Medical and Public Health Law Site
DoD Directives
An image of the Department of Defense seal

Department of Defense


NUMBER 4640.9

February 8, 1985

Certified Current as of November 21, 2003


SUBJECT:  Automatic Voice Network Access

References: (a)  JCS Memorandum of Policy 151 (MOP 151), March 8, 1977

(b)  DoD 7220.9-M, DoD Accounting Manual, October 1983


This Directive provides DoD policy governing access to the Automatic Voice Network (AUTOVON) by non-DoD entities.


This Directive applies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), and the Defense Agencies.


AUTOVON.  An unduplicated and essential communications network intended for military operational needs, which provides our Military Forces with a command and control capability including multilevel precedence and preemption.


4.1.  It is DoD policy that under no circumstances will access to AUTOVON be granted simply as a cost-avoidance measure to substitute for available commercial service.

4.2.  This policy neither abrogates any existing agreements with foreign nations, nor does it preclude future agreements with foreign nations concerning access to AUTOVON.


5.1.  The Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) (ASD(C3I)) shall:

5.1.1.  Provide general guidance with respect to AUTOVON access.

5.1.2.  After consultation with the JCS, review and approve or disapprove all requests for AUTOVON access that clearly are not operational/military related.

5.2.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff shall:

5.2.1.  Review and approve or disapprove all operational, military-related requests for AUTOVON access.

5.2.2.  Provide advice and counsel to the ASD(C3I), with regard to non-operational and nonmilitary-related requests for AUTOVON access.

5.3.  The Director, Defense Communications Agency, shall:

5.3.1.  Ensure that all requests for AUTOVON access have been reviewed by the ASD(C3I) or the JCS before providing that service.

5.3.2.  Provide technical reviews and ensure system performance objectives are met.


6.1.  AUTOVON access within the Department of Defense is intended to be limited to operational and military-related needs (in accordance with JCS Memorandum of Policy 151, reference (a)).

6.2.  AUTOVON access by all others who clearly are not operational/military users must be determined on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with reference (a).  Waivers are looked upon with disfavor, unless an exceptional circumstance is found.

6.2.1.  Circumstances that may warrant the granting of a waiver generally fall into two categories:  Critical emergency requirements of certain civil agencies concerned with National Security; and  Requirements of nonmilitary DoD-connected agencies that are unable to enter into a commercial system.  In all cases, the service is provided on a reimbursable basis in accordance with DoD cost accounting and reimbursement policies in DoD 7220.9-M (reference (b)).

6.2.2.  Examples of requests that do not meet the stated criteria are: Foreign embassy requests for communications with their native country; and  Labor union requests for AUTOVON access for local bargaining units.  In each of these cases, commercial communications facilities are available to the requestor.

6.2.3.  Examples of requests that may meet the stated criteria include:  Requestor resides in a remote location of the United States not served by commercial communication facilities, but near a military installation; and  A Federal Agency requests access for purposes of exchanging information related to air traffic control of military and commercial aircraft.

6.3.  All requests for AUTOVON access shall be directed to the appropriate office for review, as outlined in section 5., above.


This Directive is effective immediately.

Signed by:  William H. Taft, IV, Deputy Secretary of Defense