NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and US Military (among others) use a phonetic alphabet when they say letters over a radio channel. It makes it easier to understand the letter being said through static by saying a word, distinct from anything else, that begins with the letter being transmitted.
To say "A," a military user (and in many cases, law enforcement) would say "Alpha." It's unmistakable to the recipient -even with heavy static- that "Alpha" was sent. "A."
The most common phonetic alphabet in the English and European world is the NATO Standard.
Transmissions come from two distinct sources on SKYKING; base names and code names.
- Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. HQ to the American Air Force's nuclear arm. A commonly heard broadcaster, typically sends messages to SKYKING. "Offutt out" at the end of transmission.
- Andrews Air Force Base (Joint Tactical Base) in Maryland, not far from D.C. and home to Air Force One. Typical messages are sent to SKYKING, (also leaning the theory of SKYKING being TACMO elements further). "Andrews out" at end of transmission.
- Edwards Air Force Base in California (near Rosamond). Uncommon transmitter. "Edwards out."
- Reykjavik. This is a NATO base not commonly used since the Cold War. It has, however, been very frequent in broadcast in the last week as of the time this blog has been posted. "Reykjavik out."
- MAINSAIL: Common transmitter. Typically sends the messages to SKYKING specifically. Many of the longer codes heard in the last year have been sent through MAINSAIL. "MAINSAIL out."
- TOY SHOP. Uncommon. Heard in the late 1990s and began transmitting again in the early 2010s. Typically a weak signal through WebSDR, suggesting it is West Coast in America or possibly in Japan or in the Southern Hemisphere (Diego Garcia?) "TOY SHOP out."
- FUZEBOX. Again, a code name not heard in many years that is recently transmitting again, but some speculate it is NORAD's Cheyenne Mountain Complex which has recently been re-activated to active duty (2014) instead of reserve. Signal quality on WebSDR would suggest either a very powerful transmitter or something on America's East Coast (Mount Weather?) as opposed to Central North America. "FUXEBOX out."
- COLLAPSE. A rather ominous code name that began transmitting again when Russia started supporting Assad in Syria and a code name that has not been heard in many years. COLLAPSE has a signal strength similar to FUSEBOX when listened to on WebSDR. Female voices have been heard on this callsign on several occasions in recent days along with male voices."COLLAPSE out."
- FLAT TOP. I cannot find any sources on this name being used before. Since SKYKING is an USAF channel, it is unlikely FLAT TOP means an Aircraft Carrier, but rather is an ode to the flat top haircut common to the military in the 50s-90s. "FLAT TOP out."