On Distributed Communications Series

IV. Priority, Precedence, and Overload

Appendix B

MINIMIZE--Selected Excerpts from Air Force Regulations[1]

2. What the Program Does

The imposition of MINIMIZE conditions is a warning to the users of the facilities and services ... that it is vital to drastically reduce normal message and long distance telephone traffic so communications directly connected with the emergency or exercise will not be delayed.

4. Determining Need for Imposing MINIMIZE

In the event of an emergency or anticipated emergency, the Air Force Communications Message Traffic Control Unit (CMTCU) will furnish telephone reports to the Director of Communications-Electronics, Headquarters USAF, on circuit and traffic conditions throughout the Air Force communications system (AFR 100-49).

5. Authority to Impose MINIMIZE

Except as noted below, only the Chief of Staff, USAF, or, in his absence, his deputy, has the authority to impose MINIMIZE either Air Force-wide or for a specific area or areas. However, the commander of an overseas major air command may institute MINIMIZE if he has obtained prior coordination of the theater commander concerned and approval of the Chief of Staff, USAF.

6. Procedure for Imposing MINIMIZE

When MINIMIZE is implemented Air Force-wide, it will be imposed by the words "MINIMIZE AIR FORCE-WIDE." When it is applied to a particular area, it will be indicated by designating the area concerned, for example, "MINIMIZE FEAF." Implementation of MINIMIZE by Headquarters USAF will be accomplished by both ALMAJCOM and AFCOMMSTA general messages to insure that all major air commands and Air Force communications centers receive this notification by the most expeditious means. When a commander of an overseas major air command institutes MINIMIZE under the provisions of paragraph 5, it will be accomplished by means of a specifically addressed "BOOK" message to all concerned.

9. Administrative Control of Messages

Strict control must be established to prevent unnecessary use of electrical communications once MINIMIZE is effected. This will be accomplished as follows:

  1. Before drafting a message addressed to the affected area or areas, the message drafter will satisfy himself that the immediate situation will be adversely affected if a message is not sent.
  2. Each message-releasing authority will perform an adequate check to insure that all message traffic released for electrical transmission falls within the categories of traffic authorized in paragraph 10. Except as noted below, messages not acceptable for release by electrical transmission will be referred to the drafter for cancellation or consent to dispatch by other means.
  3. Message-releasing authorities may release for electrical transmission any message traffic which has been delayed to the extent that early receipt of the content by the addressee(s) is considered vital.

10. Messages Authorized for Electrical Transmission

Message-releasing authorities will approve for electrical transmission only those messages meeting one or more of the criteria listed below. Messages which do not meet these criteria may be dispatched by courier, air mail or ordinary mail in accordance with pertinent Air Force directives:

  1. FLASH or EMERGENCY precedence messages (AFM 11-4).
  2. REDLINE messages (AFR 100-3).
  3. INDICATIONS messages (AFR 100-4).
  4. OPERATIONAL IMMEDIATE precedence messages pertaining to:
    1. USAF wartime capability plans.
    2. Aircraft movements.
    3. MANOPED weather messages.
    4. Casualty messages.
  5. 3. Messages pertaining to:
    1. The existing emergency or exercise.
    2. Joint War Room Annex (JWRA) operations.
    3. Emergency Air Staff Actions (EASA).

11. Handling of Messages by Communications Centers and Relay Stations

Under MINIMIZE, messages will be handled as follows:

  1. Disposition of Original Messages on Hand. Upon receipt of MINIMIZE, Air Force tributary stations will transmit all messages which bear a FLASH, EMERGENCY, or OPERATIONAL IMMEDIATE precedence. All other messages will be returned to message releasing authorities for appropriate action under paragraph 10.
  2. Disposition of Relay Tapes on Hand. Upon receipt of MINIMIZE, Air Force tape relay stations will transmit all messages which bear a FLASH, EMERGENCY, or OPERATIONAL IMMEDIATE precedence. All other messages will be disposed of as prescribed by USAF Supplement 1 to ACP 127 (B).

[1] Air Force Regulation 100-11, Department of the Air Force, Washington, 15 January 1957, pp. 1-4.

Appendix A
Appendix C