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Acronyms A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W - Z Resources


Glossary of Military Terms

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backfill
Reserve Component units and individuls recalled to replace deploying active units and/or individuals in the continental United States and outside the continental United States. See also Reserve Components.

background count
The evidence or effect on a detector of radiation caused by background radiation. In connection with health protection, the background count includes but is not limited to radiations produced by naturally occurring radioactivity and cosmic rays.

background radiation
Nuclear (or ionizing) radiations arising from within the body and from the surroundings to which individuals are always exposed.

back-haul airlift
The rearward movement of personnel and materiel from an air terminal in forward deployed areas back to a staging base (either in-theater or out) after the normal forward delivery. See also staging base.

backscatter
Refers to a portion of the laser energy that is scattered back in the direction of the seeker by an obscurant. See also laser.

back-scattering
Radio wave propagation in which the direction of the incident and scattered waves, resolved along a reference direction (usually horizontal), are oppositely directed. A signal received by back-scattering is often referred to as "back-scatter."

backshore
The area of a beach extending from the limit of high water foam lines to dunes or extreme inland limit of the beach.

back tell
The transfer of information from a higher to a lower echelon of command. See also track telling.

back-up
In cartography, an image printed on the reverse side of a map sheet already printed on one side. Also the printing of such images.

backwash
An even layer of water that moves along the sea floor from the beach through the surf zone and caused by the pile-up of water on the beach from incoming breakers.

balance
A concept as applied to an arms control measure that connotes: a. adjustments of armed forces and armaments in such a manner that one state does not obtain military advantage over other states agreeing to the measure; and b. internal adjustments by one state of its forces in such manner as to enable it to cope with all aspects of remaining threats to its security in a post arms control agreement era.

balanced stock(s)
1. That condition of supply when availability and requirements are in equilibrium for specific items. 2. An accumulation of supplies in quantities determined necessary to meet requirements for a fixed period.

balance station zero
See reference datum.

bale cubic capacity
The space available for cargo measured in cubic feet to the inside of the cargo battens, on the frames, and to the underside of the beams. In a general cargo of mixed commodities, the bale cubic applies. The stowage of the mixed cargo comes in contact with the cargo battens and as a general rule does not extend to the skin of the ship.

balisage
The marking of a route by a system of dim beacon lights enabling vehicles to be driven at near day-time speed, under blackout conditions.

ballistic missile
Any missile which does not rely upon aerodynamic surfaces to produce lift and consequently follows a ballistic trajectory when thrust is terminated. See also aerodynamic missile; guided missile.

ballistic missile early warning system
An electronic system for providing detection and early warning of attack by enemy intercontinental ballistic missiles. Also called BMEWS.

ballistics
The science or art that deals with the motion, behavior, appearance, or modification of missiles or other vehicles acted upon by propellants, wind, gravity, temperature, or any other modifying substance, condition, or force.

ballistic trajectory
The trajectory traced after the propulsive force is terminated and the body is acted upon only by gravity and aerodynamic drag.

ballistic wind
That constant wind that would have the same effect upon the trajectory of a bomb or projectile as the wind encountered in flight.

balloon barrage
See barrage, Part 2.

balloon reflector
In electronic warfare, a balloon-supported confusion reflector to produce fraudulent radar echoes.

bandwidth
The difference between the limiting frequencies of a continuous frequency band expressed in hertz (cycles per second). The term bandwidth is also loosely used to refer to the rate at which data can be transmitted over a given communications circuit. In the latter usage, bandwidth is usually expressed in either kilobits per second or megabits per second.

bank angle
The angle between the aircraft's normal axis and the Earth's vertical plane containing the aircraft's longitudinal axis.

bar
A submerged or emerged embankment of sand, gravel, or mud created on the sea floor in shallow water by waves and currents. A bar may be composed of mollusk shells.

bare base
A base having minimum essential facilities to house, sustain, and support operations to include, if required, a stabilized runway, taxiways, and aircraft parking areas. A bare base must have a source of water that can be made potable. Other requirements to operate under bare base conditions form a necessary part of the force package deployed to the bare base. See also base.

barge
A flat-bed, shallow-draft vessel with no superstructure that is used for the transport of cargo and ships' stores or for general utility purposes. See also watercraft.

barometric altitude
The altitude determined by a barometric altimeter by reference to a pressure level and calculated according to the standard atmosphere laws. See also altitude.

barrage
1. A prearranged barrier of fires, except that delivered by small arms, designed to protect friendly troops and installations by impeding enemy movements across defensive lines or areas. 2. A protective screen of balloons that is moored to the ground and kept at given heights to prevent or hinder operations by enemy aircraft. This meaning also called balloon barrage. 3. A type of electronic attack intended for simultaneous jamming over a wide area of frequency spectrum. See also barrage jamming; electronic warfare; fires.

barrage fire
Fire which is designed to fill a volume of space or area rather than aimed specifically at a given target. See also fire.

barrage jamming
Simultaneous electromagnetic jamming over a broad band of frequencies. See also jamming.

barricade
See aircraft arresting barrier.

barrier
A coordinated series of obstacles designed or employed to channel, direct, restrict, delay, or stop the movement of an opposing force and to impose additional losses in personnel, time, and equipment on the opposing force. Barriers can exist naturally, be manmade, or a combination of both.

barrier combat air patrol
One or more divisions or elements of fighter aircraft employed between a force and an objective area as a barrier across the probable direction of enemy attack. It is used as far from the force as control conditions permit, giving added protection against raids that use the most direct routes of approach. See also combat air patrol.

barrier forces
Air, surface, and submarine units and their supporting systems positioned across the likely courses of expected enemy transit for early detection and providing rapid warning, blocking, and destruction of the enemy.

barrier, obstacle, and mine warfare plan
A comprehensive, coordinated plan that includes responsibilities; general location of unspecified and specific barriers, obstacles, and minefields; special instructions; limitations; coordination; and completion times. The plan may designate locations of obstacle zones or belts. It is normally prepared as an annex to a campaign plan, operation plan, or operation order.

bar scale
See graphic scale; scale.

base
1. A locality from which operations are projected or supported. 2. An area or locality containing installations which provide logistic or other support. See also establishment. 3. (DOD only) Home airfield or home carrier. See also base of operations; facility.

base cluster
In base defense operations, a collection of bases, geographically grouped for mutual protection and ease of command and control.

base cluster commander
In base defense operations, the senior officer in the base cluster (excluding medical officers, chaplains, and commanders of transient units), with responsibility for coordinating the defense of bases within the base cluster and for integrating defense plans of bases into a base cluster defense plan.

base cluster operations center
A command and control facility that serves as the base cluster commander's focal point for defense and security of the base cluster. Also called BCOC.

base command
An area containing a military base or group of such bases organized under one commander. See also command.

base commander
In base defense operations, the officer assigned to command a base

base complex
See Army base; installation complex; Marine base; naval base; naval or Marine (air) base. See also noncontiguous facility.

base defense
The local military measures, both normal and emergency, required to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of enemy attacks on, or sabotage of, a base, to ensure that the maximum capacity of its facilities is available to US forces.

base defense forces
Troops assigned or attached to a base for the primary purpose of base defense and security as well as augmentees and selectively armed personnel available to the base commander for base defense from units performing primary missions other than base defense

base defense operations center
A command and control facility established by the base commander to serve as the focal point for base security and defense. It plans, directs, integrates, coordinates, and controls all base defense efforts and coordinates and integrates into area security operations with the rear area operations center/rear tactical operations center. Also called BDOC.

base defense zone
An air defense zone established around an air base and limited to the engagement envelope of short-range air defense weapons systems defending that base. Base defense zones have specific entry, exit, and identification, friend or foe procedures established. Also called BDZ.

base development (less force beddown)
The acquisition, development, expansion, improvement, and construction and/or replacement of the facilities and resources of an area or location to support forces employed in military operations or deployed in accordance with strategic plans.

base development plan
A plan for the facilities, installations, and bases required to support military operations.

base element
See base unit.

base line
1. (surveying) A surveyed line established with more than usual care, to which surveys are referred for coordination and correlation. 2. (photogrammetry) The line between the principal points of two consecutive vertical air photographs. It is usually measured on one photograph after the principal point of the other has been transferred. 3. (radio navigation systems) The shorter arc of the great circle joining two radio transmitting stations of a navigation system. 4. (triangulation) The side of one of a series of coordinated triangles the length of which is measured with prescribed accuracy and precision and from which lengths of the other triangle sides are obtained by computation.

baseline costs
The continuing annual costs of military operations funded by the operations and maintenance and military personnel appropriations.

baseline environmental survey
A multi-disciplinary site survey conducted prior to or in the initial stage of a joint operational deployment. The survey documents existing deployment-area environmental conditions, determines the potential for present and past site contamination (e.g., hazardous substances, petroleum products, and derivatives), and identifies potential vulnerabilities (to include occupational and environmental health risks). Surveys accomplished in conjunction with joint operational deployments that do not involve training or exercises (e.g., contingency operations) should be completed to the extent practicable consistent with operational requirements. See also civil engineering; survey.

base map
A map or chart showing certain fundamental information, used as a base upon which additional data of specialized nature are compiled or overprinted. Also, a map containing all the information from which maps showing specialized information can be prepared. See also chart base; map.

base of operations
An area or facility from which a military force begins its offensive operations, to which it falls back in case of reverse, and in which supply facilities are organized.

base period
That period of time for which factors were determined for use in current planning and programming.

base section
An area within the communications zone in an operational area organized to provide logistic support to forward areas.

base surge
A cloud which rolls out from the bottom of the column produced by a subsurface burst of a nuclear weapon. For underwater bursts the surge is, in effect, a cloud of liquid droplets which has the property of flowing almost as if it were a homogeneous fluid. For subsurface land bursts the surge is made up of small solid particles but still behaves like a fluid.

base unit
Unit of organization in a tactical operation around which a movement or maneuver is planned and performed.

basic cover
Coverage of any installation or area of a permanent nature with which later coverage can be compared to discover any changes that have taken place.

basic encyclopedia
A compilation of identified installations and physical areas of potential significance as objectives for attack. Also called BE.

basic intelligence
Fundamental intelligence concerning the general situation, resources, capabilities, and vulnerabilities of foreign countries or areas which may be used as reference material in the planning of operations at any level and in evaluating subsequent information relating to the same subject.

basic load
The quantity of supplies required to be on hand within, and which can be moved by, a unit or formation. It is expressed according to the wartime organization of the unit or formation and maintained at the prescribed levels.

basic military route network
Axial, lateral, and connecting routes designated in peacetime by the host nation to meet the anticipated military movements and transport requirements, both Allied and national.

basic research
Research directed toward the increase of knowledge, the primary aim being a greater knowledge or understanding of the subject under study. See also research.

basic stocks
Stocks to support the execution of approved operational plans for an initial predetermined period. See also sustaining stocks.

basic stopping power
The probability, expressed as a percentage, of a single vehicle being stopped by mines while attempting to cross a minefield.

basic tactical organization
The conventional organization of landing force units for combat, involving combinations of infantry, supporting ground arms, and aviation for accomplishment of missions ashore. This organizational form is employed as soon as possible following the landing of the various assault components of the landing force.

basic undertakings
The essential things, expressed in broad terms, that must be done in order to implement the commander's concept successfully. These may include military, diplomatic, economic, informational, and other measures. See also strategic concept.

basis of issue
Authority that prescribes the number of items to be issued to an individual, a unit, a military organization, or for a unit piece of equipment.

bathymetric contour
See depth contour.

battalion landing team
In an amphibious operation, an infantry battalion normally reinforced by necessary combat and service elements; the basic unit for planning an assault landing. Also called BLT.

battery
1. Tactical and administrative artillery unit or subunit corresponding to a company or similar unit in other branches of the Army. 2. All guns, torpedo tubes, searchlights, or missile launchers of the same size or caliber or used for the same purpose, either installed in one ship or otherwise operating as an entity.

battery center
A point on the ground, the coordinates of which are used as a reference indicating the location of the battery in the production of firing data. Also called chart location of the battery.

battery (troop) left (right)
A method of fire in which weapons are discharged from the left (right), one after the other, at five second intervals.

battle damage assessment
The timely and accurate estimate of damage resulting from the application of military force, either lethal or nonlethal, against a predetermined objective. Battle damage assessment can be applied to the employment of all types of weapon systems (air, ground, naval, and special forces weapon systems) throughout the range of military operations. Battle damage assessment is primarily an intelligence responsibility with required inputs and coordination from the operators. Battle damage assessment is composed of physical damage assessment, functional damage assessment, and target system assessment. Also called BDA. See also combat assessment.

battle damage indicator
A measurable phenomenon, either quantitative or qualitative, that can be used to indicate the damage/change of a target. Also called BDI. See also battle damage assessment.

battle damage repair
Essential repair, which may be improvised, carried out rapidly in a battle environment in order to return damaged or disabled equipment to temporary service. Also called BDR.

battlefield coordination detachment
An Army liaison provided by the Army component or force commander to the air operations center (AOC) and/or to the component designated by the joint force commander to plan, coordinate, and deconflict air operations. The battlefield coordination detachment processes Army requests for air support, monitors and interprets the land battle situation for the AOC, and provides the necessary interface for exchange of current intelligence and operational data. Also called BCD. See also Air Force air and space operations center; liaison.

battlefield illumination
The lighting of the battle area by artificial light, either visible or invisible to the naked eye.

battlefield surveillance
Systematic observation of the battle area for the purpose of providing timely information and combat intelligence. See also surveillance.

battle force
A standing operational naval task force organization of carriers, surface combatants, and submarines assigned to numbered fleets. A battle force is subdivided into battle groups.

battle reserves
Reserve supplies accumulated by an army, detached corps, or detached division in the vicinity of the battlefield, in addition to unit and individual reserves. See also reserve supplies.

battlespace
The environment, factors, and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, or complete the mission. This includes the air, land, sea, space, and the included enemy and friendly forces; facilities; weather; terrain; the electromagnetic spectrum; and the information environment within the operational areas and areas of interest. See also electromagnetic spectrum; information environment; joint intelligence preparation of the battlespace.

battlespace awareness
Knowledge and understanding of the operational area's environment, factors, and conditions, to include the status of friendly and adversary forces, neutrals and noncombatants, weather and terrain, that enables timely, relevant, comprehensive, and accurate assessments, in order to successfully apply combat power, protect the force, and/or complete the mission.

beach
1. The area extending from the shoreline inland to a marked change in physiographic form or material, or to the line of permanent vegetation (coastline). 2. In amphibious operations, that portion of the shoreline designated for landing of a tactical organization.

beach capacity
An estimate, expressed in terms of measurement tons, or weight tons, of cargo that may be unloaded over a designated strip of shore per day. See also clearance capacity; port capacity.

beach group
See naval beach group; shore party.

beachhead
A designated area on a hostile or potentially hostile shore that, when seized and held, ensures the continuous landing of troops and materiel, and provides maneuver space requisite for subsequent projected operations ashore.

beach landing site
A geographic location selected for across-the-beach infiltration, exfiltration, or resupply operations. Also called BLS.

beach marker
A sign or device used to identify a beach or certain activities thereon for incoming waterborne traffic. Markers may be panels, lights, buoys, or electronic devices.

beachmaster
The naval officer in command of the beachmaster unit of the naval beach group. Also called BM.

beachmaster unit
A commissioned naval unit of the naval beach group designed to provide to the shore party a Navy component known as a beach party, which is capable of supporting the amphibious landing of one division (reinforced). Also called BMU. See also beach party; naval beach group; shore party.

beach minefield
A minefield in the shallow water approaches to a possible amphibious landing beach. See also minefield.

beach organization
In an amphibious operation, the planned arrangement of personnel and facilities to effect movement, supply, and evacuation across beaches and in the beach area for support of a landing force.

beach party
The naval component of the shore party. See also beachmaster unit; shore party.

beach party commander
The naval officer in command of the naval component of the shore party

beach photography
Vertical, oblique, ground, and periscope coverage at varying scales to provide information of offshore, shore, and inland areas. It covers terrain that provides observation of the beaches and is primarily concerned with the geological and tactical aspects of the beach.

beach reserves
In an amphibious operation, an accumulation of supplies of all classes established in dumps in beachhead areas. See also reserve supplies.

beach support area
In amphibious operations, the area to the rear of a landing force or elements thereof, established and operated by shore party units, which contains the facilities for the unloading of troops and materiel and the support of the forces ashore; it includes facilities for the evacuation of wounded, enemy prisoners of war, and captured materiel. Also called BSA.

beach survey
The collection of data describing the physical characteristics of a beach; that is, an area whose boundaries are a shoreline, a coastline, and two natural or arbitrary assigned flanks.

beach width
The horizontal dimensions of the beach measured at right angles to the shoreline from the line of extreme low water inland to the landward limit of the beach (the coastline).

beam rider
A missile guided by an electronic beam.

beam width
The angle between the directions, on either side of the axis, at which the intensity of the radio frequency field drops to one-half the value it has on the axis.

bearing
The horizontal angle at a given point measured clockwise from a specific datum point to a second point. See also grid bearing; relative bearing; true bearing.

beaten zone
The area on the ground upon which the cone of fire falls.

begin morning civil twilight
The period of time at which the sun is halfway between beginning morning and nautical twilight and sunrise, when there is enough light to see objects clearly with the unaided eye. At this time, light intensification devices are no longer effective, and the sun is six degrees below the eastern horizon. Also called BMCT.

begin morning nautical twilight
The start of that period where, in good conditions and in the absence of other illumination, enough light is available to identify the general outlines of ground objects and conduct limited military operations. Light intensification devices are still effective and may have enhanced capabilities. At this time, the sun is 12 degrees below the eastern horizon. Also called BMNT.

beleaguered
See missing.

below-the-line publications
The lower level publications in the hierarchy of joint publications that are signed by the Director, Joint Staff and contain specific mission-area guidance for the joint community. Included in this level are reference publications and those describing joint personnel, intelligence support, operations, logistic support, planning, and command, control, communications, and computer systems support. See also above-the-line publications; capstone publications; joint publication; keystone publications.

berm, natural
The nearly horizontal portion of a beach or backshore having an abrupt fall and formed by deposition of material by wave action. A berm marks the limit of ordinary high tide. For air cushion vehicles, berms (constructed) are required to protect materials handling equipment operations. See also backshore.

besieged
See missing.

bight
A bend in a coast forming an open bay or an open bay formed by such a bend.

bilateral infrastructure
Infrastructure which concerns only two NATO members and is financed by mutual agreement between them (e.g., facilities required for the use of forces of one NATO member in the territory of another). See also infrastructure

bill
A ship's publication listing operational or administrative procedures.

billet
1. Shelter for troops. 2. To quarter troops. 3. A personnel position or assignment that may be filled by one person.

binary chemical munition
A munition in which chemical substances, held in separate containers, react when mixed or combined as a result of being fired, launched, or otherwise initiated to produce a chemical agent. See also munition.

binding
The fastening or securing of items to a movable platform called a pallet. See also palletized unit load.

bin storage
Storage of items of supplies and equipment in an individual compartment or subdivision of a storage unit in less than bulk quantities. See also bulk storage; storage.

biographical intelligence
That component of intelligence that deals with individual foreign personalities of actual or potential importance.

biological agent
A microorganism that causes disease in personnel, plants, or animals or causes the deterioration of materiel. See also biological operation; biological weapon; chemical agent.

biological ammunition
A type of ammunition, the filler of which is primarily a biological agent.

biological defense
The methods, plans, and procedures involved in establishing and executing defensive measures against attacks using biological agents.

biological environment
Conditions found in an area resulting from direct or persisting effects of biological weapons.

biological half-time
See half-life.

biological operation
Employment of biological agents to produce casualties in personnel or animals or damage to plants. See also biological agent; biological threat.

biological threat
A threat that consists of biological material planned to be deployed to produce casualties in personnel or animals or damage plants. See also biological agent; biological ammunition; biological defense; biological environment; chemical, biological, and radiological operation; contamination; contamination control.

biological warfare
See biological operation.

biological weapon
An item of materiel which projects, disperses, or disseminates a biological agent including arthropod vectors.

black
In intelligence handling, a term used in certain phrases (e.g., living black, black border crossing) to indicate reliance on illegal concealment rather than on cover.

black list
An official counterintelligence listing of actual or potential enemy collaborators, sympathizers, intelligence suspects, and other persons whose presence menaces the security of friendly forces.

black propaganda
Propaganda that purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. See also propaganda.

blast effect
Destruction of or damage to structures and personnel by the force of an explosion on or above the surface of the ground. Blast effect may be contrasted with the cratering and ground-shock effects of a projectile or charge that goes off beneath the surface.

blast line
A horizontal radial line on the surface of the Earth originating at ground zero on which measurements of blast from an explosion are taken.

blast wave
A sharply defined wave of increased pressure rapidly propagated through a surrounding medium from a center of detonation or similar disturbance.

blast wave diffraction
The passage around and envelopment of a structure by the nuclear blast wave.

bleeding edge
That edge of a map or chart on which cartographic detail is extended to the edge of the sheet.

blind transmission
Any transmission of information that is made without expectation of acknowledgement.

blister agent
A chemical agent which injures the eyes and lungs, and burns or blisters the skin. Also called vesicant agent.

blocking and chocking
The use of wedges or chocks to prevent the inadvertent shifting of cargo in transit.

blocking position
A defensive position so sited as to deny the enemy access to a given area or to prevent the enemy's advance in a given direction.

block shipment
A method of shipment of supplies to overseas areas to provide balanced stocks or an arbitrary balanced force for a specific number of days, e.g., shipment of 30 days' supply for an average force of 10,000 individuals.

block stowage loading
A method of loading whereby all cargo for a specific destination is stowed together. The purpose is to facilitate rapid off-loading at the destination, with the least possible disturbance of cargo intended for other points. See also loading.

blood agent
A chemical compound, including the cyanide group, that affects bodily functions by preventing the normal utilization of oxygen by body tissues.

blood chit
A small sheet of material depicting an American flag and a statement in several languages to the effect that anyone assisting the bearer to safety will be rewarded. See also evasion aid.

blood chit (intelligence)
See blood chit.

blowback
1. Escape, to the rear and under pressure, of gases formed during the firing of the weapon. Blowback may be caused by a defective breech mechanism, a ruptured cartridge case, or a faulty primer. 2. Type of weapon operation in which the force of expanding gases acting to the rear against the face of the bolt furnishes all the energy required to initiate the complete cycle of operation. A weapon which employs this method of operation is characterized by the absence of any breech-lock or bolt-lock mechanism.

Blue Bark
US military personnel, US citizen civilian employees of the Department of Defense, and the dependents of both categories who travel in connection with the death of an immediate family member. It also applies to designated escorts for dependents of deceased military members. Furthermore, the term is used to designate the personal property shipment of a deceased member.

boat diagram
In the assault phase of an amphibious operation, a diagram showing the positions of individuals and equipment in each boat.

boat group
The basic organization of landing craft. One boat group is organized for each battalion landing team (or equivalent) to be landed in the first trip of landing craft or amphibious vehicles.

boat lane
A lane for amphibious assault landing craft, which extends seaward from the landing beaches to the line of departure. The width of a boat lane is determined by the length of the corresponding beach.

boat space
The space and weight factor used to determine the capacity of boats, landing craft, and amphibious vehicles. With respect to landing craft and amphibious vehicles, it is based on the requirements of one person with individual equipment. The person is assumed to weigh 224 pounds and to occupy 13.5 cubic feet of space. See also man space.

boattail
The conical section of a ballistic body that progressively decreases in diameter toward the tail to reduce overall aerodynamic drag.

boat wave
See wave.

bomb disposal unit
See explosive ordnance disposal unit.

bomber
See intermediate-range bomber aircraft; long-range bomber aircraft; medium-range bomber aircraft.

bomb impact plot
A graphic representation of the target area, usually a pre-strike air photograph, on which prominent dots are plotted to mark the impact or detonation points of bombs dropped on a specific bombing attack.

bombing angle
The angle between the vertical and a line joining the aircraft to what would be the point of impact of a bomb released from it at that instant.

bombing run
In air bombing, that part of the flight that begins, normally from an initial point, with the approach to the target, includes target acquisition, and ends normally at the weapon release point.

bomb release line
An imaginary line around a defended area or objective over which an aircraft should release its bomb in order to obtain a hit or hits on an area or objective.

bomb release point
The point in space at which bombs must be released to reach the desired point of detonation.

bona fides
Good faith. In evasion and recovery operations, the use of verbal or visual communication by individuals who are unknown to one another to establish their authenticity, sincerity, honesty, and truthfulness. See also evasion; evasion and recovery; recovery; recovery operations.

bonding
In electrical engineering, the process of connecting together metal parts so that they make low resistance electrical contact for direct current and lower frequency alternating currents. See also earthing.

booby trap
An explosive or nonexplosive device or other material, deliberately placed to cause casualties when an apparently harmless object is disturbed or a normally safe act is performed.

booster
1. A high-explosive element sufficiently sensitive so as to be actuated by small explosive elements in a fuze or primer and powerful enough to cause detonation of the main explosive filling. 2. An auxiliary or initial propulsion system which travels with a missile or aircraft and which may or may not separate from the parent craft when its impulse has been delivered. A booster system may contain, or consist of, one or more units.

boost phase
That portion of the flight of a ballistic missile or space vehicle during which the booster and sustainer engines operate. See also midcourse phase; reentry phase; terminal phase.

border
In cartography, the area of a map or chart lying between the neatline and the surrounding framework.

border break
A cartographic technique used when it is required to extend a portion of the cartographic detail of a map or chart beyond the sheetlines into the margin.

border crosser
An individual, living close to a frontier, who normally has to cross the frontier frequently for legitimate purposes.

boresafe fuze
Type of fuze having an interrupter in the explosive train that prevents a projectile from exploding until after it has cleared the muzzle of a weapon.

bottom mine
A mine with negative buoyancy which remains on the seabed. Also called ground mine. See also mine.

bound
1. In land warfare, a single movement, usually from cover to cover, made by troops often under enemy fire. 2. (DOD only) Distance covered in one movement by a unit that is advancing by bounds.

boundary
A line that delineates surface areas for the purpose of facilitating coordination and deconfliction of operations between adjacent units, formations, or areas. See also airspace control boundary.

bouquet mine
In naval mine warfare, a mine in which a number of buoyant mine cases are attached to the same sinker, so that when the mooring of one mine case is cut, another mine rises from the sinker to its set depth. See also mine.

bracketing
A method of adjusting fire in which a bracket is established by obtaining an over and a short along the spotting line, and then successively splitting the bracket in half until a target hit or desired bracket is obtained.

branch
1. A subdivision of any organization. 2. A geographically separate unit of an activity which performs all or part of the primary functions of the parent activity on a smaller scale. Unlike an annex, a branch is not merely an overflow addition. 3. An arm or service of the Army. 4. The contingency options built into the basic plan. A branch is used for changing the mission, orientation, or direction of movement of a force to aid success of the operation based on anticipated events, opportunities, or disruptions caused by enemy actions and reactions. See also sequel.

breakaway
1. The onset of a condition in which the shock front moves away from the exterior of the expanding fireball produced by the explosion of a nuclear weapon. 2. (DOD only) After completion of attack, turn to heading as directed.

breakbulk cargo
Any commodity that, because of its weight, dimensions, or incompatibility with other cargo, must be shipped by mode other than military van or SEAVAN. See also breakbulk ship.

breakbulk ship
A ship with conventional holds for stowage of breakbulk cargo, below or above deck, and equipped with cargo-handling gear. Ships also may be capable of carrying a limited number of containers, above or below deck. See also breakbulk cargo.

breaker
A wave in the process of losing energy where offshore energy loss is caused by wind action and nearshore energy loss is caused by the impact of the sea floor as the wave enters shallow (shoaling) water. Breakers either plunge, spill, or surge. See also breaker angle.

breaker angle
The angle a breaker makes with the beach. See also breaker.

breakoff position
The position at which a leaver or leaver section breaks off from the main convoy to proceed to a different destination.

break-up
1. In detection by radar, the separation of one solid return into a number of individual returns which correspond to the various objects or structure groupings. This separation is contingent upon a number of factors including range, beam width, gain setting, object size and distance between objects. 2. In imagery interpretation, the result of magnification or enlargement which causes the imaged item to lose its identity and the resultant presentation to become a random series of tonal impressions. Also called split-up.

brevity code
A code which provides no security but which has as its sole purpose the shortening of messages rather than the concealment of their content.

bridgehead
An area of ground held or to be gained on the enemy's side of an obstacle. See also airhead; beachhead.

bridgehead line
The limit of the objective area in the development of the bridgehead. See also objective area.

briefing
The act of giving in advance specific instructions or information.

brigade
A unit usually smaller than a division to which are attached groups and/or battalions and smaller units tailored to meet anticipated requirements. Also called BDE.

broach
When a water craft is thrown broadside to the wind and waves, against a bar, or against the shoreline.

buffer distance
In nuclear warfare: 1. The horizontal distance which, when added to the radius of safety, will give the desired assurance that the specified degree of risk will not be exceeded. The buffer distance is normally expressed quantitatively in multiples of the delivery error. 2. The vertical distance which is added to the fallout safe-height of burst in order to determine a desired height of burst which will provide the desired assurance that militarily significant fallout will not occur. It is normally expressed quantitatively in multiples of the vertical error.

buffer zone
1. A defined area controlled by a peace operations force from which disputing or belligerent forces have been excluded. A buffer zone is formed to create an area of separation between disputing or belligerent forces and reduce the risk of renewed conflict. Also called area of separation in some United Nations operations. Also called BZ. See also area of separation; line of demarcation; peace operations. 2. A conical volume centered on the laser's line of sight with its apex at the aperture of the laser, within which the beam will be contained with a high degree of certainty. It is determined by the buffer angle. See also laser.

bug
1. A concealed microphone or listening device or other audiosurveillance device. 2. To install means for audiosurveillance.

bugged
Room or object that contains a concealed listening device.

building systems
Structures assembled from manufactured components designed to provide specific building configurations (e.g., large steel arch structures, large span tension fabric structures, panelized buildings, and pre-engineered buildings). See also civil engineering.

buildup
The process of attaining prescribed strength of units and prescribed levels of vehicles, equipment, stores, and supplies. Also may be applied to the means of accomplishing this process.

bulk cargo
That which is generally shipped in volume where the transportation conveyance is the only external container; such as liquids, ore, or grain.

bulk petroleum product
A liquid petroleum product transported by various means and stored in tanks or containers having an individual fill capacity greater than 250 liters.

bulk storage
1. Storage in a warehouse of supplies and equipment in large quantities, usually in original containers, as distinguished from bin storage. 2. Storage of liquids, such as petroleum products in tanks, as distinguished from drum or packaged storage. See also bin storage; storage.

bullseye
An established reference point from which the position of an object can be referenced. See also reference point.

burn notice
An official statement by one intelligence agency to other agencies, domestic or foreign, that an individual or group is unreliable for any of a variety of reasons.

burnout
The point in time or in the missile trajectory when combustion of fuels in the rocket engine is terminated by other than programmed cutoff.

burnout velocity
The velocity attained by a missile at the point of burnout.

burn-through range
The distance at which a specific radar can discern targets through the external interference being received.



 
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