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incoming at 0400

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10:57 Feb 20, 2008
This question was closed without grading. Reason: No acceptable answer

English to English translations [PRO]
Military / Defense / Communication
English term or phrase: incoming at 0400
This is from a movie. The comm officer is relaying details about approaching enemy subjects to the squad:
"Alpha Bravo, incoming at 0400. Twenty meters, 10 o'clock."
Apprently it is neither the distance nor the direction, because these follow in the following sentence. It is also not the time, because the screen shows the time at 2100.
Thanks in advance
Mohamed Ghazal
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 14:35

Summary of answers provided
4incoming at 4am
3direction of incoming craft
Susan Hammons
2It could be the angle of approach

Discussion entries: 5



1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
It could be the angle of approach

10 o'clock would refer to the direction the incoming obect is coming from, i.e roughly 60 degrees to the left of the direction of travel. 0400 could be the angle above the horizon.

United Kingdom
Local time: 10:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in GaelicGaelic
PRO pts in category: 3

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Elizabeth Joy Pitt de Morales
1 hr
  -> Mòran taing.

agree  jccantrell: This is EXACTLY what is meant. Straight ahead is 1200, so 0400 would be slightly back to my right.
3 hrs

disagree  Craig Meulen: jccantrell seems to have misunderstood something. kmtext's answer is possible but doesn'T really fit the context (troops in corridor do not approach 'above the horizon')
5 hrs

neutral  Gary D: incomming at 0400 is where it is coming from, 20 mtrs is its height, and 10 O'clock is where the plane is now,which fired the rocket. if the rocket was 20mtrs from the target, you will be dead before you finished the sentence.
22 hrs

disagree  V_N: such use of numbers strictly means time
3 days 10 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5

Could it be the altitude of the aircraft?

Susan Hammons
Local time: 11:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
direction of incoming craft

the clock is often used as a way of explaining from which direction an object is moving

so, as the speaker, if I say that that the aircraft is coming in at 12 o'clock, then it is straight in front of me. Incoming at 4 o'clocl means it is to my right and jsut to the back.

Note added at 2 hrs (2008-02-20 13:37:20 GMT)

If these are subtitles from a film, it could be an inconsistency, though this doesn't explain the issue Jack pointed out.

Local time: 10:35
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Jack Doughty: That's what I would have thought, but he says "10 o'clock" at the end, which appears to be the direction.
25 mins

agree  Alaa AHMED: both are directions
51 mins

disagree  V_N: i don't think so
3 days 11 hrs
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3 days 11 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
incoming at 4am

Such use of numbers in military language strictly means time. They never say "o'clock".
10 o'clock is the position of the subject.

Note added at 3 days11 hrs (2008-02-23 22:40:53 GMT)

I.e. it is incoming from this direction.
Imagine an analogue clock. The position of its hand at an exact hour is used to provide "visual" information about the position of some object.
Sorry for the complicated explanation but it's quite late :)

Note added at 3 days11 hrs (2008-02-23 22:42:18 GMT)

Ooops sorry, I just read you actually know this! :)

Native speaker of: Native in BulgarianBulgarian
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