Tactical Addresses

January 12, 2017 -- The use of tactical addresses is not new to emergency management. These special addresses may be set up in the Winlink system to handle functional email accounts rather than accounts of specific individuals. A tactical address is NOT A CALLSIGN, and should not be treated as one. However, like a call sign, tactical addresses may be used to identify a Winlink station--a unique email delivery location--and has its own unique characteristics described below:

  1. Tactical addresses contain from 3 to 12 total characters. These are alpha characters only--unless they follow dash “-“ at which time they may be alpha OR numeric OR mixed. Examples:
    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
  2. A tactical address is always associated with one or more standard call signs for sending and receiving. A tactical address does NOT require a password for the mail account it represents, but without a password it is not secure and the user may not obtain an account on the Winlink web site in order to provide management tools for the tactical account. Thus, it is always wise to use a password for a tactical address, especially if it is not a temporary address used for a specific purpose at a specific time.
  3. Like a standard call sign, a tactical address has its own unique properties, and unlike a call sign, account information is not available through the Winlink Express client program. Although the tactical address and its password may be created through any associated call sign account in Winlink Express, specific information about the tactical address must be filled out from the Winlink WEB by accessing the tactical account.
  4. Like an ordinary mail account, each tactical address has its own unique “Whitelist” (acceptance list). Incoming e-mail from the Internet to the tactical account may be either accepted or rejected if it is listed so in the account whitelist. The whitelist is managed on the tactical account's web page after logging in. The default is to accept any Internet e-mail address listed in the Whitelist. Both Internet domains and individual e-mail addresses may be manually rejected or accepted by the tactical account user. There are three distinct methods of managing the whitelist:
    • By sending an email to an Internet address, which automatically puts the destination e-mail address in the Whitelist. Thus, the recipient may now 'reply' to the Winlink user with the tactical address without worrying about the Winlink anti-spam and precedence system UNLESS a higher priority than R is desired. In such a case, always use the Winlink Message Precedence system. Refer to the Winlink Precedence system information for details.
    • By signing into the tactical address account on the https://winlink.org website with the tactical address as a username, and the tactical address password. Proper internet e-mail addresses and domain names may be listed for rejection or acceptance using the 'My Whitelist' app after logging in.
    • By adding a list of addresses over the radio as a Winlink tactical address user. To accomplish this, simply follow the example below using the Winlink Paclink or Winlink Express client, and send a message to the “system” as follows:

      -----Original Message-----

      From: [email protected]
      Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 2:28 PM

      To: '[email protected]'

      Subject: WHITELIST

      Accept: DHS.gov
      Accept: US.Army.Mil
      Accept: FEMA.gov
      Delete: [email protected]
      Reject: [email protected]

      After the above message is sent to SYSTEM by the tactical user, a confirming message is returned in a later connection:

      -----Original Message-----
From: [email protected]
      Sent: Friday, January 08, 2010 2:27 PM

      To: [email protected]
      Subject: Automatic System Message

      The following changes have been posted in the Whitelist for EMCOMM-1:

      Accept: DHS.gov
      Accept: US.Army.Mil
      Delete: [email protected]
      Reject: [email protected]

      You may put in whole email addresses, entire FQDN domains or top-level domains (TLD). Whitelist settings for reject/accept may be set at any level:


      • Accept/reject only this individual SMTP address: [email protected]
      • Accept/reject any address from a specific FQDN domain: dhs.gov (NO @ SIGN or period in front of the domain.)
      • Accept/reject from any address or domain of a specific top-level domain: .gov (here, use the leading period or “dot”)

      Thus, one can accept or reject just about any level of incoming SMTP mail address with unique whitelist settings.

      This response message can also identify the current status and listing of ALL whitelist settings by simply putting the following word in the outgoing message body:

Unless specifically locked out by the tactical address creator, Winlink's whitelist anti-spam filter for the tactical account may be bypassed by the Internet correspondent by using message precedence identifiers placed at the beginning of a subject line in messages to the Winlink user. The default identifier, '//WL2K', is provided automatically by a Winlink Express option for all outgoing messages sent to the Internet so that internet correspondents may reply to a Winlink user's message without needing to know how these bypass identifiers work.

NOTE: Tactical addresses may be used with Winlink Express (preferred) or Paclink, but are not available when using Airmail or other client programs.
--Steve Waterman, K4CJX, Winlink System Administrator

Winlink Linkomatic