INTERCEPT PROCEDURES TEXTBOOK
IP-3: DIRECTIVE AND DESCRIPTIVE COMMENTARY
Effective communication is a critical element of crew coordination. It is paramount that any
information known to one member be made available to the other. With the limited time
available for transmission of information in the air, standard terminology allows complex ideas
to be expressed with minimal verbiage. These terms must be concise, comprehensive, and free
of any confusing qualities. The aircrew at VT-86 will be responsible for knowing and applying
the comm brevity words at the end of this unit. These terms are taken from unclassified portions
of MCM 3-1, Volume 1, the standard reference for communication procedures. The aircrew will
become quite familiar with this classified publication in their operational squadrons.
There are two types of intracockpit aircrew commentary: directive and descriptive.
(1) Directive commentary is specific instructions to members of the aircrew. At VT-86,
directive commentary is used to direct the pilot to change the aircraft altitude, heading, or speed
in order to attain the optimal position for intercept control and employment of weapons.
(2) Descriptive commentary provides the aircrew information concerning the progress of
the intercept and the relative position of a bogey from the fighter. At VT-86, it is used to "paint
a verbal picture" of the intercept for the pilot.
A successful intercept and combat engagement is dependent on the appropriate and timely
flow of both types of information. The rule to follow for communication is simple:
Directive commentary always takes precedence over descriptive
Voice control is just as important to effective communication as is proper terminology.
Speech must be calm and void of any tendency to become loud and highly pitched with
excitement, though increasing one's volume and pitch is certainly one way to express the
importance of the words being spoken. Commands must be definite and positive. Long pauses
and periods of indecision must be avoided, as well as expletives and unnecessary talking to one's
self. Enunciation must be clear and concise. Words should be clipped and sharp so that
syllables are not drawn out.
Remember that the objective of proper comm is to pass the maximum amount of information
using the minimum number of words. Learning the commentary vocabulary and practicing clear
and precise enunciation will allow maximum information flow in a high stress and confusing