UKWMO to Military Communications

This topic is a collection of some of the many external miscellaneous communication paths radiating from a Region Government Headquarters (RGHQ) and UKWMO Group Headquarters. I have are very limited knowledge of the subject. Hopefully I will be able to add more detail to this page in the future.

Nuclear Reporting Cells

NRC Locations

Map showing NRC locations

Nuclear Reporting Cells were staffed by civilian volunteers from the Royal Observer Corps although they were located in Ministry of Defence sites. The cell provided fallout warning and radiation level data to the armed services.

NRC Feeder Group Table

Group	Code	No	Location
=====	====	==	========
HOR	HORN10	10	Northwood
WIN	WINN11	11	Wilton
WIN	WINN13	13	Portsmouth
OXF	OXFN08	 8	High Wycombe
NOR	NORN07	 7	Neatishead
BED	BEDN09	 9	Bentley Priory
LIN	LINN06	 6	Brampton
YOR	YORN05	 5	Holmpton
BRI	BRIN12	12	Upavon
EXE	EXEN14	14	Plymouth
EXE	EXEN15	15	Truro
DUR	DURN04	 4	Boulmer
DUN	DUNN03	 3	Pitreavie
ABE	ABEN02	 2	Buchan
INV	INVN01	 1	Oban
AYR	AYRN16	16	Faslane

The NRC received its nuclear burst and fallout information from a feeder UKWMO Group HQ in the same way that Groups shared this data amongst themselves. The NRC had links directly from the UKWMO MSX network, the addressing codes were published in the UKWMO Standard Operating Procedures 'Annex AM' although the actual NRC location wasn't recorded in the annex they are cross referenced here.

Feedback received from Janet cast doubt about the MSX codes in the table above.

'... all NRC's were designated by their Sector. Although Portsmouth may have been within Winchester Group it was designated with the Sector Control Horsham. Sector=HOR, MSX Code=HORN13 (not WINN13) Portsmouth Naval Base....'

RGHQ Military Liaison - AFHQ Locations

Military Liaison at RGHQ
Routing Codes

RGHQ			Routing
Number	Location	Code
======	=======
21	Shipton		RBDPAP
22	Hexham		RBDPDA
31	Skendleby	RBDPAI
32	Loughborough	RBDPAV
41	Bawburgh	RBDPDK
42	Hertford	RBDPDM
51	Kelvedon Hatch	RBDPDL
61	Dover		RBDPFD
61	Crowborough	RBDTRX
62	Basingstoke	RBDTVL
71	Ullenwood	RBDTVR
72	Hope Cove	RBDTRG
81	Colwyn Bay	RBDTVQ
82	Brackla		RBDTVS
91	Swynnerton	RBDPKN
92	Kidderminster	RBDTWT
101	Southport	RBDPKP
102	Hack Green	RBDTVK
   -- Scotland --
Central	Kirknewton	RBDPBQ
North	Anstruther	RBDPAK
West	East Kilbride	RBDPAL
East	Barnton Quarry	RBDPAJ
   -- Northern Ireland --
Central	Cookstown	RBDPKJ

Each RGHQ contained military liaison offices. Telegraph messages could be sent from anywhere within the UKWMO / RGHQ message switching network ( MSX ) to these military offices at a specific RGHQ using one of the routing codes listed to the right.

Armed Forces Headquarters ( AFHQ ) were also linked into the MSX network. The list below is a snapshot derived from a declassified 'Joint Signalling Instructions' document. The list is thought to represent the position in the early eighties. Anyone who has studied UK military history will appreciate it seems to be an endless set of reorganisations. Things were very fluid and other sources show different routing codes for AFHQ's. The codes for different AFHQ sites are shown here for completeness although their physical locations are currently unknown. Please get in touch via the Home Page if you can enlighten me.

A series of MSX routing codes were reserved for allocation during the POST STRIKE phase by GATEWAY Comds to CONRAD sub stations not included in the lists. Additionally each of the three GATEWAYS had a four character routing code allocated. South Gateway No.1 'RBDS' Central Gateway No.2 'RDBM' North Gateway No.3 'RDBN'.

AFHQ Locations
and Routing Codes

Region	Routing	AFHQ
AFHQ	Code	Location
======	======	========
 1	RBDPJR	Ouston
 2	RBDPAQ	York
 3	RBDPEG	Digby
 4	RBDPIA	Debden
 5	RBDPEK	Beaconsfield
 6	RBDTVV	Aldershot
 7	RBDTVW	Taunton
 8	RBDTSE	Brecon
 9	RBDTOE	Shawbury
10	RBDPKH	Preston
Scot	RBDPBJ	Lanark

Different AFHQ
Unknown Location

Region	Routing	AFHQ
AFHQ	Code	Location
======	=======	========

 3	No Change
 5	No Change
 9	No Change

Additionally, the military had their own private automatic telegraph network 'Telegraph Automatic Switching System' ( TASS ) working in a similar way the to the now defunct UK Public TELEX network but with four digit numbers. Lines from this network terminated at the RGHQ military liaison offices.

Radio Communication with Military Aircraft

Airband Transceiver

Airband transceiver ARC 52

UHF Biconical Monopole Aerial

UHF Biconical Monopole

To communicate with aircraft a rack mounted, mains operated, version of the radio fitted to all front line RAF planes in the 1960's were installed a RGHQ's. This radio was connected to a UHF Biconical Monopole antenna like this one photographed at Hack Green which was mounted on the main communications lattice mast. These were a common sight at RAF and Navy land based communications sites and ships masts. At Bawburgh RGHQ, the aerial was mounted on a wooden pole that can just about be distinguished on the 1981 photograph on the Detail / Radio / My Hunt for Masts page, but was clearer to the naked eye.

On the radio rack, the ARC52 transceiver unit is mounted at the top of the rack next to the mains power supply. The cockpit control panel mounted on a plate at the bottom of the rack.

The specification of the transceiver is given as: The AN/ARC 52 transmitter/receiver is manufactured under licence from the Collins Radio Co, USA. tuning to 1750 channels spaced with 100KHz spacing, in the UHF range 225-399.9MHz This was the full NATO UHF Band at the time.

Provision is made on the control panel for 18 preset channels and also full tuning across the working range by the use of four knobs to select the frequency. The transmitter provides an average of 18 Watts output giving a 200 miles of ground to air range. This operated as single frequency simplex with the receiver section listening on the same frequency.

RGHQ Military Liaison - Links into Military Comms

Each Regional Government Headquarters, contained a room designated 'Military Liaison' containing military personnel and communication equipment. There were printer and telephones connected into the RGHQ network. The printer had a separate routing code in the UKWMO / RGHQ network to distinguish its messages from those used by the civilian government officers. Telephones connected into the RGHQ private branch telephone exchange.

Additionally there were connections into the military Teleprinter Automatic Switching System ( TASS ) for printers. This employed a four digit numbering scheme allowing message to be sent anywhere across the whole of the UK military.

The Phones connected into the Army and RAF Private Wire network. There were two connection points into that network, one being the Region's AFHQ and the other an Army or RAF base. Most RGHQ's connected to the Army Network with a few into the RAF Network. These PW Networks had automatic switching centres, very similar to those used in the public telephone network, enabling automatic dialling between telephone across the whole country.

Emergency Radio Communication Provided by the Army

Very secret plans were in place for the Territorial Army to provide radio linked telegraph communication for the RGHQs in a Post-Strike situation should the normal landline and radio communication networks be severed by war action. A declassified Joint Signal Instruction ( JSI ) document sheds light on this scheme known as CONtrol by RADio ( CONRAD ). See the CONRAD topic linked in the further reading section below.

During the early 1980's, the MOULD radio system was deployed for use by the home defence regiments. This system is described on this site ( tabs: Post Strike / Mould ) and consisted of a number wide area VHF networks each covering a RGHQ sub region.