Colonial wireless alphabet

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide

The Colonial Wireless Alphabet (CWA)[1] is a means of communicating letters via words, thus permitting clarity when communicating spellings over wireless. This is similar to the NATO phonetic alphabet used for radio communications.

The following is a list of words used in the CWA. At present, only ten have been canonically identified.

Letter Word Pronunciation
A Alpha/Alfa [2] [3] [4] [5] [ˈæl.fə]
B Bravo [3] [6] [ˈbɹɑ.voʊ]
C Constellation [3] [6] [7] [ˌcɑn.stə.ˈleɪ.ʃən]
D Delta [6] [ˈdɛl.tə]
E Echo [5] [ˈɛ.koʊ]
G Gamma [8] [ˈgamə]
N Nebula [6] [7] [ˈnɛb.ju.lə]
S Sierra [4] [si.ˈɛɹˌɹə]
T Tango [9] [tăng'gō]
X X-ray [10] [ɛks.'ɹeɪ]


  • "Wilco" is not a CWA letter code. It means "will comply," matching its real usage.
  • While the Colonial wireless alphabet borrows from the NATO phonetic alphabet, there are exceptions because they have Earth-specific references and are unlikely to be known to the Colonials. Examples: India and Quebec (Earth locations), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespearean characters), and Yankee and Zulu (regional and ethnic groups of Earth).
  • The Battlestar Galactica Role Playing Game includes a complete listing of the wireless alphabet, though the full list has not been verified as canon. The additions supplied by the game are as follows (direct analogues to the NATO phonetic alphabet marked with an asterisk):

Letter Word
F Foxtrot*
H Hotel*
I Icon
J Juno
K Kilo*
L Logo
M Meteor
O Oscar*
P Papa*
Q Quasar
R Rho
U Uniform*
V Victor*
W Whiskey*
Y Yellow
Z Zephyr


  1. This is a Battlestar Wiki descriptive term.
  2. In the NATO phonetic alphabet, "Alpha" is spelled "Alfa," in consideration of Spanish orthography.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Kara Thrace: Three assault teams, Alpha, Bravo, Constellation. (TRS: "Bastille Day")
  4. 4.0 4.1 Lee Adama: Sierra Alpha, we got a new bogey. (TRS: "Scattered")
  5. 5.0 5.1 William Adama: Order batteries alpha through echo to switch to salvo fire. (TRS: "Resurrection Ship, Part II")
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Freighter Pilot #1: Carrier constellation, jump complete on station, point deacon. Initiate search pattern delta.
    Freighter Pilot #2: Ore flight bravo, delta, wilco.
    Freighter Pilot #3: Ore flight nebula, delta initiated. (TRS: "The Hand of God")
  7. 7.0 7.1 Galen Tyrol: If the commander will take a closer look at the tail numbering... Nebula Seven Two Four Two Constellation. (TRS: "Miniseries")
  8. This is part of Kendra Shaw's access code, which she gives to Gina Inviere (TRS: "Razor").
  9. Grayshirt: Tango 1, Tango 1, Tango 1, weapons close 2-4-1 (TRS: "Final Cut")
  10. Saul Tigh: Cally's in a group heading for map coordinates X-ray Seven (TRS: "Exodus, Part I")