What is OP MINIMISE?
November 24, 2010
OP MINIMISE (sometimes simply referred to as ‘minimise’) is a blackout of Paradigm communications across Afghanistan. Phones, email, text and internet are affected simultaneously.
Minimise is a precaution to prevent misinformation spreading and scaremongering amongst families of troops back in the UK.
What does it mean?
OP MINIMISE means that a Category A British* casualty has occurred somewhere in Afghanistan.
What does CAT A mean?
Category A means critically injured. Plenty of casualties come around from Cat A injuries and recover completely (e.g. broken leg, gunshot wound) it does not mean that a fatality is expected, but that the injury is significant enough to warrant the military informing next of kin immediately.
What about fatalities?
Of course it is also the procedure when a fatality occurs. To prevent other members of the casualty’s unit informing the family before the military can track them down and give them a clear informative account of the situation, all communications are shut down. This can last hours, and different OP MINIMISEs may be called back-to-back. Deployed forces are informed of OP MINIMISE’s activation by tannoy throughout their camp.
Will I know when it is on?
No. OP MINIMISE may be called at any time of day or night. If you are disconnected during a call or messaging session, this may be due to minimise being in place (but can be due to tech problems!) Family members often realise that it has been on when they have experienced long periods of silence from an ordinarily regular deployed caller, but of course this too can be due to other reasons.
*sometimes also nearby European ISAF