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NATO phonetic alphabet  : The ability to communicate and make yourself understood can make a difference in life-threatening situations – imagine for example that you are trying to alert a search and rescue helicopter of the position of a downed pilot.
To ensure clear communication, NATO uses a number of well-known formats which are in general use. NATO standardization agreements enable forces from many nations to communicate in a way that is understood by all.
If you have ever said “Bravo” to mean “B” when speaking on the phone for instance, then you have used one of the most recognised standards, the NATO phonetic alphabet. However, while the phonetic alphabet is widely used and ships still use flag signals to communicate, other standards such as Morse code have become practically obsolete. Not completely though: in certain situations NATO still encodes messages via Morse using light-flashes and other visual signals because they are difficult to detect electronically.
Some standards can be found in everyday civilian and military life. “Bravo Zulu”, typically signalled with naval flags on ships at sea and meaning “well done” is also commonly used in written communication by the military, for example by replying “BZ” to an email. Another standard – semaphore – inspired the peace sign. The symbol is a combination of the letters “N” and “D” (for nuclear disarmament). Read more

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NATO phonetic alphabet  : The ability to communicate and make yourself understood can make a difference in life-threatening situations – imagine for example that you are trying to alert a search and rescue helicopter of the position of a downed pilot.
 
To ensure clear communication, NATO uses a number of well-known formats which are in general use. NATO standardization agreements enable forces from many nations to communicate in a way that is understood by all.
 
If you have ever said “Bravo” to mean “B” when speaking on the phone for instance, then you have used one of the most recognised standards, the NATO phonetic alphabet. However, while the phonetic alphabet is widely used and ships still use flag signals to communicate, other standards such as Morse code have become practically obsolete. Not completely though: in certain situations NATO still encodes messages via Morse using light-flashes and other visual signals because they are difficult to detect electronically.
 
Some standards can be found in everyday civilian and military life. “Bravo Zulu”, typically signalled with naval flags on ships at sea and meaning “well done” is also commonly used in written communication by the military, for example by replying “BZ” to an email. Another standard – semaphore – inspired the peace sign. The symbol is a combination of the letters “N” and “D” (for nuclear disarmament). Read more