To prevent confusion, the Navy uses a standard
system for pronouncing numerals. The following list
shows how numerals (numbers) are spoken:
Bearings are always reported in three digits and
spoken digit by digit, except that objects dead ahead or
astern (000° or 180°), on either beam (090° or 270°), or
on either bow (045°or 315°) or quarter (135° or 225°)
may be reported as such. For example, a ship bearing
090° may be reported as being abeam to starboard.
Do not become excited when you report contacts or
other sightings. Failing to use the proper terminology
can result in the OOD wasting time trying to find the
object. Take a few seconds to think about how you are
going to report the sighting. Taking that few seconds
could mean the difference between the entire bridge
looking on the wrong side of the ship for a sighting that
is actually on the other side. Note that the word relative
was not included. It is understood that lookouts report
only in relative bearing.
REPORTING TARGET ANGLE
Target angle is the relative bearing of your ship from
another ship. You may wonder why you would care
what your ship bears from another ship. The OOD uses
target angles as an aid in determining the course of
actions when another ship is sighted. (Target angles are
useful during gunnery and antisubmarine operations.)
Look at figure 3-3. You are the starboard lookout and
you detect a ship on your starboard bow heading at a right
angle across your course. You report to the OOD,
Bridge, starboard lookout, ship broad on the starboard
bow (or zero, fo-wer, fife), target angle tree wun fife.
Assuming that your course is 000°, the OOD knows the
other ships course is approximately 270° and, depending
upon the speed of the two ships, the possibility of
collision exists. Your target angle report has alerted the
OOD that a change of course or speed or both may be
required. A change in target angle can mean that the
contact has changed course, which is not always
immediately apparent to the radar plotters in CIC.
Figure 3-2.Relative bearings.
Figure 3-3.Target angle.