, an acronym for Communication Security
, includes military hardware
. To handle IFF
, you had to have a Secret clearance
(all are short range). Theoretically, the HF
codes were classified Top Secret
on ships, but for those of us who handled the codes for helicopters
, it was only Secret. This always resulted in a big to-do between the air detachment
and the Radio Room
Not too well known is that some codes were put in fast-key guns so that a technician could totally re-code a helicopter in a few minutes at the end of the code-life day. These guns ranged from pins that pushed into the COMSEC gear, thereby acting like a short-term 50 to 100 tumbler lock, to electronic keying guns that transferred over a regular cable (which was also classified, even though it was a silly wire).
The actual codes themselves would be entered into the guns, then the papers destroyed at the end of the code-life day, depending on the rules at the time. Some dissolved in water, some were burned. COMSEC always required two-man integrity, where two folks with clearance would keep the gear in their possession until it was secured in a safe that had two locks.