In the RTO Course we spend the bulk of our time on basic skill building- operator technique, antenna types and construction, planning and report formats for sending information rapidly and accurately. It’s a starting point, covering the basics in two days. With that said, one of the common questions I get is regarding the length of the reports when they’re sent. If interception is a concern, and it always is, how do we shorten this up or obscure it to the point of being useless to listen to? There’s a few answers to this question, including going high tech/more complicated/more expensive with equipment, more efficient antenna construction for directivity, and finally, creating a BREVMAT.
A Brevity Matrix, or BREVMAT, is a randomly generated series of codes that are commonly understood by your group and shorten the transmission. In the amateur radio world we use Q codes, and 10 codes are the most widely known in both the CB and public service realms. Like I state in class, what you and your group do is up to you- if the basics are observed and everyone is on the same page, then it’s not wrong.
Tactical BREVMATs are created and included in your Signals Operating Index (SOI), they are recycled each time the SOI changes (which is usually a set period of time, and for missions, mission-specific). This information can then be encoded into a One Time Pad (OTP) message and sent to higher analysis and control element (ACE) if coordinated over a region.
The following is a sample BREVMAT sent in by a very well seasoned reader (it’s much appreciated my friend, stay frosty) and a template for you to follow:
It may look somewhat complicated and a lot of work, and make no mistake, it is – but this is not an easy business and takes discipline to get right. As another well experienced individual stated in class, you’ll want to know this stuff when your life actually depends on it. There’s a heck of a lot more to low level armed conflict than tearing off into the bush with a $1500 weapon and cool-guy kit when your only training is shooting fast at stationary targets; the people that do that are speed bumps for the well trained, unassuming guy with a 30-30 and a solid plan.