Glossary of Military Terms
An alliance is the result of formal agreements (i.e.,
treaties) between two or more nations for broad, long-term
objectives that further the common interests of the members. See
also coalition; multinational.
In a general sense, distribution of limited resources
among competing requirements for employment. Specific
allocations (e.g., air sorties, nuclear weapons, forces, and
transportation) are described as allocation of air sorties,
nuclear weapons, etc. See also allocation (air); allocation
(nuclear); allocation (transportation); apportionment.
The translation of the air apportionment decision into
total numbers of sorties by aircraft type available for each
operation or task. See also allocation.
The apportionment of specific numbers and types of nuclear
weapons to a commander for a stated time period as a planning
factor for use in the development of war plans. (Additional
authority is required for the actual deployment of allocated
weapons to locations desired by the commander to support the war
plans. Expenditures of these weapons are not authorized until
released by proper authority.)
A message used to provide an estimate of the total air
effort, to identify any excess and joint force general support
aircraft sorties, and to identify unfilled air requirements.
This message is used only for preplanned missions and is
transmitted on a daily basis, normally 24 hours prior to the
start of the next air tasking day. Also called ALLOREQ.
Distribution by designated authority of available
transport capability to users. See also allocation.
The temporary change of assignment of tactical air forces
between subordinate commands. The authority to allot is vested
in the commander having combatant command (command authority).
See also combatant command (command authority).
allowable cabin load
The maximum payload that can be carried on an individual
sortie. Also called ACL.
allowable cabin load
The maximum payload that can be carried on an individual
sortie. Also called ACL.
allowable stacking weight
The amount of weight that can be stacked on corner posts
of a container when subjected to 1.8 times the force of gravity.
1. Intelligence products and/or organizations and
activities that incorporate all sources of information, most
frequently including human resources intelligence, imagery
intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, signals
intelligence, and open-source data in the production of finished
intelligence. 2. In intelligence collection, a phrase that
indicates that in the satisfaction of intelligence requirements,
all collection, processing, exploitation, and reporting systems
and resources are identified for possible use and those most
capable are tasked. See also intelligence.
all-weather air defense fighter
A fighter aircraft with equipment and weapons which
enable it to engage airborne targets in all weather conditions,
day and night.
The transfer at sea of personnel and/or supplies by rigs
between two or more ships proceeding side by side.
See phonetic alphabet.
An airfield specified in the flight plan to which a
flight may proceed when it becomes inadvisable to land at the
airfield of intended landing. An alternate airfield may be the
airfield of departure.
alternate command authority
One or more predesignated officers empowered by the
commander through predelegation of authority to act under
stipulated emergency conditions in the accomplishment of
previously defined functions.
alternate command post
Any location designated by a commander to assume command
post functions in the event the command post becomes
inoperative. It may be partially or fully equipped and manned or
it may be the command post of a subordinate unit.
An existing headquarters of a component or subordinate
command that is predesignated to assume the responsibilities and
functions of another headquarters under prescribed emergency
The vertical distance of a level, a point or an
object considered as a point, measured from mean sea level. See
also density altitude; drop altitude; elevation; minimum safe
altitude; pressure altitude; transition altitude; true altitude.
A slow physiological adaptation resulting from
prolonged exposure to significantly reduced atmospheric
See hypobaric chamber.
The arbitrary level from which vertical displacement
is measured. The datum for height measurement is the terrain
directly below the aircraft or some specified datum; for
pressure altitude, the level at which the atmospheric pressure
is 29.92 inches of mercury (1013.2 m.bs); and for true altitude,
mean sea level. See also altitude.
Synchronization delay introduced between the time of
transmission of the radar pulse and the start of the trace on
the indicator, for the purpose of eliminating the altitude hole
on the plan position indicator-type display.
See altitude datum.
The blank area at the origin of a radial display, on
a radar tube presentation, the center of the periphery of which
represents the point on the ground immediately below the
aircraft. In side-looking airborne radar, this is known as the
See vertical separation.
See altitude hole.
Outside temperature at any given altitude, preferably
expressed in degrees centigrade.
ambulance exchange point
A location where a patient is transferred from one
ambulance to another en route to a medical treatment facility.
This may be an established point in an ambulance shuttle or it
may be designated independently. Also called AXP. See also
medical treatment facility.
American National Standards Institute
The United States standards organization that establishes
procedures for the development and coordination of voluntary
American national standards.
ammunition and toxic material open space
An area especially prepared for storage of explosive
ammunition and toxic material. For reporting purposes, it does
not include the surrounding area restricted for storage because
of safety distance factors. It includes barricades and
improvised coverings. See also storage.
ammunition controlled supply rate
In Army usage, the amount of ammunition estimated to be
available to sustain operations of a designated force for a
specified time if expenditures are controlled at that rate. It
is expressed in terms of rounds per weapon per day for
ammunition items fired by weapons, and in terms of units of
measure per organization per day for bulk allotment ammunition
items. Tactical commanders use this rate to control expenditures
of ammunition during tactical operations at planned intervals.
It is issued through command channels at each level. It is
determined based on consideration of the required supply rates
submitted by subordinate commanders and ammunition assets
A quantity of homogeneous ammunition, identified by
a unique lot number, which is manufactured, assembled, or
renovated by one producer under uniform conditions and which is
expected to function in a uniform manner.
ammunition supply point
See distribution point.
A small craft, propelled by propellers and wheels or by
air cushions for the purpose of moving on both land and water.
The principal type of amphibious operation that involves
establishing a force on a hostile or potentially hostile shore.
See also assault; assault phase.
amphibious assault area
See landing area.
amphibious assault bulk fuel system
The petroleum, oils, and lubricants discharge system used
to support US Marine Corps amphibious assaults and maritime
pre-positioning force operations. It consists of 5,000 or 10,000
feet of buoyant 6-inch hose deployed from a landing ship, tank
in amphibious assaults, or a maritime pre-positioning ship in
maritime pre-positioning force operations. See also amphibious
assault; petroleum, oils, and lubricants.
amphibious assault landing
See amphibious operation, Part e.
amphibious assault ship (general purpose)
A naval ship designed to embark, deploy, and land elements
of a landing force in an assault by helicopters, landing craft,
amphibious vehicles, and by combinations of these methods.
Designated as "LHA" or with internal dock as "LHD."
amphibious aviation assault ship
An amphibious assault ship, landing platform helicopter;
general purpose amphibious assault ship; or general purpose
amphibious assault ship (with internal dock).
A special naval chart designed to meet special
requirements for landing operations and passive coastal defense,
at a scale of 1:25,000 or larger, and showing foreshore and
coastal information in greater detail than a combat chart.
amphibious command ship
A naval ship from which a commander exercises
control in amphibious operations. Designated as LCC.
amphibious construction battalion
A permanently commissioned naval unit, subordinate to the
Commander, Naval Beach Group, designed to provide an
administrative unit from which personnel and equipment are
formed in tactical elements and made available to appropriate
commanders to operate pontoon causeways, transfer barges,
warping tugs, and assault bulk fuel systems, and to meet salvage
requirements of the naval beach party. Also called PHIBCB.
amphibious control group
Personnel, ships, and craft designated to control
the waterborne ship-to-shore movement in an amphibious
A type of amphibious operation conducted for the
purpose of deceiving the enemy by a show of force with the
expectation of deluding the enemy into a course of action
unfavorable to him.
An amphibious task force and a landing force together with
other forces that are trained, organized, and equipped for
amphibious operations. Also called AF. See also amphibious
operation; amphibious task force; landing force.
A command within the amphibious force, consisting of the
commander and staff, designed to exercise operational control of
assigned units in executing all phases of a division-size
A command within the amphibious force, consisting of the
commander and staff, designed to exercise operational control of
assigned units in executing all phases of a division-size
The total capacity of assault shipping utilized in
an amphibious operation, expressed in terms of personnel,
vehicles, and measurement or weight tons of supplies.
amphibious objective area
A geographical area (delineated for command and control
purposes in the order initiating the amphibious operation)
within which is located the objective(s) to be secured by the
amphibious force. This area must be of sufficient size to ensure
accomplishment of the amphibious force's mission and must
provide sufficient area for conducting necessary sea, air, and
land operations. Also called AOA. See also amphibious force;
amphibious objective study
A study designed to provide basic intelligence data of a
permanent or semipermanent nature required for planning
amphibious operations. Each study deals with a specific area,
the selection of which is based on strategic location,
susceptibility to seizure by amphibious means, and other
A military operation launched from the sea by an
amphibious force, embarked in ships or craft with the primary
purpose of introducing a landing force ashore to accomplish the
assigned mission. See also amphibious force; landing force;
The process of planning for an amphibious operation,
distinguished by the necessity for concurrent, parallel, and
detailed planning by all participating forces. The planning
pattern is cyclical in nature, composed of a series of analyses
and judgments of operational situations, each stemming from
those that have preceded.
A type of amphibious operation involving swift
incursion into or temporary occupation of an objective followed
by a planned withdrawal. See also amphibious operation.
An amphibious landing conducted by minor elements,
normally involving stealth rather than force of arms, for the
purpose of securing information, and usually followed by a
amphibious reconnaissance unit
A unit organized, equipped, and trained to conduct and
support amphibious reconnaissance missions. An amphibious
reconnaissance unit is made up of a number of amphibious
Organic Navy ships specifically designed to transport,
land, and support landing forces in amphibious assault
operations and capable of being loaded or unloaded by naval
personnel without external assistance in the amphibious
A tactical and administrative organization composed
of amphibious assault shipping to transport troops and their
equipment for an amphibious assault operation. Also called
amphibious striking forces
Forces capable of projecting military power from the sea
upon adjacent land areas for initiating and/or conducting
operations in the face of enemy opposition.
amphibious task force
A Navy task organization formed to conduct amphibious
operations. The amphibious task force, together with the landing
force and other forces, constitutes the amphibious force. Also
called ATF. See also amphibious force; amphibious operation;
See amphibious vehicle.
amphibious transport dock
A ship designed to transport and land troops, equipment,
and supplies by means of embarked landing craft, amphibious
vehicles, and helicopters. Designated as LPD.
amphibious transport group
A subdivision of an amphibious task force composed
primarily of transport ships. The size of the transport group
will depend upon the scope of the operation. Ships of the
transport group will be combat-loaded to support the landing
force scheme of maneuver ashore. A transport unit will usually
be formed to embark troops and equipment to be landed over a
designated beach or to embark all helicopter-borne troops and
A wheeled or tracked vehicle capable of operating on
both land and water. See also landing craft.
amphibious vehicle availability table
A tabulation of the type and number of amphibious vehicles
available primarily for assault landings and for support of
other elements of the operation.
amphibious vehicle employment plan
A plan showing in tabular form the planned employment of
amphibious vehicles in landing operations, including their
employment after the initial movement to the beach.
amphibious vehicle launching area
An area, in the vicinity of and to seaward of the
line of departure, to which landing ships proceed and launch
A type of amphibious operation involving the extraction of
forces by sea in ships or craft from a hostile or potentially
hostile shore. See also amphibious operation.
analysis and production
In intelligence usage, the conversion of processed
information into intelligence through the integration,
evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of all source data and
the preparation of intelligence products in support of known or
anticipated user requirements. See also intelligence process.
A specified location for anchoring or mooring a vessel
in-stream or offshore.
In air transport, a cable in an aircraft to which
the parachute static lines or strops are attached.
anchor line extension kit
A device fitted to an aircraft equipped with
removable clamshell doors to enable paratroopers to exit from
A document appended to an operation order or other
document to make it clearer or to give further details.
A photograph on which interpretation details are
indicated by words or symbols.
A marking placed on imagery or drawings for
explanatory purposes or to indicate items or areas of special
One day of active duty for training required each year for
Individual Ready Reserve members so the Services can keep
current on each member's physical condition, dependency status,
military qualifications, civilian occupational skills,
availability for service, and other information.
The minimal period of training reserve members must
perform each year to satisfy the training requirements
associated with their Reserve Component assignment. Also called
antemortem identification media
Records, samples, and photographs taken prior to death.
These include (but are not limited to) fingerprints, dental
x-rays, body tissue samples, photographs of tattoos, or other
identifying marks. These "predeath" records would be compared
against records completed after death to help establish a
positive identification of a remains. See also mortuary affairs.
In naval mine warfare, a contact mine fitted with
antennae which, when touched by a steel ship, sets up galvanic
action to fire the mine. See also mine.
A helicopter armed primarily for use in the
destruction of armored targets. Also called antitank helicopter.
A device fitted in an influence mine designed to
prevent its actuation by shock.
The incurring of obligations or the making of expenditure
(outlays) in excess of amounts available in appropriations or
A device worn by aircrew to counteract the effects on the
human body of positive acceleration.
A device arranged to detonate the mine to which it is
attached, or to detonate another mine or charge nearby, if the
mine is disturbed.
A living organism or chemical used to cause
deterioration of, or damage to, selected materiel.
The employment of antimateriel weapons or agents in
antipersonnel mine (land mine warfare)
A mine designed to cause casualties to personnel. See also
A missile which homes passively on a radiation
source. Also called ARM. See also guided missile.
In naval mine warfare, any device in a mine designed
to prevent an enemy discovering details of the working of the
An operation by one or more antisubmarine-capable ships,
submarines, or aircraft (or a combination thereof) against a
particular enemy submarine.
antisubmarine air distant support
Antisubmarine air support at a distance from, but directly
related to, specific convoys or forces.
antisubmarine air search attack unit
The designation given to one or more aircraft separately
organized as a tactical unit to search for and destroy
The line formed by a series of static devices or
mobile units arranged for the purpose of detecting, denying
passage to, or destroying hostile submarines. See also
antisubmarine close air support
Air operations for the antisubmarine warfare protection of
a supported force.
Operation contributing to the conduct of antisubmarine
The systematic and continuing investigation of an
area or along a line to detect or hamper submarines, used when
the direction of submarine movement can be established. See also
An arrangement of ships and/or aircraft for the
protection of a screened unit against attack by a submarine.
Systematic investigation of a particular area for
the purpose of locating a submarine known or suspected to be
somewhere in the area. Some types of search are also used in
locating the position of a distress incident.
antisubmarine support operation
An operation conducted by an antisubmarine force in
the area around a force or convoy, in areas through which the
force or convoy is passing, or in defense of geographic areas.
Support operations may be completely coordinated with those of
the force or convoy, or they may be independent operations
coordinated only to the extent of providing operational
intelligence and information.
Operations conducted with the intention of denying
the enemy the effective use of submarines. Also called ASW.
antisubmarine warfare forces
Forces organized primarily for antisubmarine action. May
be composed of surface ships, aircraft, submarines, or any
combination of these, and their supporting systems.
antisurface air operation
An air operation conducted in an air/sea environment
against enemy surface forces.
Any device incorporated in the mooring of a mine or
obstructor, or in the mine circuits to make the sweeping of the
mine more difficult.
A mine which is laid or whose mechanism is designed
or adjusted with the specific object of damaging mine
countermeasures vessels. See also mine.
See antiarmor helicopter.
A mine designed to immobilize or destroy a tank. See
Defensive measures used to reduce the vulnerability of
individuals and property to terrorist acts, to include limited
response and containment by local military forces. Also called
AT. See also antiterrorism awareness; counterterrorism;
proactive measures; terrorism.
Fundamental knowledge of the terrorist threat and measures
to reduce personal vulnerability to terrorism. See also
A device fitted in a moored mine which causes it to sink
should it show on the surface, so as to prevent the position of
the mine or minefield being disclosed. See also watching mine.
any Service member mail
Mail sent by the general public to an unspecified Service
member deployed on a contingency operation, as an expression of
The point at which a missile trajectory or a satellite
orbit is farthest from the center of the gravitational field of
the controlling body or bodies.
The visible line of demarcation between land/sea and
The apparent deflection of the gyro axis, relative
to the Earth, due to the rotating effect of the Earth and not
due to any applied force. Also called apparent wander.
A document appended to an annex of an operation order,
operation plan, or other document to clarify or to give further
applicable materiel assets
That portion of the total acceptable materiel assets that
meets the military or other characteristics as defined by the
responsible Military Service and that is in the right condition
and location to satisfy a specific military requirement.
1. The system or problem to which a computer is applied.
Reference is often made to an application as being either of the
computational type (arithmetic computations predominate) or of
the data processing type (data handling operations predominate).
2. In the intelligence context, the direct extraction and
tailoring of information from an existing foundation of
intelligence and near real time reporting. It is focused on and
meets specific, narrow requirements, normally on demand.
In the general sense, distribution for planning of limited
resources among competing requirements. Specific apportionments
(e.g., air sorties and forces for planning) are described as
apportionment of air sorties and forces for planning, etc. See
also allocation; apportionment (air).
The determination and assignment of the total expected
effort by percentage and/or by priority that should be devoted
to the various air operations for a given period of time. Also
called air apportionment. See also apportionment.
Authorization for a pilot conducting flight in accordance
with instrument flight rules to commence an approach to an
A control station in an air operations control center,
helicopter direction center, or carrier air traffic control
center, that is responsible for controlling air traffic from
marshal until hand-off to final control. See also helicopter
direction center; marshal.
approach end of runway
That end of the runway nearest to the direction from
which the final approach is made.
An extension of a boat lane from the line of departure
toward the transport area.
Advance of a combat unit when direct contact with
the enemy is imminent. Troops are fully or partially deployed.
The approach march ends when ground contact with the enemy is
made or when the attack position is occupied.
The schedule that indicates, for each scheduled wave, the
time of departure from the rendezvous area, from the line of
departure, and from other control points and the time of arrival
at the beach.
The order in which two or more aircraft are cleared
for an approach.
The time at which an aircraft is expected to commence
A representative (person or organization) of the
Commandant, US Coast Guard, authorized to approve containers
within terms of the International Conference for Safe
Containers. See also International Convention for Safe
A defined area on an airfield intended to accommodate
aircraft for purposes of loading or unloading passengers or
cargo, refueling, parking, or maintenance.
archipelagic sea lanes passage
The nonsuspendable right of continuous and expeditious
transit through archipelagic waters in the normal mode through
and over routes normally used for navigation and overflight.
A framework or structure that portrays relationships among
all the elements of the subject force, system, or activity.
When used in the context of deliberate planning, the
directed command will remove the referenced operation plan,
operation plan in concept format, and any associated Joint
Operation Planning and Execution System automated data
processing files from its library of active plans. All material
will be prepared for shipment to appropriate archive facilities
in accordance with appropriate command directives. See also
area air defense commander
Within a unified command, subordinate unified command, or
joint task force, the commander will assign overall
responsibility for air defense to a single commander. Normally,
this will be the component commander with the preponderance of
air defense capability and the command, control, and
communications capability to plan and execute integrated air
defense operations. Representation from the other components
involved will be provided, as appropriate, to the area air
defense commander's headquarters. Also called AADC.
The commander's prescribed collection of specific
information that commences upon employment and is a continuous
operation. It confirms, corrects, refutes, or adds to previous
intelligence acquired from area studies and other sources prior
Bombing of a target which is in effect a general
area rather than a small or pinpoint target.
A command which is composed of those organized
elements of one or more of the Armed Services, designated to
operate in a specific geographical area, which are placed under
a single commander. See also command.
area control center
A unit established to provide air traffic control
service to controlled flights in control areas under its
jurisdiction. See also air traffic control center; flight
area damage control
Measures taken before, during, or after hostile
action or natural or manmade disasters, to reduce the
probability of damage and minimize its effects. See also damage
control; disaster control.
area of influence
A geographical area wherein a commander is directly
capable of influencing operations by maneuver or fire support
systems normally under the commander's command or control.
area of intelligence responsibility
An area allocated to a commander in which the
commander is responsible for the provision of intelligence
within the means at the commander's disposal. See also area of
interest; area of responsibility.
area of interest
That area of concern to the commander, including the area
of influence, areas adjacent thereto, and extending into enemy
territory to the objectives of current or planned operations.
This area also includes areas occupied by enemy forces who could
jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. Also called AOI.
See also area of influence.
area of limitation
A defined area where specific limitations apply to the
strength and fortifications of disputing or belligerent forces.
Normally, upper limits are established for the number and type
of formations, tanks, antiaircraft weapons, artillery, and other
weapons systems in the area of limitation. Also called AOL. See
also line of demarcation; peace operations.
area of militarily significant fallout
Area in which radioactive fallout affects the
ability of military units to carry out their normal mission.
area of northern operations
A region of variable width in the Northern Hemisphere that
lies north of the 50 degrees isotherm--a line along which the
average temperature of the warmest 4-month period of the year
does not exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Mountain regions located
outside of this area are included in this category of operations
provided these same temperature conditions exist.
area of operations
An operational area defined by the joint force commander
for land and naval forces. Areas of operation do not typically
encompass the entire operational area of the joint force
commander, but should be large enough for component commanders
to accomplish their missions and protect their forces. Also
called AO. See also area of responsibility; joint operations
area; joint special operations area.
area of responsibility
The geographical area associated with a combatant command
within which a combatant commander has authority to plan and
conduct operations. Also called AOR. See also combatant command.
area of separation
See buffer zone. Also called AOS. See also peace
In maritime usage, operations conducted in a
geographical area and not related to the protection of a
Personnel or units whose organizations, mission, training,
and equipping are based on projected operational deployment to a
specific geographic or demographic area.
area radar prediction analysis
Radar target intelligence study designed to provide
radar-significant data for use in the preparation of radar
Visual reconnaissance of limited or defined areas.
A target consisting of an area rather than a single
armament delivery recording
Motion picture, still photography, and video recordings
showing the delivery and impact of ordnance. This differs from
reconnaissance imagery in that it records the act of delivery
and impact and normally is done by the weapon system delivering
the ordnance. Armament delivery recording is used primarily for
evaluating strike effectiveness and for combat crew training. It
is also one of the principal sources of over-the-target
documentation in force employments, and may be used for public
affairs purposes. Also called ADR.
The military forces of a nation or a group of nations. See
armed forces censorship
The examination and control of personal communications to
or from persons in the Armed Forces of the United States and
persons accompanying or serving with the Armed Forces of the
United States. See also censorship.
armed forces courier
An officer or enlisted member in the grade of E-7 or
above, of the US Armed Forces, assigned to perform Armed Forces
Courier Service duties and identified by possession of an Armed
Forces Courier Service Identification Card (ARF-COS Form 9). See
Armed Forces Courier Service
A joint service of the Departments of the Army, the Navy,
and the Air Force, with the Chief of Staff, US Army, as
Executive Agent. The courier service provides one of the
available methods for the secure and expeditious transmission of
material requiring protected handling by military courier.
armed forces courier station
An Army, Navy, or Air Force activity, approved by the
respective military department and officially designated by
Headquarters, Armed Forces Courier Service, for the acceptance,
processing, and dispatching of Armed Forces Courier Service
Armed Forces of the United States
A term used to denote collectively all components of the
Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. See also
United States Armed Forces.
Armed Forces Radio and Television Service
A worldwide radio and television broadcasting organization
that provides US military commanders overseas and at sea with
sufficient electronic media resources to effectively communicate
theater, local, Department of Defense, and Service-unique
command information to their personnel and family members. Also
A helicopter fitted with weapons or weapon systems.
A mine from which all safety devices have been
withdrawn and, after laying, all automatic safety features
and/or arming delay devices have operated. Such a mine is ready
to be actuated after receipt of a target signal, influence, or
A mission with the primary purpose of locating and
attacking targets of opportunity, i.e., enemy materiel,
personnel, and facilities, in assigned general areas or along
assigned ground communications routes, and not for the purpose
of attacking specific briefed targets.
A sweep fitted with cutters or other devices to
increase its ability to cut mine moorings.
As applied to explosives, weapons, and ammunition, the
changing from a safe condition to a state of readiness for
aarming delay device
A device fitted in a mine to prevent it being actuated for
a preset time after laying.
See arming wire.
A safety device inserted in a munition, which until
its removal, prevents the unintentional action of the arming
cycle. Also called safety pin. See also safety device.
That portion of a weapon that serves to ready (arm), safe,
or re-safe (disarm) the firing system and fuzing system and that
may actuate devices in the nuclear system.
A cable, wire or lanyard routed from the aircraft to
an expendable aircraft store in order to initiate the arming
sequence for the store upon release from the aircraft, when the
armed release condition has been selected; it also prevents
arming initiation prior to store release and during safe
jettison. Also called arming lanyard. See also safety wire.
In international law, a suspension or temporary cessation
of hostilities by agreement between belligerent powers.
armistice demarcation line
A geographically defined line from which disputing or
belligerent forces disengage and withdraw to their respective
sides following a truce or cease fire agreement. Also called
cease fire line in some United Nations operations. Also called
ADL. See also armistice; cease fire; cease fire line; peace
arm or de-arm
Applies to those procedures in the arming or de-arming
section of the applicable aircraft loading manual or checklist
that places the ordnance or explosive device in a ready or safe
condition i.e., rocket launchers, guided missiles,
guns--internal and pods, paraflares--(external and SUU-44/25
dispenser). (NOTE: The removal or installation of pylon or bomb
rack safety pins from a nonordnance-loaded station is considered
a function requiring certification within the purview of this
publication.) See also arming; de-arming; ordnance.
armored personnel carrier
A lightly armored, highly mobile, full-tracked vehicle,
amphibious and air-droppable, used primarily for transporting
personnel and their individual equipment during tactical
operations. Production modifications or application of special
kits permit use as a mortar carrier, command post, flame
thrower, antiaircraft artillery chassis, or limited recovery
vehicle. Also called APC.
A concept that connotes: a. any plan, arrangement, or
process, resting upon explicit or implicit international
agreement, governing any aspect of the following: the numbers,
types, and performance characteristics of weapon systems
(including the command and control, logistics support
arrangements, and any related intelligence-gathering mechanism);
and the numerical strength, organization, equipment, deployment,
or employment of the Armed Forces retained by the parties (it
encompasses disarmament); and b. on some occasions, those
measures taken for the purpose of reducing instability in the
arms control agreement
The written or unwritten embodiment of the acceptance of
one or more arms control measures by two or more nations.
arms control agreement verification
A concept that entails the collection, processing, and
reporting of data indicating testing or employment of proscribed
weapon systems, including country of origin and location, weapon
and payload identification, and event type.
arms control measure
Any specific arms control course of action.
Army Air Defense Command Post
The tactical headquarters of an Army air defense
Army air-ground system
The Army system which provides for interface between Army
and tactical air support agencies of other Services in the
planning, evaluating, processing, and coordinating of air
support requirements and operations. It is composed of
appropriate staff members, including G-2 air and G-3 air
personnel, and necessary communication equipment. Also called
Army and Air Force Exchange Service imprest fund activity
A military-operated retail activity, usually in remote or
forward sites, when regular direct operations exchanges cannot
be provided. It is a satellite activity of an Army and Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) direct operation. The supported unit
appoints the officer in charge of an imprest fund activity, who
is issued an initial fund by AAFES to purchase beginning
inventory. Money generated from sales is used to replenish the
merchandise stock. See also imprest fund.
A base or group of installations for which a local
commander is responsible, consisting of facilities necessary for
support of Army activities including security, internal lines of
communications, utilities, plants and systems, and real property
for which the Army has operating responsibility. See also base
A tactical unit larger than a division and smaller than a
field army. A corps usually consists of two or more divisions
together with auxiliary arms and services. See also field army.
Army service area
The territory between the corps rear boundary and the
combat zone rear boundary. Most of the Army administrative
establishment and service troops are usually located in this
area. See also rear area.
Army Service component command
Command responsible for recommendations to the joint force
commander on the allocation and employment of Army forces within
a combatant command. Also called ASCC.
Army special operations component
The Army component of a joint force special operations
component. Also called ARSOC. See also Air Force special
operations component; Navy special operations component.
Army special operations forces
Those Active and Reserve Component Army forces designated
by the Secretary of Defense that are specifically organized,
trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations.
Also called ARSOF.
Army tactical data link 1
See tactical digital information link.
See aircraft arresting barrier.
See aircraft arresting gear.
In counterdrug operations, the area in or adjacent to the
United States where smuggling concludes and domestic
distribution begins. By air, an airstrip; by sea, an offload
point on land, or transfer to small boats. See also transit
See attitude indicator.
artillery fire plan table
A presentation of planned targets giving data for
engagement. Scheduled targets are fired in a definite time
sequence. The starting time may be on call, at a prearranged
time, or at the occurrence of a specific event.
artillery survey control point
A point at which the coordinates and the altitude
are known and from which the bearings/azimuths to a number of
reference objects are also known.
1. The climax of an attack, closing with the enemy in
hand-to-hand fighting. 2. In an amphibious operation, the period
of time between the arrival of the major assault forces of the
amphibious task force in the objective area and the
accomplishment of the amphibious task force mission. 3. To make
a short, violent, but well-ordered attack against a local
objective, such as a gun emplacement, a fort, or a machine gun
nest. 4. A phase of an airborne operation beginning with
delivery by air of the assault echelon of the force into the
objective area and extending through attack of assault
objectives and consolidation of the initial airhead. See also
assault phase; landing attack.
A powered aircraft that moves assault troops and/or
cargo into an objective area.
In amphibious operations, that area that includes the
beach area, the boat lanes, the lines of departure, the landing
ship areas, the transport areas, and the fire support areas in
the immediate vicinity of the boat lanes.
assault area diagram
A graphic means of showing, for amphibious operations, the
beach designations, boat lanes, organization of the line of
departure, scheduled waves, landing ship area, transport areas,
and the fire support areas in the immediate vicinity of the boat
A landing craft or amphibious vehicle primarily
employed for landing troops and equipment in the assault waves
of an amphibious operation.
assault craft unit
A permanently commissioned naval organization, subordinate
to the commander, naval beach group, that contains landing craft
and crews necessary to provide lighterage required in an
amphibious operation. Also called ACU.
In amphibious operations, the element of a force comprised
of tailored units and aircraft assigned to conduct the
initialassault on the operational area. Also called AE. See also
1. That fire delivered by attacking troops as they close
with the enemy. 2. In artillery, extremely accurate, short-range
destruction fire at point targets.
assault follow-on echelon
In amphibious operations, that echelon of the assault
troops, vehicles, aircraft, equipment, and supplies that, though
not needed to initiate the assault, is required to support and
sustain the assault. In order to accomplish its purpose, it is
normally required in the objective area no later than five days
after commencement of the assault landing. Also called AFOE.
1. In an amphibious operation, the period of time
between the arrival of the major assault forces of the
amphibious task force in the objective area and the
accomplishment of their mission. 2. In an airborne operation, a
phase beginning with delivery by air of the assault echelon of
the force into the objective area and extending through attack
of assault objectives and consolidation of the initial airhead.
See also assault.
See landing schedule.
Shipping assigned to the amphibious task force and
utilized for transporting assault troops, vehicles, equipment,
and supplies to the objective area.
In logistics, an item forming a portion of an
equipment, that can be provisioned and replaced as an entity and
which normally incorporates replaceable parts or groups of
parts. See also component; subassembly.
An anchorage intended for the assembly and onward
routing of ships.
1. An area in which a command is assembled
preparatory to further action. 2. In a supply installation, the
gross area used for collecting and combining components into
complete units, kits, or assemblies.
1. Analysis of the security, effectiveness, and potential
of an existing or planned intelligence activity. 2. Judgment of
the motives, qualifications, and characteristics of present or
prospective employees or "agents."
The organization responsible for conducting an assessment
of an approved joint publication. The assessment agent is
assigned by the Director, J-7, Joint Staff; normally US Joint
Forces Command. Also called AA.
Any resource--person, group, relationship, instrument,
installation, or supply--at the disposition of an intelligence
organization for use in an operational or support role. Often
used with a qualifying term such as agent asset or propaganda
1. To place units or personnel in an organization
where such placement is relatively permanent, and/or where such
organization controls and administers the units or personnel for
the primary function, or greater portion of the functions, of
the unit or personnel. 2. To detail individuals to specific
duties or functions where such duties or functions are primary
and/or relatively permanent. See also attach.
Individuals, groups of individuals, or organizations
(together with materiel and/or facilities in position, or that
can be placed in position by appropriate US or multinational
agencies), used to accomplish or support evasion and recovery
operations. See also evasion; evasion and recovery; recovery;
The return of an evader to friendly control as the result
of assistance from an outside source. See also evader; source.
The assumption of azimuth origins as a field expedient
until the required data are available.
A grid constructed using an arbitrary scale superimposed
on a map, chart, or photograph for use in point designation
without regard to actual geographic location. See also grid.
A supposition on the current situation or a presupposition
on the future course of events, either or both assumed to be
true in the absence of positive proof, necessary to enable the
commander in the process of planning to complete an estimate of
the situation and make a decision on the course of action.
The transfer of fuel at sea during which the
receiving ship(s) keep(s) station astern of the delivering ship.
A sweep whose swept path under conditions of no wind
or cross-tide is not equally spaced either side of the sweeper's
The envelope of air surrounding the Earth, including its
interfaces and interactions with the Earth's solid or liquid
at my command
In artillery and naval gunfire support, the command
used when it is desired to control the exact time of delivery of
atomic air burst
See nuclear defense.
atomic demolition munition
A nuclear device designed to be detonated on or below the
ground surface, or under water as a demolition munition against
material-type targets to block, deny, and/or canalize the enemy.
atomic underground burst
See nuclear underground burst.
atomic underwater burst
See nuclear underwater burst.
See nuclear warfare.
See nuclear weapon.
at priority call
A precedence applied to the task of an artillery
unit to provide fire to a formation/unit on a guaranteed basis.
Normally observer, communications, and liaison are not provided.
An artillery unit in "direct support" or "in support" may
simultaneously be placed "at priority call" to another unit or
agency for a particular task and/or for a specific period of
Includes the following maritime areas: foreign internal
waters, archipelagic waters, and territorial seas; foreign
contiguous zones; foreign exclusive economic zones; the high
seas; and US-exclusive economic zone, territorial sea, and
1. The placement of units or personnel in an organization
where such placement is relatively temporary. 2. The detailing
of individuals to specific functions where such functions are
secondary or relatively temporary, e.g., attached for quarters
and rations; attached for flying duty. See also assign.
An evaluation of information to determine the potential or
actual nature and objectives of an attack for the purpose of
providing information for timely decisions. See also damage
attack cargo ship
A naval ship designed or converted to transport
combat-loaded cargo in an assault landing. Capabilities as to
carrying landing craft, speed of ship, armament, and size of
hatches and booms are greater than those of comparable cargo
ship types. Designated as LKA.
A subordinate task organization of the navy forces
of an amphibious task force. It is composed of assault shipping
and supporting naval units designated to transport, protect,
land, and initially support a landing group.
1. The interceptor heading during the attack phase that
will achieve the desired track-crossing angle. 2. The assigned
magnetic compass heading to be flown by aircraft during the
delivery phase of an air strike.
A helicopter specifically designed to employ various
weapons to attack and destroy enemy targets.
1. The location or source from which an attack was
initiated. 2. The nation initiating an attack. See also attack
The type and distribution of targets under attack. Also
called target pattern. See also attack assessment.
The last position occupied by the assault echelon before
crossing the line of departure.
The predicted or actual time of bursts, impacts, or
arrival of weapons at their intended targets.
1. Decrease in intensity of a signal, beam, or wave
as a result of absorption of energy and of scattering out of the
path of a detector, but not including the reduction due to
geometric spreading, i.e., the inverse square of distance
effect. 2. In mine warfare, the reduction in intensity of an
influence as distance from the source increases. 3. In
camouflage and concealment, the process of making an object or
surface less conspicuous by reducing its contrast to the
surroundings and/or background. Also called tone down.
The ratio of the incident radiation dose or dose
rate to the radiation dose or dose rate transmitted through a
shielding material. This is the reciprocal of the transmission
The position of a body as determined by the
inclination of the axes to some frame of reference. If not
otherwise specified, this frame of reference is fixed to the
An instrument which displays the attitude of the
aircraft by reference to sources of information which may be
contained within the instrument or be external to it. When the
sources of information are self-contained, the instrument may be
referred to as an artificial horizon.
The reduction of the effectiveness of a force caused
by loss of personnel and materiel.
In naval mine warfare, a field intended primarily to
cause damage to enemy ships. See also minefield.
A factor, normally expressed as a percentage,
reflecting the degree of losses of personnel or materiel due to
various causes within a specified period of time.
attrition reserve aircraft
Aircraft procured for the specific purpose of replacing
the anticipated losses of aircraft because of peacetime and/or
The continuous sweeping of minefields to keep the
risk of mines to all ships as low as possible.
Forces to be transferred from a supporting commander to
the combatant command (command authority) or operational control
of a supported commander during the execution of an operation
order approved by the Secretary of Defense.
A challenge given by voice or electrical means to attest
to the authenticity of a message or transmission.
1. A security measure designed to protect a communications
system against acceptance of a fraudulent transmission or
simulation by establishing the validity of a transmission,
message, or originator. 2. A means of identifying individuals
and verifying their eligibility to receive specific categories
of information. 3. Evidence by proper signature or seal that a
document is genuine and official. 4. In evasion and recovery
operations, the process whereby the identity of an evader is
confirmed. See also evader; evasion; evasion and recovery;
recovery operations; security.
A symbol or group of symbols, or a series of bits,
selected or derived in a prearranged manner and usually inserted
at a predetermined point within a message or transmission for
the purpose of attesting to the validity of the message or
An abbreviated and formatted message header used in
conjunction with the mobile cryptologic support facility (MCSF)
to energize the automatic communications relay functions of the
MCSF, providing rapid exchange of data through the system.
automated data handling
See automatic data handling.
automated identification technology
A suite of tools for facilitating total asset visibility
(TAV) source data capture and transfer. Automated identification
technology (AIT) includes a variety of devices, such as bar
codes, magnetic strips, optical memory cards, and radio
frequency tags for marking or "tagging" individual items,
multi-packs, equipment, air pallets, or containers, along with
the hardware and software required to create the devices, read
the information on them, and integrate that information with
other logistic information. AIT integration with logistic
information systems is key to the Department of Defense's TAV
efforts. Also called AIT. See also total asset visibility.
automatic approach and landing
A control mode in which the aircraft's speed and flight
path are automatically controlled for approach, flare-out, and
landing. See also ground-controlled approach procedure.
automatic data handling
A generalization of automatic data processing to
include the aspect of data transfer.
automatic data processing
1. Data processing largely performed by automatic means.
2. That branch of science and technology concerned with methods
and techniques relating to data processing largely performed by
automatic flight control system
A system which includes all equipment to control
automatically the flight of an aircraft or missile to a path or
attitude described by references internal or external to the
aircraft or missile. Also called AFCS.
automatic message processing system
Any organized assembly of resources and methods used to
collect, process, and distribute messages largely by automatic
A resupply mission fully planned before insertion of a
special operations team into the operations area that occurs at
a prearranged time and location, unless changed by the operating
team after insertion. See also emergency resupply; on-call
automatic search jammer
An intercept receiver and jamming transmitter system
which searches for and jams signals automatically which have
specific radiation characteristics.
Automatic Secure Voice Communications Network
A worldwide, switched, secure voice network developed to
fulfill DOD long-haul, secure voice requirements. Also called
A system by which certain supply requirements are
automatically shipped or issued for a predetermined period of
time without requisition by the using unit. It is based upon
estimated or experience-usage factors.
The automation network combines all of the information
collection devices, automatic identification technologies, and
the automated information systems, that either support or
facilitate the joint reception, staging, onward movement, and
integration process. See also automated identification
technology; joint reception, staging, onward movement, and
In air defense, the mode of operation assumed by a unit
after it has lost all communications with higher echelons. The
unit commander assumes full responsibility for control of
weapons and engagement of hostile targets.
The date after notification of mobilization by which
forces will be marshalled at their home station or mobilization
station and available for deployment. See also home station;
mobilization; mobilization station.
The passenger and/or cargo capacity expressed in weight
and/or space available to the user.
A date specified for each unit in a time-phased force and
deployment data indicating when that unit will be ready to load
at the point of embarkation. Also called ALD.
avenue of approach
An air or ground route of an attacking force of a given
size leading to its objective or to key terrain in its path.
Also called AA.
The average distance traveled per hour, calculated
over the whole journey, excluding specifically ordered halts.
aviation combat element
The core element of a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF)
that is task-organized to conduct aviation operations. The
aviation combat element (ACE) provides all or a portion of the
six functions of Marine aviation necessary to accomplish the
MAGTF's mission. These functions are antiair warfare, offensive
air support, assault support, electronic warfare, air
reconnaissance, and control of aircraft and missiles. The ACE is
usually composed of an aviation unit headquarters and various
other aviation units or their detachments. It can vary in size
from a small aviation detachment of specifically required
aircraft to one or more Marine aircraft wings. The ACE itself is
not a formal command. Also called ACE. See also combat service
support element; command element; ground combat element; Marine
air-ground task force; Marine expeditionary force; Marine
expeditionary force (forward); Marine expeditionary unit;
special purpose Marine air-ground task force; task force.
aviation life support equipment
See life support equipment.
The special field of medicine which is related to
the biological and psychological problems of flight.
An aircraft carrier. See also air-capable ship; aircraft;
amphibious aviation assault ship.
Individual and/or unit measures taken to avoid or minimize
nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) attacks and reduce the
effects of NBC hazards.
A route running through the rear area and into the forward
area. See also route.
axis of advance
A line of advance assigned for purposes of control; often
a road or a group of roads, or a designated series of locations,
extending in the direction of the enemy.
Quantities may be expressed in positive quantities
increasing in a clockwise direction, or in X, Y coordinates
where south and west are negative. They may be referenced to
true north or magnetic north depending on the particular weapon
An angle measured clockwise in the horizontal plane
between a reference direction and any other line.
Information which will enable the pilot or autopilot
of an aircraft to follow the required track.
The ability of radar equipment to separate two
reflectors at similar ranges but different bearings from a
reference point. Normally the minimum separation distance
between the reflectors is quoted and expressed as the angle
subtended by the reflectors at the reference point.