Defense Special Security Communications System (DSSCS)
The defense special security communications system (DSSCS) was established for the purpose of
integrating the critical intelligence communications (CRITICOMM) and the special intelligence
communications (SPINTCOMM) networks into a single automated communications network. In effect,
the integration of DSSCS subscribers into AUTODIN provides two separate systems within AUTODIN-
one system for special intelligence (SI) message traffic and the other for the AUTODIN regular message
Some networks are used by the Navy only. As mentioned previously, these are the high command
communications network (HICOM) and the Navy operational radio and telephone switchboard
(NORATS) networks. Let's look at some of their functions and purposes.
High Command Communications Network (HICOM)
The HICOM network provides a voice link between the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) and all
subordinate commands ashore, afloat, and airborne. CNO is the master control station and each fleet
commander in chief has an area network control station. All naval communications stations are members.
In cases where a fleet unit is suffering communications difficulties with normal channels, HICOM is
used on a not-to-interfere basis to restore communications. All naval communications stations are
required to guard HICOM for their respective area networks and use this system.
Navy Operational Radio and Telephone Switchboard (NORATS)
The NORATS meets our need for a connection between Navy tactical voice systems of the operating
forces and the various fixed telephone services ashore. This system extends tactical voice to shore-based
operational commands. NORATS provides a connecting point in the fleet center of each communication
station. This point allows us to connect or patch all ship-to-shore voice circuits and designated local shore
telephone systems and extensions. A combined HICOM/NORATS console exists at many naval
Q18. What four switched networks are part of the defense communications system?
Q19. What two elements support only designated Navy requirements?
Now that you have completed this chapter, a short review of what you have learned is in order. The
following summary will refresh your memory of radio-frequency communications terms.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS refers to transmission, emission, or reception of signs, signals,
writings, images, or sounds. This is done by visual, oral, wire, radio, or other electromagnetic means.
RADIO COMMUNICATIONS is the term describing teletypewriter, voice, telegraphic, and
SYSTEM is a combination of sets, units, assemblies, subassemblies, and parts joined together to
form a specific operational function or several functions.