Glossary of Military Terms
Individuals or groups who, without genuine resources,
invent information or inflate or embroider over news for
personal gain or for political purposes.
A real property entity consisting of one or more of the
following: a building, a structure, a utility system, pavement,
and underlying land. See also air facility
Items such as tents and prepackaged structures
requisitioned through the supply system that may be used to
substitute for constructed facilities.
A channel either from offshore, in a river, or in a harbor
that has enough depth to accommodate the draft of large vessels.
See also draft; watercraft.
The precipitation to Earth of radioactive particulate
matter from a nuclear cloud; also applied to the particulate
Lines joining points which have the same radiation
intensity that define a fallout pattern, represented in terms of
roentgens per hour.
The distribution of fallout as portrayed by fallout
An estimate, made before and immediately after a nuclear
detonation, of the location and intensity of militarily
significant quantities of radioactive fallout.
fallout safe height of burst
The height of burst at or above which no militarily
significant fallout will be reproduced as a result of a nuclear
weapon detonation. See also types of burst.
fallout wind vector plot
A wind vector diagram based on the wind structure
from the surface of the Earth to the highest altitude of
A fixed point to the south and west of a grid zone
from which grid distances are measured eastward and northward.
fan camera photography
Photography taken simultaneously by an assembly of
three or more cameras systematically installed at fixed angles
relative to each other so as to provide wide lateral coverage
with overlapping images. See also tri-camera photography.
An assembly of three or more cameras systematically
disposed at fixed angles relative to each other so as to provide
wide lateral coverage with overlapping images. See also split
fan marker beacon
A type of radio beacon, the emissions of which
radiate in a vertical, fan-shaped pattern. The signal can be
keyed for identification purposes. See also radio beacon.
farm gate type operations
Operational assistance and specialized tactical training
provided to a friendly foreign air force by the Armed Forces of
the United States to include, under certain specified
conditions, the flying of operational missions in combat by
combined United States and foreign aircrews as a part of the
training being given when such missions are beyond the
capability of the foreign air force.
Operation plan review criterion. The determination as to
whether the assigned tasks could be accomplished by using
available resources. See also acceptability; adequacy.
A basic target analysis that provides an initial
determination of the viability of a proposed target for special
operations forces employment. Also called FA.
An operation plan review criteria to determine whether or
not a plan is within the capacity of the resources that can be
made available. See also logistic implications test.
federal coordinating officer
Appointed by the Director of the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, on behalf of the President, to coordinate
federal assistance to a state affected by a disaster or
emergency. The source and level of the federal coordinating
officer will likely depend on the nature of the federal
response. Also called FCO
federal modal agencies
See transportation operating agencies.
A term applied to National Guard members and units when
called to active duty to serve the Federal Government under
Article I, Section 8 and Article II, Section 2 of the
Constitution and the US Code, title 10 (Department of Defense),
sections 12401 to 12408. See also active duty; Reserve
federal supply class management
Those functions of materiel management that can best be
accomplished by federal supply classification, such as
cataloging, characteristic screening, standardization,
interchangeability and substitution grouping, multi-item
specification management, and engineering support of the
federal transport agencies
See transportation operating agencies.
In military deception, an offensive action involving
contact with the adversary conducted for the purpose of
deceiving the adversary as to the location and/or time of the
actual main offensive action.
An object, usually made of rope or rubber, hung over the
side of a vessel to protect the sides from damage caused by
impact with wharves or other craft.
An aircraft, ship, or vehicle especially equipped for the
detection, location, recording, and analyzing of electromagnetic
Administrative and tactical organization composed of a
headquarters, certain organic Army troops, service support
troops, a variable number of corps, and a variable number of
divisions. See also Army corps.
Equipment, supplies, ammunition, and personnel involved in
the use of cannon, rocket, or surface-to-surface missile
launchers. Field artillery cannons are classified according to
caliber as follows. Light--120mm and less. Medium--121-160mm.
Heavy--161-210mm. Very heavy--greater than 210mm. Also called
FA. See also direct support artillery; general support
field artillery observer
A person who watches the effects of artillery fire,
adjusts the center of impact of that fire onto a target, and
reports the results to the firing agency. See also naval gunfire
spotting team; spotter.
An exercise conducted in the field under simulated
war conditions in which troops and armament of one side are
actually present, while those of the other side may be imaginary
or in outline. See also command post exercise.
An emplacement or shelter of a temporary nature
which can be constructed with reasonable facility by units
requiring no more than minor engineer supervisory and equipment
See command post.
field of fire
The area which a weapon or a group of weapons may
cover effectively with fire from a given position.
field of view
1. In photography, the angle between two rays
passing through the perspective center (rear nodal point) of a
camera lens to the two opposite sides of the format. Not to be
confused with "angle of view." 2. The total solid angle
available to the gunner when looking through the gunsight. Also
field of vision
The total solid angle available to the gunner from
his or her normal position. See also field of view.
field press censorship
The security review of news material subject to the
jurisdiction of the Armed Forces of the United States, including
all information or material intended for dissemination to the
public. Also called FPC. See also censorship.
field training exercise
An exercise in which actual forces are used to train
commanders, staffs, and individual units in basic, intermediate,
and advanced-level warfare skills. Also called FTX. See also
The maintenance of a number of fighter aircraft over
a specified area or force for the purpose of repelling hostile
air activities. See also airborne alert; cover.
fighter engagement zone
See weapon engagement zone.
An offensive mission by fighter aircraft to seek out
and destroy enemy aircraft or targets of opportunity in an
allotted area of operations
Consists of items of individual clothing, equipment,
weapons, and ammunition that are carried by and are essential to
the effectiveness of the combat soldier and the accomplishment
of the immediate mission of the unit when the soldier is on
foot. See also existence load.
A substance carried in an ammunition container such as a
projectile, mine, bomb, or grenade. A filler may be an
explosive, chemical, or inert substance.
Individuals of suitable grade and skill initially required
to bring a unit or organization to its authorized strength.
A photographic film packet to be carried by
personnel, in the form of a badge, for measuring and permanently
recording (usually) gamma-ray dosage.
In electronics, a device which transmits only part
of the incident energy and may thereby change the spectral
distribution of energy: a. High pass filters transmit energy
above a certain frequency; b. Low pass filters transmit energy
below a certain frequency; c. Band pass filters transmit energy
of a certain bandwidth; d. Band stop filters transmit energy
outside a specific frequency band.
That part of an instrument approach procedure in
which alignment and descent for landing are accomplished. a. In
a non-precision approach it normally begins at the final
approach fix or point and ends at the missed approach point or
fix. b. In a precision approach the final approach commences at
the glide path intercept point and ends at the decision
The magnetic bearing assigned by an air operations center,
helicopter direction center, or carrier air traffic control
center for final approach; an extension of the landing area
centerline. See also final approach; helicopter direction
In naval control of shipping, the final destination
of a convoy or of an individual ship (whether in convoy or
independent) irrespective of whether or not routing instructions
have been issued.
final disposal procedures
See explosive ordnance disposal procedures.
final governing standards
A comprehensive set of country-specific substantive
environmental provisions, typically technical limitations on
effluent, discharges, etc., or a specific management practice.
A plan for which drafts have been coordinated and
approved and which has been signed by or on behalf of a
competent authority. See also operation plan.
final protective fire
An immediately available prearranged barrier of fire
designed to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or
The execution of the joint finance mission to provide
financial advice and guidance, support of the procurement
process, providing pay support, and providing disbursing
support.See also financial management.
The execution of the joint finance mission to provide
financial advice and guidance, support of the procurement
process, providing pay support, and providing disbursing
support.See also financial management.
Financial management encompasses the two core processes of
resource management and finance operations. Also called FM. See
also finance operations; resource management operations.
financial property accounting
The establishment and maintenance of property accounts in
monetary terms; the rendition of property reports in monetary
1. The command given to discharge a weapon(s). 2. To
detonate the main explosive charge by means of a firing system.
See also barrage fire; call fire; counterfire;
counterpreparation fire; covering fire; destruction fire; direct
fire; direct supporting fire; distributed fire; grazing fire;
harassing fire; indirect fire; neutralization fire; observed
fire; preparation fire; radar fire; registration fire; scheduled
fire; searching fire; supporting fire; suppressive fire.
The luminous sphere of hot gases which forms a few
millionths of a second after detonation of a nuclear weapon and
immediately starts expanding and cooling.
fire barrage (specify)
An order to deliver a prearranged barrier of fire.
Specification of the particular barrage may be by code name,
numbering system, unit assignment, or other designated means.
fire capabilities chart
A chart, usually in the form of an overlay, showing
the areas which can be reached by the fire of the bulk of the
weapons of a unit.
The control of all operations in connection with the
application of fire on a target.
fire control radar
Radar used to provide target information inputs to a
weapon fire control system.
fire control system
A group of interrelated fire control equipments
and/or instruments designed for use with a weapon or group of
See fire support coordination.
fire direction center
That element of a command post, consisting of gunnery and
communications personnel and equipment, by means of which the
commander exercises fire direction and/or fire control. The fire
direction center receives target intelligence and requests for
fire, and translates them into appropriate fire direction. The
fire direction center provides timely and effective tactical and
technical fire control in support of current operations. Also
fire for effect
That volume of fires delivered on a target to achieve the
desired effect. Also called FFE. See also final protective fire;
fire mission; neutralize; suppression
See call for fire.
1. Specific assignment given to a fire unit as part
of a definite plan. 2. Order used to alert the weapon/battery
area and indicate that the message following is a call for fire.
A tactical plan for using the weapons of a unit or
formation so that their fire will be coordinated.
1. The amount of fire which may be delivered by a
position, unit, or weapon system. 2. Ability to deliver fire.
The effects of lethal or nonlethal weapons.
Stationary mass fire, generally in built-up urban
areas, generating strong, inrushing winds from all sides; the
winds keep the fires from spreading while adding fresh oxygen to
increase their intensity.
Fires that directly support land, maritime, amphibious,
and special operations forces to engage enemy forces, combat
formations, and facilities in pursuit of tactical and
operational objectives. See also fires.
fire support area
An appropriate maneuver area assigned to fire support
ships by the naval force commander from which they can deliver
gunfire support to an amphibious operation. Also called FSA. See
also amphibious operation; fire support; naval support area.
fire support coordinating measure
A measure employed by land or amphibious commanders to
facilitate the rapid engagement of targets and simultaneously
provide safeguards for friendly forces. Also called FSCM. See
also fire support coordination.
fire support coordination
The planning and executing of fire so that targets
are adequately covered by a suitable weapon or group of weapons.
fire support coordination center
A single location in which are centralized communications
facilities and personnel incident to the coordination of all
forms of fire support. Also called FSCC. See also fire; fire
support; fire support coodination; support; supporting arms
fire support coordination line
A fire support coordinating measure that is established
and adjusted by appropriate land or amphibious force commanders
within their boundaries in consultation with superior,
subordinate, supporting, and affected commanders. Fire support
coordination lines (FSCLs) facilitate the expeditious attack of
surface targets of opportunity beyond the coordinating measure.
An FSCL does not divide an area of operations by defining a
boundary between close and deep operations or a zone for close
air support. The FSCL applies to all fires of air, land, and
sea-based weapons systems using any type of ammunition. Forces
attacking targets beyond an FSCL must inform all affected
commanders in sufficient time to allow necessary reaction to
avoid fratricide. Supporting elements attacking targets beyond
the FSCL must ensure that the attack will not produce adverse
attacks on, or to the rear of, the line. Short of an FSCL, all
air-to-ground and surface-to-surface attack operations are
controlled by the appropriate land or amphibious force
commander. The FSCL should follow well-defined terrain features.
Coordination of attacks beyond the FSCL is especially critical
to commanders of air, land, and special operations forces. In
exceptional circumstances, the inability to conduct this
coordination will not preclude the attack of targets beyond the
FSCL. However, failure to do so may increase the risk of
fratricide and could waste limited resources. Also called
FSCL.See also fires; fire support.
fire support element
That portion of the force tactical operations center at
every echelon above company or troop (to corps) that is
responsible for targeting coordination and for integrating fires
delivered on surface targets by fire-support means under the
control, or in support, of the force. Also called FSE. See also
fire; fire support; force; support.
fire support group
A temporary grouping of ships under a single
commander charged with supporting troop operations ashore by
naval gunfire. A fire support group may be further subdivided
into fire support units and fire support elements.
fire support officer
Senior field artillery officer assigned to Army maneuver
battalions and brigades. Advises commander on fire-support
matters. Also called FSO. See also field artillery; fire; fire
fire support station
An exact location at sea within a fire support area from
which a fire support ship delivers fire.
fire support team
A team provided by the field artillery component to each
maneuver company and troop to plan and coordinate all supporting
fires available to the unit, including mortars, field artillery,
naval surface fire support, and close air support integration.
Also called FIST. See also close air support; field artillery;
fire; fire support; support.
In a sweeper-sweep combination it is the horizontal
area at the depth of a particular mine in which the mine will
detonate. The firing area has exactly the same dimensions as the
interception area but will lie astern of it unless the mine
detonates immediately when actuated.
Map, photo map, or grid sheet showing the relative
horizontal and vertical positions of batteries, base points,
base point lines, check points, targets, and other details
needed in preparing firing data.
1. In land operations, an electrical circuit and/or
pyrotechnic loop designed to detonate connected charges from a
firing point. 2. In naval mine warfare, that part of a mine
circuit which either completes the detonator circuit or operates
a ship counter.
See firing circuit.
That point in the firing circuit where the device
employed to initiate the detonation of the charges is located.
Also called FP.
In demolition, a system composed of elements designed to
fire the main charge or charges.
The beginning of morning nautical twilight; i.e., when the
center of the morning sun is 12 degrees below the horizon.
first responder phase
A phase of medical care in which health care providers'
focus to save life and limb and stabilize the patient
sufficiently to withstand evacuation to the next level of care.
The first response may include first aid (self-aid and buddy
aid, combat lifesavers) or medical assistance by combat medics,
hospital corpsmen, physician assistants, or physicians. See also
essential care; evacuation; patient.
The first offensive move of a war. (Generally associated
with nuclear operations.)
A general term for the complex mixture of substances
produced as a result of nuclear fission.
fission to yield ratio
The ratio of the yield derived from nuclear fission
to the total yield; it is frequently expressed in percent.
In naval mine warfare, a mine containing an
explosive charge, a primer, detonator, and firing system. See
also exercise filled mine; explosive filled mine.
A position determined from terrestrial, electronic,
or astronomical data.
Ammunition in which the cartridge case is
permanently attached to the projectile. See also munition.
fixed capital property
1. Assets of a permanent character having continuing
value. 2. As used in military establishments, includes real
estate and equipment installed or in use, either in productive
plants or in field operations. Synonymous with fixed assets.
fixed medical treatment facility
A medical treatment facility which is designed to
operate for an extended period of time at a specific site.
Water terminals with an improved network of cargo-handling
facilities designed for the transfer of oceangoing freight. See
also water terminal.
fixed price incentive contract
A fixed price type of contract with provision for the
adjustment of profit and price by a formula based on the
relationship that final negotiated total cost bears to
negotiated target cost as adjusted by approved changes.
fixed price type contract
A type of contract that generally provides for a firm
price or, under appropriate circumstances, may provide for an
adjustable price for the supplies or services being procured.
Fixed price contracts are of several types so designed as to
facilitate proper pricing under varying circumstances.
fixed station patrol
One in which each scout maintains station relative
to an assigned point on a barrier line while searching the
surrounding area. Scouts are not stationary but remain underway
and patrol near the center of their assigned stations. A scout
is a surface ship, submarine, or aircraft.
See fixer network.
flag days (red or green)
Red flag days are those during which movement requirements
cannot be met; green flag days are those during which the
requisite amount or a surplus of transportation capability
A term applied to an officer holding the rank of general,
lieutenant general, major general, or brigadier general in the
US Army, Air Force or Marine Corps or admiral, vice admiral, or
rear admiral in the US Navy or Coast Guard.
flame field expedients
Simple, handmade devices used to produce flame or
illumination. Also called FFE.
A weapon that projects incendiary fuel and has
provision for ignition of this fuel.
See inflammable cargo.
A security element operating to the flank of a
moving or stationary force to protect it from enemy ground
observation, direct fire, and surprise attack.
An offensive maneuver directed at the flank of an
enemy. See also frontal attack.
The change in the flight path of an aircraft so as
to reduce the rate of descent for touchdown.
A nuclear weapon that, when launched at a target,
detonates with anticipated yield but at an altitude appreciably
greater than intended. This is not a dud insofar as yield is
concerned, but it is a dud with respect to the effects on the
target and the normal operation of the weapon.
Impairment of vision resulting from an intense flash
of light. It includes temporary or permanent loss of visual
functions and may be associated with retinal burns. See also
A burn caused by excessive exposure (of bare skin)
to thermal radiation.
A category of precedence reserved for initial enemy
contact messages or operational combat messages of extreme
urgency. Brevity is mandatory. See also precedence.
Finding the position of the burst of a projectile or of an
enemy gun by observing its flash.
Not to be used. See inflight report.
Device attached to the muzzle of the weapon which
reduces the amount of visible light or flash created by burning
The time from light being first observed until the
sound of the nuclear detonation is heard.
Portable, open-topped, open-sided units that fit into
existing below-deck container cell guides and provide a
capability for container ships to carry oversized cargo and
wheeled and tracked vehicles.
Cargo placed in the bottom of the holds, covered with
planks and dunnage, and held for future use. Flatted cargo
usually has room left above it for the loading of vehicles that
may be moved without interfering with the flatted cargo.
Frequently, flatted cargo serves in lieu of ballast. Sometimes
called understowed cargo.
An organization of ships, aircraft, Marine forces, and
shore-based fleet activities all under the command of a
commander or commander in chief who may exercise operational as
well as administrative control. See also major fleet; numbered
fleet ballistic missile submarine
A nuclear-powered submarine designed to deliver ballistic
missile attacks against assigned targets from either a submerged
or surfaced condition. Designated as SSBN.
fleet in being
A fleet (force) that avoids decisive action, but, because
of its strength and location, causes or necessitates
counter-concentrations and so reduces the number of opposing
units available for operations elsewhere.
Fleet Marine Force
A balanced force of combined arms comprising land, air,
and service elements of the US Marine Corps. A Fleet Marine
Force is an integral part of a US fleet and has the status of a
type command. Also called FMF.
flexible deterrent option
A planning construct intended to facilitate early decision
by laying out a wide range of interrelated response paths that
begin with deterrent-oriented options carefully tailored to send
the right signal. The flexible deterrent option is the means by
which the various deterrent options available to a commander
(such as economic, diplomatic, political, and military measures)
are implemented into the planning process. Also called FDO. See
also deterrent options
The capability of military forces for effective reaction
to any enemy threat or attack with actions appropriate and
adaptable to the circumstances existing.
1. In Navy and Marine Corps usage, a specified group of
aircraft usually engaged in a common mission. 2. The basic
tactical unit in the Air Force, consisting of four or more
aircraft in two or more elements. 3. A single aircraft airborne
on a nonoperational mission.
A message dispatched to aircraft in flight or to
interested stations to advise of any deviation or irregularity.
1. In certain airplanes, an elevated compartment occupied
by the crew for operating the airplane in flight. 2. The upper
deck of an aircraft carrier that serves as a runway.
The task of maintaining contact with specified
aircraft for the purpose of determining en route progress and/or
flight information center
A unit established to provide flight information
service and alerting service.
flight information region
An airspace of defined dimensions within which
flight information service and alerting service are provided.
Also called FIR. See also air traffic control center; area
flight information service
A service provided for the purpose of giving advice
and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of
flights. Also called FIS.
Surfaces of constant atmospheric pressure which are
related to a specific pressure datum, 1013.2 mb (29.92 in), and
are separated by specific pressure intervals. (Flight levels are
expressed in three digits that represent hundreds of feet; e.g.,
flight level 250 represents a barometric altimeter indication of
25,000 feet and flight level 255 is an indication of 25,500
The line connecting the successive positions
occupied, or to be occupied, by an aircraft, missile, or space
vehicle as it moves through air or space.
Specified information provided to air traffic
services units relative to an intended flight or portion of a
flight of an aircraft.
flight plan correlation
A means of identifying aircraft by association with known
Trajectory, or its graphic representation, followed by its
altitude, speed, distance flown, and maneuver.
A ship configuration that assigns and stations personnel
at critical positions to conduct safe flight operations.
flight readiness firing
A missile system test of short duration conducted with the
propulsion system operating while the missile is secured to the
launcher. Such a test is performed to determine the readiness of
the missile system and launch facilities prior to flight test.
A physician specially trained in aviator medical
practice whose primary duty is the medical examination and
medical care of aircrew.
Test of an aircraft, rocket, missile, or other
vehicle by actual flight or launching. Flight tests are planned
to achieve specific test objectives and gain operational
The average forward horizontal distance from the cockpit
of an aircraft in flight at which prominent unlighted objects
may be seen and identified by day and prominent lighted objects
may be seen and identified by night.
floating base support
A form of logistic support in which supplies,
repairs, maintenance, and other services are provided in harbor
or at an anchorage for operating forces from ships.
floating craft company
A company-sized unit made up of various watercraft teams
such as tugs, barges, and barge cranes. See also watercraft.
Emergency supplies preloaded in landing craft, amphibious
vehicles, or in landing ships. Floating dumps are located in the
vicinity of the appropriate control officer, who directs their
landing as requested by the troop commander concerned.
In naval mine warfare, a mine visible on the
surface. See also free mine; mine; watching mine.
In an amphibious operation, reserve troops which
remain embarked until needed. See also general reserve.
In naval mine warfare, a device fitted to a buoyant
mine which, on operation after a preset time, floods the mine
case and causes it to sink to the bottom.
The capability of a vehicle to float in water.
Includes the balance of the initial assault force, not
included in the assault echelon, and some aviation support
equipment. Also called FIE.
A path of fire extinguisher foam laid on a runway to
assist aircraft in an emergency landing.
In amphibious operations, the reinforcements and stores
carried on transport ships and aircraft (not originally part of
the amphibious force) that are offloaded after the assault and
assault follow-on echelons have been landed. See also amphibious
operation; assault; assault follow-on echelon.
In air transport operations, elements moved into the
objective area after the assault echelon.
Ships not originally a part of the amphibious task force
but which deliver troops and supplies to the objective area
after the assault phase has begun.
Supplies delivered after the initial landings or airdrop
to resupply units until routine supply procedures can be
instituted. These supplies may be delivered either automatically
or on an on-call basis and are prepared for delivery by
supporting supply units. See also resupply; routine supplies;
1. The area on the surface of the earth within a
satellite's transmitter or sensor field of view. 2. The amount
of personnel, spares, resources, and capabilities physically
present and occupying space at a deployed location.
1. An aggregation of military personnel, weapon systems,
equipment, and necessary support, or combination thereof. 2. A
major subdivision of a fleet.
force activity designators
Numbers used in conjunction with urgency of need
designators to establish a matrix of priorities used for supply
requisitions. Defines the relative importance of the unit to
accomplish the objectives of the Department of Defense. Also
called FADs. See also force.
The provision of expedient facilities for troop support to
provide a platform for the projection of force. These facilities
may include modular or kit-type facility substitutes. See also
The point in time when a supported joint force commander
determines that sufficient personnel and equipment resources are
in the assigned operational area to carry out assigned tasks.
See also closure; force.
Air refueling and other actions that increase an
aircraft's range, payload, loiter time, and flexibility, to
allow it to accomplish a wider range of missions. See also air
Tankers escorting fighters are force extended when they
are refueled by other tankers while en route to their
destination. Force extension is normally required when tankers
are acting in a dual-role capacity because their cargo will
likely preclude carrying enough fuel for the tanker and
receivers to reach the final destination. On global attack
missions, force extension can also be used to extend the
effective range, payload, and loiter time of combat aircraft due
to the increased offload capacity of the force extended tanker.
See also air refueling; dual-role tanker.
force health protection
All services performed, provided, or arranged by the
Services to promote, improve, conserve, or restore the mental or
physical well-being of personnel. These services include, but
are not limited to, the management of health services resources,
such as manpower, monies, and facilities; preventive and
curative health measures; evacuation of the wounded, injured, or
sick; selection of the medically fit and disposition of the
medically unfit; blood management; medical supply, equipment,
and maintenance thereof; combat stress control; and medical,
dental, veterinary, laboratory, optometry, medical food, and
medical intelligence services. See also force; protection.
A total list of forces required by an operation plan,
including assigned forces, augmentation forces, and other forces
to be employed in support of the plan.
A grouping of combat, combat support, and combat service
support forces, with their accompanying supplies and the
required nonunit resupply and personnel necessary to sustain
forces for a minimum of 30 days. The elements of force modules
are linked together or are uniquely identified so that they may
be extracted from or adjusted as an entity in the Joint
Operation Planning and Execution System databases to enhance
flexibility and usefulness of the operation plan during a
crisis. Also called FM. See also force module package.
force module package
A force module with a specific functional orientation
(e.g. air superiority, close air support, reconnaissance, ground
defense) that include combat, associated combat support, and
combat service support forces. Additionally, force module
packages will contain sustainment in accordance with logistic
policy contained in Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan Annex B.
Also called FMP. See also force module.
force movement control center
A temporary organization activated by the Marine
air-ground task force to control and coordinate all deployment
support activities. Also called FMCC. See also Marine air-ground
A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat
force, significantly increases the combat potential of that
force and thus enhances the probability of successful mission
Planning associated with the creation and maintenance of
military capabilities. It is primarily the responsibility of the
Military Departments and Services and is conducted under the
administrative control that runs from the Secretary of Defense
to the Military Departments and Services.
The ability to project the military element of national
power from the continental United States (CONUS) or another
theater, in response to requirements for military operations.
Force projection operations extend from mobilization and
deployment of forces to redeployment to CONUS or home theater.
See also force.
Actions taken to prevent or mitigate hostile
actionsagainst Department of Defense personnel (to include
familymembers), resources, facilities, and critical information.
These actions conserve the force's fighting potential so it can
beapplied at the decisive time and place and incorporate the
coordinated and synchronized offensive and defensive measures
toenable the effective employment of the joint force
whiledegrading opportunities for the enemy. Force protection
does not include actions to defeat the enemy or protect against
accidents,weather, or disease. Also called FP. See also force;
force protection condition; protection.
force protection condition
A Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-approved program
standardizing the Military Services' identification of and
recommended responses to terrorist threats against US personnel
and facilities. This program facilitates inter-Service
coordination and support for antiterrorism activities. Also
called FPCON. There are four FPCONs above normal. a. FPCON ALPHA
-- This condition applies when there is a general threat of
possible terrorist activity against personnel and facilities,
the nature and extent of which are unpredictable, and
circumstances do not justify full implementation of FPCON BRAVO
measures. However, it may be necessary to implement certain
measures from higher FPCONs resulting from intelligence received
or as a deterrent. The measures in this FPCON must be capable of
being maintained indefinitely. b. FPCON BRAVO--This condition
applies when an increased and more predictable threat of
terrorist activity exists. The measures in this FPCON must be
capable of being maintained for weeks without causing undue
hardship, affecting operational capability, and aggravating
relations with local authorities. c. FPCON CHARLIE--This
condition applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is
received indicating some form of terrorist action against
personnel and facilities is imminent. Implementation of measures
in this FPCON for more than a short period probably will create
hardship and affect the peacetime activities of the unit and its
personnel. d. FPCON DELTA--This condition applies in the
immediate area where a terrorist attack has occurred or when
intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a
specific location or person is likely. Normally, this FPCON is
declared as a localized condition. See also antiterrorism; force
A checkpoint at which formations of aircraft or
ships join and become part of the main force. Also called group
force requirement number
An alphanumeric code used to uniquely identify force
entries in a given operation plan time-phased force and
deployment data. Also called FRN.
See airborne force; armed forces; covering force; garrison
force; multinational force; Navy cargo handling force; task
force; underway replenishment force.
A deficiency in the number of types of units available for
planning within the time required for the performance of an
forces in being
Forces classified as being in state of readiness "A"
or "B" as prescribed in the appropriate Military Committee
The identification of the actual units, their origins,
ports of embarkation, and movement characteristics to satisfy
the time-phased force requirements of a supported commander.
See military capability.
With reference to war plans, the statement of time-phased
deployments of major combat units by major commands and
The identification of units and their specific modes of
transport during movement to an objective area
Seizing and holding of a military lodgment in the face of
armed opposition. See also lodgment.
See shallow fording.
foreign armed force
An armed force belonging to a government or organizational
entity other than the United States.
Assistance to foreign nations ranging from the sale of
military equipment to donations of food and medical supplies to
aid survivors of natural and manmade disasters. US assistance
takes three forms--development assistance, humanitarian
assistance, and security assistance. See also domestic
emergencies; foreign disaster; foreign humanitarian assistance;
An act of nature (such as a flood, drought, fire,
hurricane, earthquake, volcanic eruption, or epidemic), or an
act of man (such as a riot, violence, civil strife, explosion,
fire, or epidemic), which is or threatens to be of sufficient
severity and magnitude to warrant United States foreign disaster
relief to a foreign country, foreign persons, or to an
international organization. See also foreign disaster relief.
foreign disaster relief
Prompt aid that can be used to alleviate the suffering of
foreign disaster victims. Normally it includes humanitarian
services and transporation; the provision of food, clothing,
medicine, beds, and bedding; temporary shelter and housing; the
furnishing of medical materiel and medical and technical
personnel; and making repairs to essential services. See also
foreign humanitarian assistance
Programs conducted to relieve or reduce the results of
natural or manmade disasters or other endemic conditions such as
human pain, disease, hunger, or privation that might present a
serious threat to life or that can result in great damage to or
loss of property. Foreign humanitarian assistance (FHA) provided
by US forces is limited in scope and duration. The foreign
assistance provided is designed to supplement or complement the
efforts of the host nation civil authorities or agencies that
may have the primary responsibility for providing FHA. FHA
operations are those conducted outside the United States, its
territories, and possessions. Also called FHA. See also foreign
foreign instrumentation signals intelligence
Technical information and intelligence derived from the
intercept of foreign electromagnetic emissions associated with
the testing and operational deployment of non-US aerospace,
surface, and subsurface systems. Foreign instrumentation signals
intelligence is a subcategory of signals intelligence. Foreign
instrumentation signals include but are not limited to
telemetry, beaconry, electronic interrogators, and video data
links. Also called FISINT. See also signals intelligence.
Intelligence relating to capabilities, intentions, and
activities of foreign powers, organizations, or persons (not
including counterintelligence), except for information on
international terrorist activities. See also intelligence.
foreign internal defense
Participation by civilian and military agencies of a
government in any of the action programs taken by another
government or other designated organization to free and protect
its society from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency. Also
foreign military sales
That portion of United States security assistance
authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended,
and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as amended. This
assistance differs from the Military Assistance Program and the
International Military Education and Training Program in that
the recipient provides reimbursement for defense articles and
services transferred. Also called FMS.
foreign military sales trainees
Foreign nationals receiving training conducted by the
Department of Defense on a reimbursable basis, at the country's
Any person other than a US citizen, US permanent or
temporary legal resident alien, or person in US custody.
foreign nation support
Civil and/or military assistance rendered to a nation when
operating outside its national boundaries during war, or
operations other than war based on agreements mutually concluded
between nations or on behalf of international organizations.
Support may come from the nation in which forces are operating.
Foreign nation support also may be from third party nations and
include support or assistance, such as logistics, rendered
outside the operational area. Also called FNS. See also
foreign object damage
Rags, pieces of paper, line, articles of clothing, nuts,
bolts, or tools that, when misplaced or caught by air currents
normally found around aircraft operations (jet blast, rotor or
prop wash, engine intake), cause damage to aircraft systems or
weapons or injury to personnel. Also called FOD.
That portion of a beach extending from the low water
(datum) shoreline to the limit of normal high water wave wash.
1. In photography, the size and/or shape of a
negative or of the print therefrom. 2. In cartography, the shape
and size of a map or chart.
1. An ordered arrangement of troops and/or vehicles
for a specific purpose. 2. An ordered arrangement of two or more
ships, units, or aircraft proceeding together under a commander.
formatted message text
A message text composed of several sets ordered in a
specified sequence, each set characterized by an identifier and
containing information of a specified type, coded and arranged
in an ordered sequence of character fields in accordance with
the NATO message text formatting rules. It is designed to permit
both manual and automated handling and processing. See also free
form message text; structured message text.
formerly restricted data
Information removed from the restricted data category upon
a joint determination by the Department of Energy (or antecedent
agencies) and Department of Defense that such information
relates primarily to the military utilization of atomic weapons
and that such information can be adequately safeguarded as
classified defense information. (Section 142d, Atomic Energy Act
of 1954, as amended.) See also restricted data.
Lines resembling contours, but representing no
actual elevations, which have been sketched from visual
observation or from inadequate or unreliable map sources, to
show collectively the configuration of the terrain.
forward aeromedical evacuation
That phase of evacuation which provides airlift for
patients between points within the battlefield, from the
battlefield to the initial point of treatment, and to subsequent
points of treatment within the combat zone.
forward air controller
An officer (aviator/pilot) member of the tactical air
control party who, from a forward ground or airborne position,
controls aircraft in close air support of ground troops. Also
called FAC. See also close air support.
forward air controller (airborne)
A specifically trained and qualified aviation officer who
exercises control from the air of aircraft engaged in close air
support of ground troops. The forward air controller (airborne)
is normally an airborne extension of the tactical air control
party. Also called FAC(A).
An area in proximity to combat.
forward arming and refueling point
A temporary facility - organized, equipped, and deployed
by an aviation commander, and normally located in the main
battle area closer to the area where operations are being
conducted than the aviation unit's combat service area - to
provide fuel and ammunition necessary for the employment of
aviation maneuver units in combat. The forward arming and
refueling point permits combat aircraft to rapidly refuel and
rearm simultaneously. Also called FARP.
forward aviation combat engineering
A mobility operation in which engineers perform tasks in
support of forward aviation ground facilities. Tasks include
reconnaissance; construction of low altitude parachute
extraction zones, landing strips, and airstrips; and providing
berms, revetments, and trenches for forward arming and refueling
points. See also combat engineering; reconnaissance.
forward edge of the battle area
The foremost limits of a series of areas in which
ground combat units are deployed, excluding the areas in which
the covering or screening forces are operating, designated to
coordinate fire support, the positioning of forces, or the
maneuver of units. Also called FEBA.
forward line of own troops
A line that indicates the most forward positions of
friendly forces in any kind of military operation at a specific
time. The forward line of own troops (FLOT) normally identifies
the forward location of covering and screening forces. The FLOT
may be at, beyond, or short of the forward edge of the battle
area. An enemy FLOT indicates the forward-most position of
hostile forces. Also called FLOT.
forward logistic site
See naval forward logistic site. Also called FLS.
An airborne, electro-optical thermal imaging device that
detects far-infrared energy, converts the energy into an
electronic signal, and provides a visible image for day or night
viewing. Also called FLIR.
forward oblique air photograph
Oblique photography of the terrain ahead of the aircraft.
An observer operating with front line troops and trained
to adjust ground or naval gunfire and pass back battlefield
information. In the absence of a forward air controller, the
observer may control close air support strikes. Also called FO.
See also forward air controller; spotter.
forward operating base
An airfield used to support tactical operations without
establishing full support facilities. The base may be used for
an extended time period. Support by a main operating base will
be required to provide backup support for a forward operating
base. Also called FOB.
forward operating location
Primarily used for counterdrug operations. Similar to a
forward operating base (FOB) but without the in-place
infrastructure associated with a FOB. Also called FOL.
forward operations base
In special operations, a base usually located in friendly
territory or afloat that is established to extend command and
control or communications or to provide support for training and
tactical operations. Facilities may be established for temporary
or longer duration operations and may include an airfield or an
unimproved airstrip, an anchorage, or a pier. A forward
operations base may be the location of special operations
component headquarters or a smaller unit that is controlled
and/or supported by a main operations base. Also called FOB. See
also advanced operations base; main operations base.
forward recovery mission profile
A mission profile that involves the recovery of an
aircraft at a neutral or friendly forward area airfield or
forward resuscitative surgery
The urgent initial surgery required to render a patients
transportable for further evacuation to medical treatment
facilities staffed and equipped to provide for their care.
Forward resuscitative surgery is performed on patients with
signs and symptoms of initial airway compromise, difficult
breathing, and circulatory shock and who do not respond to
initial emergency medical treatment and advanced trauma
management procedures. See also essential care; evacuation;
medical treatment facility; patient.
Any slope which descends towards the enemy.
The transfer of information to a higher level of
command. See also track telling.
four-round illumination diamond
A method of distributing the fire of illumination
shells which, by a combination of lateral spread and range
spread, provides illumination of a large area.
See force protection condition.
See force protection condition.
See force protection condition.
See force protection condition.
An abbreviated form of an operation order (verbal, written
or digital) usually issued on a day-to-day basis that eliminates
the need for restating information contained in a basic
operation order. It may be issued in sections. It is issued
after an operation order to change or modify that order or to
execute a branch or sequel to that order. Also called FRAG
In photography, any single exposure contained within
a continuous sequence of photographs.
free air anomaly
The difference between observed gravity and theoretical
gravity that has been computed for latitude and corrected for
elevation of the station above or below the geoid, by
application of the normal rate of change of gravity for change
of elevation, as in free air.
free air overpressure
The unreflected pressure, in excess of the ambient
atmospheric pressure, created in the air by the blast wave from
an explosion. See also overpressure.
freedom of navigation operations
Operations conducted to demonstrate US or international
rights to navigate air or sea routes.
The dropping of equipment or supplies from an
aircraft without the use of parachutes. See also airdrop; air
movement; free fall; high velocity drop; low velocity drop.
A parachute maneuver in which the parachute is manually
activated at the discretion of the jumper or automatically at a
preset altitude. See also airdrop; air movement; free drop; high
velocity drop; low velocity drop.
free field overpressure
See free air overpressure.
A specific area into which any weapon system may fire
without additional coordination with the establishing
headquarters. Also called FFA. See also fire.
free form message text
A message text without prescribed format
arrangements. It is intended for fast drafting as well as manual
handling and processing. See also formatted message text;
structured message text.
Materiel provided for use or consumption without charge to
the fund or fund subdivision that finances the activity to which
it is issued.
Correspondence of a personal nature that weighs less than
11 ounces, to include audio and video recording tapes, from a
member of the Armed Forces or designated civilian, mailed
postage free from a Secretary of Defense approved free mail
In naval mine warfare, a moored mine whose mooring
has parted or been cut.
free play exercise
An exercise to test the capabilities of forces under
simulated contingency and/or wartime conditions, limited only by
those artificialities or restrictions required by peacetime
safety regulations. See also controlled exercise.
A rocket not subject to guidance or control in
freight consolidating activity
A transportation activity that receives less than car- or
truckload shipments of materiel for the purpose of assembling
them into car- or truckload lots for onward movement to the
ultimate consignee or to a freight distributing activity or
other break bulk point. See also freight distributing activity.
freight distributing activity
A transportation activity that receives and unloads
consolidated car- or truckloads of less than car- or truckload
shipments of material and forwards the individual shipments to
the ultimate consignee. See also freight consolidating activity.
A systematic management procedure to coordinate the use of
the electromagnetic spectrum for operations, communications, and
intelligence functions. Frequency deconfliction is one element
of electromagnetic spectrum management. See also electromagnetic
spectrum; electronic warfare; spectrum management
A contact positively identified as friendly. See also
In casualty reporting, a casualty circumstance applicable
to persons killed in action or wounded in action mistakenly or
accidentally by friendly forces actively engaged with the enemy,
who are directing fire at a hostile force or what is thought to
be a hostile force. See also casualty.
1. The lateral space occupied by an element measured
from the extremity of one flank to the extremity of the other
flank. 2. The direction of the enemy. 3. The line of contact of
two opposing forces. 4. When a combat situation does not exist
or is not assumed, the direction toward which the command is
1. An offensive maneuver in which the main action is
directed against the front of the enemy forces. 2. (DOD only) In
air intercept, an attack by an interceptor aircraft that
terminates with a heading crossing angle greater than 135
Any shipment of supplies and/or equipment which, while en
route to destination, is stopped prior to receipt and for which
further disposition instructions must be obtained.
The larger of the two propelling charges available for
Material condition of any piece of military equipment,
aircraft, or training device indicating that it can perform all
of its missions. Also called FMC. See also deadline;
mission-capable; partial mission-capable; partial
mission-capable, maintenance; partial mission-capable, supply.
functional component command
A command normally, but not necessarily, composed of
forces of two or more Military Departments which may be
established across the range of military operations to perform
particular operational missions that may be of short duration or
may extend over a period of time. See also component; Service
functional damage assessment
The estimate of the effect of military force to degrade or
destroy the functional or operational capability of the target
to perform its intended mission and on the level of success in
achieving operational objectives established against the target.
This assessment is based upon all-source information, and
includes an estimation of the time required for recuperation or
replacement of the target function. See also damage assessment;
To render a targeted installation, facility, or target
system unable to fulfil its primary function.
Plans involving the conduct of military operations in a
peacetime or permissive environment developed by combatant
commanders to address requirements such as disaster relief,
nation assistance, logistics, communications, surveillance,
protection of US citizens, nuclear weapon recovery and
evacuation, and continuity of operations or similar discrete
tasks. They may be developed in response to the requirements of
the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan, at the initiative of the
combatant commander, or as tasked by the supported combatant
commander, Joint Staff, Service, or Defense agency. Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff review of combatant
commander-initiated plans is not normally required.
The appropriate or assigned duties, responsibilities,
missions, or tasks of an individual, office, or organization. As
defined in the National Security Act of 1947, as amended, the
term "function" includes functions, powers, and duties (5 United
States Code 171n (a)).
In intelligence usage, the process of examining all
sources of intelligence and information to derive a complete
assessment of activity.
In intelligence usage, a physical location to accomplish fusion.
It normally has sufficient intelligence automated data
processing capability to assist in the process.
A recess in a charge for receiving a fuze.