specifically pages 303-307. Help on the appropriate call signs for the template would still be appreciated though :)

Edited by Panzer_Leader

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Cavalry troop of a divisional cavalry squadron or a regimental cavalry squadron? This will determine where the indirect fire support was coming from. The regimental cavalry squadron had an organic howitzer battery. I believe that the divisional cavalry squadron received its support from the DIVARTY.

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Cavalry troop of a divisional cavalry squadron or a regimental cavalry squadron?

Hi GaryOwen, I was thinking primarily of a regimental cavalry squadron but also, because of the generic US call sign template, something that could be used with a tank or mechanized infantry company team too. These are the only US units I see myself including in scenarios at this time. Not sure if that helps or not?

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My recollection is that the vehicle bumper numbers would reflect their parent unit and that the FIST-V's were "sliced" out from the artillery units to the manuever units. If that were the case, then the bumper numbers would depend on the relation between the manuever unit and its supporting fire support unit. A mechanized or tank unit from a manuever brigade within a heavy division would have been supported by tubes from one the DIVARTY battalions, MLRS generally tasked for counter-battery fire or suppressing enemy air defense artillery.

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FIST-V's can also be organic to Armor and Mech(INF) battalions. I have also seen them sliced out such as when the 24th Inf div made the famous left hook during Desert Storm. Some where sliced to 3rd ACR and the French Armor units on our left.

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Thanks for all the responses guys. Ultimately what I was after though is a suitable alpha-numeric callsign designation for the FISTV, 'combat train' and 'field train' CSS elements of a tank/mechanized infantry company team or regimental cavalry troop that's compatible with the generic US callsign template, where the CO is 66x, XO is 65x etc. Of course, I can always make them up but I was hoping to get something representative of actual US practice if possible.

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Well I think the usual US practice is just "random" or whatever works on the day. ;)

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Panzer Leader, I just uploaded my callsign template that i use, it is modeled after an Armored Cavalry Squadron. To answer your question tho, in an armored cav squadron, the fistv come from the howitzer battery of that squadron, however, it is attached to a line troop, and they would adopt the call sign of said troop, for example, L trp is lightning, the mortar platoon might be Lightning Thunder, so it would take on thunder something when working with the troop it is attached to.

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When I was with 2/7 Infantry, call signs within a company went by color first, then the vehicle/personal number.

1st Platoon was Red

2nd Platoon was White

3rd Platoon was Blue

All HQ elements were Black

Here's how it worked: Each platoon leader was 6 (Red 6), the platoon sergeant was 5, the rest of the units including wingman vehicles and dismount squads took numbers 1 to 4.

For the HQ element, The CO was 6, XO was 5 but the company first sergeant was 1 and everyone else was number 2 thru 10 (commo, engineers, fist-V, etc.).

Outside the company, call signs were determined by a code book that changed each day. So today, A company was "Tango 77", B company was "Echo 63" and so on. But tomorrow, A company was "Charlie 14." They did this to prevent the enemy from gathering information and so on.

Air flights used to do the same. A helicopter company was divided into four platoons: 1st platoon was gold, 2nd platoon was white, 3rd platoon was orange and 4th platoon was red. Four helo's were in each platoon. How they do it now, I dunno.

Hope this helps

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now adays they pretty much use "Hollywood" call signs, although lot of times it is frowned upon, but it is still done

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When I was with 2/7 Infantry, call signs within a company went by color first, then the vehicle/personal number.

1st Platoon was Red

2nd Platoon was White

3rd Platoon was Blue

All HQ elements were Black

Here's how it worked: Each platoon leader was 6 (Red 6), the platoon sergeant was 5, the rest of the units including wingman vehicles and dismount squads took numbers 1 to 4.

For the HQ element, The CO was 6, XO was 5 but the company first sergeant was 1 and everyone else was number 2 thru 10 (commo, engineers, fist-V, etc.).

Outside the company, call signs were determined by a code book that changed each day. So today, A company was "Tango 77", B company was "Echo 63" and so on. But tomorrow, A company was "Charlie 14." They did this to prevent the enemy from gathering information and so on.

Air flights used to do the same. A helicopter company was divided into four platoons: 1st platoon was gold, 2nd platoon was white, 3rd platoon was orange and 4th platoon was red. Four helo's were in each platoon. How they do it now, I dunno.

Hope this helps

I think what he is after is unit markings on the map not strictly speaking "call signs" that you'd hear on a radio.

So on FBCB2 for example I don't recall seeing units with "Red/4" next to them.

However I certainly have heard it on a radio.

So "call signs" as in what you'd see on a Steel Beasts map displayed next to the unit type icon.

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