Instructions For Use of Phones

November 22, 1978


TO: Mr. John Bushnell,
Deputy Assistant Secretary, ARA
FOR: All Guyana Working Group Personnel
FROM: William F. Rower, Director, Operations Center
SUBJECT: Instructions For Use of Phones

The following is a brief run-down of how the phones are to be used:

YELLOW COLORED LINES — for use by the forward room of the Task Force Area where next-of-kin calls are being handled, for incoming calls only.

RED COLORED LINES — for use by personnel in the back of the Task Force Area for incoming calls only.

BLUE COLORED LINES — to be used whenever you wish to make an outgoing call. (Information on additional outgoing lines is provided below.)


Our phone lines are strained to capacity. It is essential to utilize the system we have with maximum efficiency. Here is a further explanation of how it works.

Division of Labor

The Georgetown Open Line and all CA operational personnel have moved to the back of the Task Force area, where PA and ARA personnel are also working. The forward room is now for SCS personnel answering next-of-kin, body disposition, and similar calls from private citizens.

Phone Allocations

A. Incoming

The yellow phone lines, which are on a rotary working off extension 26610, are allocated exclusively to forward room personnel, for receiving incoming next-of-kin type calls only. The three rotary lines working off 23172 will also be available to this group, again for incoming calls only.

The red phone lines, which are a rotary working off extension 29380, will be allocated to the remaining CA, ARA and PA personnel operating in the back of the Task Force Area, for incoming calls.

B. Outgoing

All outgoing calls are to be placed on the blue color-coded lines available to each phone console. In some cases, these will not be enough. At those times, persons needing to call on outgoing lines can find 4 additional lines available on phones (for outgoing calls only) in the large conference room adjacent to the Task Force Area. Outgoing calls are not to be placed on any red or yellow lines.

Secretarial Stations

There are three secretarial stations exclusively dedicated to answering incoming next-of-kin phone calls. These are immediately adjacent to the forward room of the Task Force Area. A fourth station for this purpose, if needed, can be located in the room itself, at the main table. It is essential that secretaries assigned by CA to these stations be given no work other than telephone receptionist duties and coordination between them and the SCS personnel handling private citizen calls at the table in the forward room be closely monitored and supervised by one individual designated by CA/EX for this purpose.

There will be one or more stations, as necessary, in the back of the Task Force Area, for secretarial personnel, provided by ARA, to answer the red color coded incoming lines. Again, these people should not be assigned other secretarial work. Typing should be given to additional secretaries brought in for that purpose. ARA/EX should make sure this arrangement works well at all times.

Instructions for Taking Calls

Phone receptionists answering at the forward area phones should answer only the phones designated for the forward room. They should not pick up on the red coded lines. Answer, “Guyana Working Group, May I help you?,” If the caller wants to make a press inquiry or talk to one of the ARA personnel, or discuss other subjects not related to next-of-kin and body disposition matters, the person should be asked to call back on the red coded rotary line, extension 23980 (or 632-3980 if the call is from outside the building).

Phone receptionists at the back of the area, handling the red lines, should answer “Guyana Working Group, May I help you?” If the caller wishes next-of-kin information, he or she should be asked to call back on lines 26610 and 23172 (from outside, 632-6610 and 632-3172). These final few instructions should minimize the amount of running back and forth which secretaries answering the phone have to do.

Need to Hang Up in Front Room

All personnel working in the Task Force forward room should familiarize themselves with the procedures for hanging up after a call and for using the phone consoles at the central table. Secretaries should also do this so they can spot problems as they arise.

Names of Personnel on Duty

As much as possible, Officers from CA and the other participating units in the Working Group should keep secretaries apprised of who they are and what their duties are, so that secretaries can more easily pass phone messages when they are received.

Iran Working Group

Calls for the Iran Working Group should be referred to: 20448, 20449, 20915 and 20313.