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SOP - Contact Reports

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  • [SOP] SOP - Contact Reports

    SOP (Radio) - The Contact Report

    All military units are trained to use a standard form of radio procedure for reporting encounters with enemy forces. The reason for standardizing the format for contact reporting is to minimize extraneous radio traffic by creating a clear and concise common approach. Therefore, everyone listening on the radio understands exactly the nature and scope of the enemy threat. In Planetside 2, we donít use actual military radios but the in game VOIP channels and TeamSpeak server channels provide an adequate analog to real world radio networks.

    Contact Reports will most often be used within the Squad or Fire Team and should not be confused with the more in depth reporting included in a Situation Report (SITREP). SITREPs are most frequently used by a squad leader to report conditions up the chain to their platoon leader. Contact reports should not be confused with a Spot Report. A Spot Report is simply a visual sighting of the enemy where no exchange of fire has taken place. A Contact Report is used when there is an actual engagement with the enemy. A spotted enemy may not be a direct threat and is therefore of lower priority than a Contact Report.

    Basic Contact Report Format

    Squad leaders should make an effort to educate their squad members as to the proper formatting of the Contact Report. For Planetside 2, we use a simple format that provides the necessary information to the squad or fireteam in a clear and concise manner. The reporting steps below are listed in order of priority and are known as the three D's.

    1. Direction
    2. Distance
    3. Description

    Concepts and Utilization


    Direction of the contact is the first piece of information provided. This allows your team leader and squad members to quickly locate the threat vector. Proper direction information will use one or more of the following descriptors depending on the situation at hand:
    Compass points - The four cardinal compass points - North, South, East and West are sometimes too general of a direction call out and need to be further segmented to include NE, SE, SW and NW where possible. Simply providing the compass direction may not be sufficient to allow for quick, accurate location of the contact by some members of the squad. This is because relative direction is highly dependent on the positioning of other members of your unit. While a contact may be due West for the reporting party it may be SW or NW for another member of the squad.

    Landmarks - These are most frequently, unambiguous, fixed locations on the map such as Capture Points, Ammo Towers, Shield Generators and the like. A generic building, tree or rock formation, absent additional description, though fixed, may not be a good landmark if they could easily be confused with adjacent, similar structures or terrain features.

    Clock Face Method - Sometimes used when traveling in air or ground vehicles. The clock face method utilizes a vector relative to the direction of vehicle orientation. The nose of the vehicle is always '12 o'clock', regardless of actual compass direction, therefore the rear of the vehicle is always facing '6 o'clock'. Following this logic, '3 o'clock' always references a position on the right side of the vehicle, 90 degrees between '12' and '6' and '9 o'clock' references the left side analog. To provide the most precise vector possible, intermediate clock hand positions such as '4 o'clock' or '10 o'clock' are used.

    Elevation - Used in conjunction with one of the directional reference methods listed above, Elevation refers to the vertical height of the threat relative to the horizontal plane of the squad or vehicle. Typical descriptors include 'High', 'Mid' and 'Low' though others can be used. For instance an enemy engaging the squad that is due East of the squad's position may be at the top or bottom of a ridge line. A precise report would be "Contact. East. Top of the ridge. 150 meters. 1 infantry".


    There are some techniques you can use to work out the approximate distance to a contact. They require a bit of practice but with some experience under your belt, you can quickly make a fairly accurate estimation of range to target.

    Use of Weapon Optics

    This is a technique that can be easily practiced in the VR Training Area. Basically, enemy soldiers or vehicles occupy a certain percentage of the viewable area of your optic depending on their distance from you. To familiarize yourself with this method, warp to VR, set yourself in a spot where there are enemies visible at various distance from you.
    Select an enemy unit with Q-spot. Then, switch to your map and place your personal waypoint at their location. Close the map and make a note of the distance indicated by your waypoint. Next, bring up your sights or optics and take note of the size of the enemy in your viewfinder. Repeat as necessary, selecting enemies at various distances from you, until you feel reasonably comfortable with this method.

    Use of Mark 1 Eyeball

    The same basic concept for using your optics to figure distance apply to your eyeballs. This will also need to be practiced before you become proficient enough to feel confident with your estimates. Vehicle drivers and gunners will also find that this technique, once mastered, will allow you to make reasonably accurate estimates.

    The main benefit of the above two techniques, once mastered, is speed. There is no need to open your map, place your waypoint, close your map then read the range. You simply look and you know, with confidence, roughly how far away things are. This works whether it's soldiers, vehicles, buildings and other landmarks.

    Personal Waypoint

    There are pros and cons to using your personal waypoint to determine distance. It takes time to place. You may not place it accurately on the enemy position first time around. Also, you will lose some situational awareness in the process of setting it. Placing it on the minimap vs. the full map can speed up the process somewhat but you'll have less accuracy in your placement. The main pro is that, if you place it properly, you will get a very accurate distance reading to your target. You have to determine for yourself, given the nature and timing of the threat if that effort is worth it.

    Description will include the Quantity and Type of enemy units that you are reporting. Be as concise in your description as possible. As with Direction and Distance, this part of your contact report will be crucial in the setting of engagement priorities.


    There is a big difference between the immediate threat to friendlies posed by a single infantry soldier versus that posed by a full squad. Similarly, it's important to differentiate between a single tank engaging your position and a full armored column. The same logic holds for air units. Your report can include the actual number of units encountered but keep in mind that, rather than taking the time to count larger groups of enemies, simply stating squad, two squads or platoon will suffice.


    Typical general descriptors include - Air, Armor, Infantry or Infantry squad. More specific descriptors include the class of Infantry, such as Heavy, Light Assault or Max. For ground vehicles, specifics would be - Heavy tank, Magrider, Prowler, Lightning, Skyguard, Harasser, Flash or Sunderer. For Air, specifics would be ESF, Scythe, Mosquito, Liberator or Galaxy.

    If you are under fire from a large group of enemy, it is not necessary to list all the classes or vehicle types in their formation, even if it were possible to make that determination. An exception would be if an infantry grouping was noticeably weighted towards one class, such as Maxes or Heavies. Similarly, if an armored formation was weighted towards Heavy Tanks include that information in your report. The same holds for air units.

    Usage Examples

    Improper Formatting

    "Dude by the big tree"
    "Max behind the rocks"
    "Ahh, couple of guys heading our way and shooting"
    "Sundy incoming!"

    Proper Formatting

    "Northeast of our Sundy; 200 meters, closing; Infantry squad"
    "South of leader; 300 meters, top of ridge; Mana turret"
    "North of ammo tower; 100 meters; Prowler"
    "West of alpha point; 50 meters, 2nd floor window; Sniper"

    "3 O'clock, low; 200 meters; 2 mosquitoes"
    "12 O'clock, mid; 150 meters; Lib hovering"
    "Our Six, level; 100 meters; Scythe"
    "9 O'clock, moving north; 200 meters; Skyguard and Sunderer"
    Last edited by P.Drona; 07-05-2015, 02:59 PM. Reason: Fixed Broken Links



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