Papa Whiskey November by John Williamson
N A T O ALPHABET
The common name for this alphabet exists because it appears in the
Allied Maritime Signal &Maneuvering Book which is used by all allied navies of NATO, who adopted a modified form of the International Code of Signals.
Because the latter allows messages to be spelled via flags or Morse code, it named the code words used to spell out messages by
voice its phonetic alphabet.
International Civil Aviation Organisation assigned codewords acrophonically to the letters of the English alphabet, so that critical combinations of letters and numbers can be pronounced and understood by those who exchange voice messages by radio or telephone regardless of language barriers or the quality of the communication channel.
The final choice of code words for the letters of the alphabet and the digits was made after thousands of comprehension tests involving 31 nationalities.
The qualifying feature was the likelihood of a code word being understood in the context of other words.
football has a higher chance of being understood than foxtrot in isolation, but foxtrot is superior in extended communication.
In 1927 the first internationally recognised phonetic alphabet was adopted by the
ITU, a specialised agency of the UN responsible for issues concerning information & communication technologies. — the International Telecommunication Union
It governs all international radio communications, whether military, civilian, or amateur.
It was adopted by
ICAN — (the predecessor to the the International Commission for Air Navigation ICAO) in 1932, and used for civil aviation until WW II.
British and American armed forces had their own alphabets before both adopted the RAF radio alphabet, which is similar to the one used by the Royal Navy in WW I.
At least one of the code words is still used by UK citzens, F for Freddie.
In 1941 the US adopted
JAN — , also known as the Joint Army/Navy Phonetic Alphabet Able Baker.
The UK adapted its RAF alphabet during 1943 to be almost identical to the JAN.
Following study and modifications the final version was implemented by the
ICAO — in 1956 and subsequentially by the the International Civil Aviation Organisation ITU in 1959.
ITU governs all international radio communications it was adopted by all radio operators, whether military, civilian, or amateur.