Mobility is one of the keys to success on the modern battlefield.
All communications must be geared to support a combat force that must repeatedly move to survive and fight the enemy. The single-channel radio is the primary means of communication for command, fire control, exchange of information, administration, and liaison between and within units.
The versatility of radio communications makes it readily adaptable to rapidly changing tactical situations. Radio is essential for communications over large bodies of water, territory controlled by enemy forces, and terrain where the construction of wire lines is impossible or impractical. It is also required for air assault operations. 1-2. Capabilities and Limitations The capabilities of the single-channel radio make it flexible, securable, mobile, and reliable. Radio communications facilities usually can be installed more quickly than wire communications.
Thus, radio can be used as a primary means of communications during the initial stages of combat operations.
Once installed in a vehicle, aircraft, or ship, the equipment is ready for use and does not require reinstallation. Wire communications require reinstallation with each move. Radio equipment is designed to meet mobility requirements and is used by airmobile, amphibious, mechanized, and dismounted units. Radio lends itself to many modes of operation, such as radiotelephone, radiotelegraph, radio teletypewriter (RATT), visual presentation, and data. All of the modes of operation are securable when required equipment is available.
Natural obstacles, minefields, and terrain under enemy control or fire do not limit radio to the same extent that they limit other means of communications. By using special techniques, radio can interface with other communications means (net radio interface) , be separated from the immediate vicinity of the user and operate over extended distances (retransmission) .
The limitations of single-channel radio must also be considered.
Radio is the most detectable means of electronic communications and is subject to intentional and unintentional electronic interference. Current Threat conditions require good electronic counter countermeasures (ECCM) to include remoting techniques. To be capable of operating together, radios must have common or at least some overlapping frequencies. They must transmit and receive the same type signal and must be located within operating range of each other with a clear transmission path. Radio is the least secure means of communications, and it must be assumed that interception occurs every time a transmitter is placed in operation.