Glossary of Military Terms
An act or acts with intent to injure, interfere with, or
obstruct the national defense of a country by willfully injuring
or destroying, or attempting to injure or destroy, any national
defense or war materiel, premises, or utilities, to include
human and natural resources.
sabotage alert team
See security alert team.
One who commits sabotage. See also antiterrorism;
An anchorage considered safe from enemy attack to
which merchant ships may be ordered to proceed when the shipping
movement policy is implemented. See also refuge area.
A designated area in hostile territory that offers the
evader or escapee a reasonable chance of avoiding capture and of
surviving until he or she can be evacuated.
safe burst height
The height of burst at or above which the level of
fallout or damage to ground installations is at a predetermined
level acceptable to the military commander. See also types of
In naval mine warfare, the maximum current that can
be supplied to a sweep in a given waveform and pulse cycle which
does not produce a danger area with respect to the mines being
In naval mine warfare, the shallowest depth of water
in which a ship will not actuate a bottom mine of the type under
consideration. Safe depth is usually quoted for conditions of
ship upright, calm sea, and a given speed.
In naval mine warfare, the horizontal range from the
edge of the explosion damage area to the center of the sweeper.
1. Designated area(s) to which noncombatants of the United
States Government's responsibility and commercial vehicles and
materiel may be evacuated during a domestic or other valid
emergency. 2. Temporary storage provided to Department of Energy
classified shipment transporters at Department of Defense
facilities in order to assure safety and security of nuclear
material and/or nonnuclear classified material. Also includes
parking for commercial vehicles containing Class A or Class B
explosives. 3. A protected body of water or the well deck of an
amphibious ship used by small craft operating offshore for
refuge from storms or heavy seas.
An innocent-appearing house or premises established by an
organization for the purpose of conducting clandestine or covert
activity in relative security.
safe separation distance
The minimum distance between the delivery system and
the weapon beyond which the hazards associated with functioning
(detonation) are acceptable.
safety and arming mechanism
A dual function device which prevents the unintended
activation of a main charge or propulsion unit prior to arming,
but allows activation thereafter upon receipt of the appropriate
A device which prevents unintentional functioning.
In road transport, the distance between vehicles
traveling in column specified by the command in light of safety
A pyrotechnic contained in a flexible and weather-proof
sheath burning at a timed and constant rate; used to transmit a
flame to the detonator.
See altitude; minimum safe altitude.
Specified sea lane designated for use in transit by
submarine and surface ships to prevent attack by friendly
safety level of supply
The quantity of materiel, in addition to the operating
level of supply, required to be on hand to permit continuous
operations in the event of minor interruption of normal
replenishment or unpredictable fluctuations in demand. See also
level of supply.
In land mine warfare, demarcation line for trip wire
or wire-actuated mines in a minefield. It serves to protect the
laying personnel. After the minefield is laid, this line is
neither marked on the ground nor plotted on the minefield
A cable, wire, or lanyard attached to the aircraft
and routed to an expendable aircraft store to prevent arming
initiation prior to store release. See also arming wire.
An area (land, sea, or air) reserved for noncombat
operations of friendly aircraft, surface ships, submarines, or
ground forces. (Note: DOD does not use the word "submarines".)
As applied to weapons and ammunition, the changing from a
state of readiness for initiation to a safe condition. Also
safing and arming mechanism
A mechanism whose primary purpose is to prevent an
unintended functioning of the main charge of the ammunition
prior to completion of the arming delay and, in turn, allow the
explosive train of the ammunition to function after arming.
A nuclear weapon which has, in addition to its
normal components, certain elements or isotopes which capture
neutrons at the time of the explosion and produce radioactive
products over and above the usual radioactive weapon debris. See
also minimum residual radioactivity weapon.
1. Property that has some value in excess of its basic
material content but is in such condition that it has no
reasonable prospect of use for any purpose as a unit and its
repair or rehabilitation for use as a unit is clearly
impractical. 2. The saving or rescuing of condemned, discarded,
or abandoned property, and of materials contained therein for
reuse, refabrication, or scrapping.
In an amphibious operation, a naval task organization
designated and equipped to rescue personnel and to salvage
equipment and material.
1. The recovery, evacuation, and reclamation of damaged,
discarded, condemned, or abandoned allied or enemy materiel,
ships, craft, and floating equipment for reuse, repair,
refabrication, or scrapping. 2. Naval salvage operations include
harbor and channel clearance, diving, hazardous towing and
rescue tug services, and the recovery of materiel, ships, craft,
and floating equipment sunk offshore or elsewhere stranded.
1. In naval gunfire support, a method of fire in which a
number of weapons are fired at the same target simultaneously.
2. In close air support or air interdiction operations, a method
of delivery in which the release mechanisms are operated to
release or fire all ordnance of a specific type simultaneously.
sanction enforcement and maritime intercept operations
Operations that employ coercive measures to interdict the
movement of certain types of designated items into or out of a
nation or specified area.
A nation or area near or contiguous to the combat area
that, by tacit agreement between the warring powers, is exempt
from attack and therefore serves as a refuge for staging,
logistic, or other activities of the combatant powers.
To revise a report or other document in such a fashion as
to prevent identification of sources, or of the actual persons
and places with which it is concerned, or of the means by which
it was acquired. Usually involves deletion or substitution of
names and other key details.
satellite and missile surveillance
The systematic observation of aerospace for the purpose of
detecting, tracking, and characterizing objects, events, and
phenomena associated with satellites and inflight missiles,
friendly and enemy. See also surveillance.
See S-curve distortion.
The ratio or fraction between the distance on a map,
chart, or photograph and the corresponding distance on the
surface of the Earth. See also conversion scale; graphic scale;
photographic scale; principal scale.
See photographic scale.
A mathematical relationship which permits the
effects of a nuclear explosion of given energy yield to be
determined as a function of distance from the explosion (or from
ground zero) provided the corresponding effect is known as a
function of distance for a reference explosion, e.g., of
1-kiloton energy yield.
1. The path periodically followed by a radiation beam. 2.
In electronic intelligence, the motion of an electronic beam
through space looking for a target. Scanning is produced by the
motion of the antenna or by lobe switching. See also electronic
The line produced on a recording medium frame by a
single sweep of a scanner.
The period taken by a radar, sonar, etc., to complete a
scan pattern and return to a starting point.
The rate at which individual scans are recorded.
The path made in space by a point on the radar beam; for
example, circular, helical, conical, spiral, or sector.
In land mine warfare, a mine laid without regard to
classical pattern and which is designed to be delivered by
aircraft, artillery, missile, ground dispenser, or by hand. Once
laid, it normally has a limited life. See also mine.
scene of action commander
In antisubmarine warfare, the commander at the scene of
contact. The commander is usually in a ship, or may be in a
fixed-wing aircraft, helicopter, or submarine.
scheduled arrival date
The projected arrival date of a specified movement
requirement at a specified location.
A type of prearranged fire executed at a
Periodic prescribed inspection and/or servicing of
equipment accomplished on a calendar, mileage, or hours of
operation basis. See also organizational maintenance.
scheduled service (air transport)
A routine air transport service operated in accordance
with a timetable.
The planned sustained speed of a convoy through the
water which determines the speed classification of that convoy.
See also convoy speed; critical speed; declared speed.
scheduled target (nuclear)
A planned target on which a nuclear weapon is to be
delivered at a specific time during the operation of the
supported force. The time is specified in terms of minutes
before or after a designated time or in terms of the
accomplishment of a predetermined movement or task. Coordination
and warning of friendly troops and aircraft are mandatory.
Planned targets upon which fires will be delivered at a
specific time. See also planned targets; target.
schedule of fire
Groups of fires or series of fires fired in a definite
sequence according to a definite program. The time of starting
the schedule may be ON CALL. For identification purposes,
schedules may be referred to by a code name or other
schedule of targets
In artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support,
individual targets, groups, or series of targets to be fired on,
in a definite sequence according to a definite program.
scheduling and movement
Joint Operation Planning and Execution System application
software providing the capability to create, update, allocate,
manifest, and review organic carrier information before and
during deployment. It provides the ability to review, analyze,
and generate several predefined reports on an extensive variety
of scheduling and movement information. Also called S&M.
scheduling and movement capability
The capability required by Joint Operation Planning and
Execution System planners and operators to allow for review and
update of scheduling and movement data before and during
implementation of a deployment operation.
scheme of maneuver
Description of how arrayed forces will accomplish the
commander's intent. It is the central expression of the
commander's concept for operations and governs the design of
supporting plans or annexes.
scientific and technical intelligence
The product resulting from the collection, evaluation,
analysis, and interpretation of foreign scientific and technical
information that covers: a. foreign developments in basic and
applied research and in applied engineering techniques; and b.
scientific and technical characteristics, capabilities, and
limitations of all foreign military systems, weapons, weapon
systems, and materiel; the research and development related
thereto; and the production methods employed for their
manufacture. Also called S&TI. See also intelligence; research;
scientific intelligence; technical intelligence.
See scientific and technical intelligence.
1. An arrangement of ships, aircraft and/or
submarines to protect a main body or convoy. 2. In cartography,
a sheet of transparent film, glass, or plastic carrying a
"ruling" or other regularly repeated pattern which may be used
in conjunction with a mask, either photographically or
photomechanically, to produce areas of the pattern. 3. In
surveillance, camouflage and concealment, any natural or
artificial material, opaque to surveillance sensor(s),
interposed between the sensor(s) and the object to be
camouflaged or concealed. See also concealment. 4. A security
element whose primary task is to observe, identify, and report
information, and which only fights in self-protection. See also
flank guard; guard. 5. (DOD only) A task to maintain
surveillance; provide early warning to the main body; or impede,
destroy, and harass enemy reconnaissance within its capability
without becoming decisively engaged. See also security
In amphibious operations, a task organization of ships
that furnishes protection to the task force en route to the
objective area and during operations in the objective area.
In cartography, a method of preparing a map or chart
by cutting the lines into a prepared coating.
The distortion in the image produced by a scanning
sensor which results from the forward displacement of the sensor
during the time of lateral scan.
US Navy forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct
special operations in maritime, littoral, and riverine
environments. Also called SEAL.
Areas in the amphibious objective area designated for the
stationing of amphibious task force ships. Sea areas include
inner transport area, sea echelon area, fire support area, etc.
See also amphibious objective area; fire support area; inner
transport area; sea echelon area.
A type of barge-ship that can carry up to 38 loaded
barges. It may also carry tugs, stacked causeway sections,
various watercraft, or heavy lift equipment to better support
joint logistics over-the-shore operations.
In amphibious operations, a technique of basing certain
landing force support functions aboard ship which decreases
shore-based presence. See also amphibious operation.
US or foreign combatants or auxiliary ships, including
aircraft and ground forces assigned to or emanating from such
vessels and other military forces operating in support of such
forces and operating in, on, or over the sea.
sea control operations
The employment of naval forces, supported by land and air
forces as appropriate, in order to achieve military objectives
in vital sea areas. Such operations include destruction of enemy
naval forces, suppression of enemy sea commerce, protection of
vital sea lanes, and establishment of local military superiority
in areas of naval operations. See also land control operations.
A portion of the assault shipping which withdraws
from or remains out of the transport area during an amphibious
landing and operates in designated areas to seaward in an
on-call or unscheduled status.
sea echelon area
In amphibious operations, an area to seaward of a
transport area from which assault shipping is phased into the
transport area, and to which assault shipping withdraws from the
sea echelon plan
In amphibious operations, the distribution plan for
amphibious shipping in the transport area to minimize losses due
to enemy attack by weapons of mass destruction and to reduce the
area to be swept of mines. See also amphibious operation.
The naval command of a coastal frontier, including the
coastal zone in addition to the land area of the coastal
frontier and the adjacent sea areas.
The occupied space of an aircraft characterized by
walls which do not allow any gaseous exchange between the
ambient atmosphere and the inside atmosphere and containing its
own ways of regenerating the inside atmosphere.
sealift enhancement program
Special equipment and modifications that adapt
merchant-type dry cargo ships and tankers to specific military
missions. They are typically installed on Ready Reserve Force
ships or ships under Military Sealift Command control. Sealift
enhancements fall into three categories: productivity,
survivability, and operational enhancements. Also called SEP.
See also Military Sealift Command; Ready Reserve; Ready Reserve
Sealift Readiness Program
A standby contractual agreement between Military Sealift
Command and US ship operators for voluntary provision of private
ships for defense use. Call-up of ships may be authorized by
joint approval of the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of
Transportation. Also called SRP. See also Military Sealift
A land facility designated for reception of personnel or
materiel moved by sea, and that serves as an authorized port of
entrance into or departure from the country in which located.
See also port of debarkation; port of embarkation.
1. An operation to locate an enemy force known or believed
to be at sea. 2. A systematic reconnaissance of a defined area,
so that all parts of the area have passed within visibility. 3.
To distribute gunfire over an area in depth by successive
changes in gun elevation.
search and rescue
The use of aircraft, surface craft (land or water),
submarines, specialized rescue teams, and equipment to search
for and rescue personnel in distress on land or at sea. Also
called SAR. See also combat search and rescue; combat search and
rescue mission coordinator; component search and rescue
controller; isolated personnel; joint combat search and rescue
operation; joint search and rescue center; joint search and
rescue center director; rescue coordination center; search and
rescue mission coordinator.
search and rescue alert notice
An alerting message used for United States domestic
flights. It corresponds to the declaration of the alert phase.
Also called ALNOT. See also search and rescue incident
classification, subpart b.
search and rescue incident classification
Three emergency phases into which an incident may be
classified or progress, according to the seriousness of the
incident and its requirement for rescue service. a. uncertainty
phase--Doubt exists as to the safety of a craft or person
because of knowledge of possible difficulties or because of lack
of information concerning progress or position. b. alert
phase--Apprehension exists for the safety of a craft or person
because of definite information that serious difficulties exist
that do not amount to a distress or because of a continued lack
of information concerning progress or position. c. distress
phase--Immediate assistance is required by a craft or person
because of being threatened by grave or imminent danger or
because of continued lack of information concerning progress or
position after procedures for the alert phase have been
search and rescue mission coordinator
The designated person or organization selected to direct
and coordinate support for a specific search and rescue mission.
Also called SAR mission coordinator. See also combat search and
rescue; combat search and rescuer mission coordinator; component
search and rescue controller; search and rescue.
search and rescue region
See inland search and rescue region; maritime search and rescue
region; overseas search and rescue region.
search attack unit
The designation given to one or more ships and/or aircraft
separately organized or detached from a formation as a tactical
unit to search for and destroy submarines. Also called SAU.
In naval mine warfare, the whole or part of a route
or a path which has been searched, swept, or hunted, the width
of the channel being specified.
Fire distributed in depth by successive changes in
the elevation of a gun. See also fire.
See automatic search jammer.
In air operations, an air reconnaissance by one or
more aircraft dispatched to locate an object or objects known or
suspected to be in a specific area.
In search and rescue operations, a radius centered on a
datum point having a length equal to the total probable error
plus an additional safety length to ensure a greater than 50
percent probability that the target is in the search area.
In naval mine warfare, the operation of sweeping a
sample of route or area to determine whether poised mines are
A temporary deck in container ships for transport of large
military vehicles and outsized breakbulk cargo that will not fit
into containers. See also outsized cargo.
A scale that categorizes the force of progressively higher
seas by wave height. This scale is mathematically co-related to
the Pierson-Moskowitz scale and the relationship of wind to
waves. See also Pierson-Moskowitz scale.
The systematic observation of surface and subsurface
sea areas by all available and practicable means primarily for
the purpose of locating, identifying and determining the
movements of ships, submarines, and other vehicles, friendly and
enemy, proceeding on or under the surface of the world's seas
and oceans. See also surveillance.
sea surveillance system
A system for collecting, reporting, correlating, and
presenting information supporting and derived from the task of
seaward launch point
A designated point off the coast from which special
operations forces will launch to proceed to the beach to conduct
operations. Also called SLP. See also seaward recovery point.
seaward recovery point
A designated point off the coast to which special
operations forces will proceed for recovery by submarine or
other means of recovery. Also called SRP. See also seaward
Armed forces censorship performed on the personal
communications of officers, civilian employees, and accompanying
civilians of the Armed Forces of the United States, and on those
personal communications of enlisted personnel of the Armed
Forces not subject to Armed Forces primary censorship or those
requiring reexamination. See also censorship.
secondary imagery dissemination
See electronic imagery dissemination.
secondary imagery dissemination system
See electronic imagery dissemination.
Unit equipment, supplies, and major end items that are
transported in the beds of organic vehicles.
A port with one or more berths, normally at quays,
which can accommodate ocean-going ships for discharge.
secondary rescue facilities
Local airbase-ready aircraft, crash boats, and other air,
surface, subsurface, and ground elements suitable for rescue
missions, including government and privately operated units and
A road supplementing a main road, usually wide enough and
suitable for two-way, all-weather traffic at moderate or slow
Alternative targets of lower publicity value that are
attacked when the primary target is unattainable. See also
antiterrorism; primary target.
secondary wave breaker system
A series of waves superimposed on another series and
differing in height, period, or angle of approach to the beach.
The first counterblow of a war. (Generally associated with
See security classification.
Secretary of a Military Department
The Secretary of the Air Force, Army, or Navy.
SECRET Internet Protocol Router Network
Worldwide SECRET level packet switch network that uses
high-speed internet protocol routers and high-capacity Defense
Information Systems Network circuitry. Also called SIPRNET. See
also Defense Information Systems Network.
1. As applied to ships or naval aircraft, a tactical
subdivision of a division. It is normally one-half of a division
in the case of ships, and two aircraft in the case of aircraft.
2. A subdivision of an office, installation, territory, works,
or organization; especially a major subdivision of a staff. 3. A
tactical unit of the Army and Marine Corps. A section is smaller
than a platoon and larger than a squad. In some organizations
the section, rather than the squad, is the basic tactical unit.
4. An area in a warehouse extending from one wall to the next;
usually the largest subdivision of one floor.
1. An area designated by boundaries within which a
unit operates, and for which it is responsible. 2. One of the
subdivisions of a coastal frontier. See also area of influence;
zone of action.
sector of fire
A defined area which is required to be covered by
the fire of individual or crew served weapons or the weapons of
Scan in which the antenna oscillates through a
In an operational context, to gain possession of a
position or terrain feature, with or without force, and to make
such disposition as will prevent, as far as possible, its
destruction or loss by enemy action. See also denial measure.
1. Measures taken by a military unit, activity, or
installation to protect itself against all acts designed to, or
which may, impair its effectiveness. 2. A condition that results
from the establishment and maintenance of protective measures
that ensure a state of inviolability from hostile acts or
influences. 3. With respect to classified matter, the condition
that prevents unauthorized persons from having access to
official information that is safeguarded in the interests of
national security. See also national security.
security alert team
Two or more security force members who form the initial
reinforcing element responding to security alarms, emergencies,
or irregularities. Also called SAT.
Group of programs authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act
of 1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as
amended, or other related statutes by which the United States
provides defense articles, military training, and other
defense-related services by grant, loan, credit, or cash sales
in furtherance of national policies and objectives. Also called
SA. See also security assistance organization; security
security assistance organization
All Department of Defense elements located in a foreign
country with assigned responsibilities for carrying out security
assistance management functions. It includes military assistance
advisory groups, military missions and groups, offices of
defense and military cooperation, liaison groups, and defense
attache personnel designated to perform security assistance
functions. Also called SAO. See also security assistance;
A certification issued by competent authority to indicate
that a person has been investigated and is eligible for access
to classified matter to the extent stated in the certification.
A category to which national security information and
material is assigned to denote the degree of damage that
unauthorized disclosure would cause to national defense or
foreign relations of the United States and to denote the degree
of protection required. There are three such categories. a. top
secret--National security information or material that requires
the highest degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure
of which could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally
grave damage to the national security. Examples of
"exceptionally grave damage" include armed hostilities against
the United States or its allies; disruption of foreign relations
vitally affecting the national security; the compromise of vital
national defense plans or complex cryptologic and communications
intelligence systems; the revelation of sensitive intelligence
operations; and the disclosure of scientific or technological
developments vital to national security. b. secret--National
security information or material that requires a substantial
degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which
could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the
national security. Examples of "serious damage" include
disruption of foreign relations significantly affecting the
national security; significant impairment of a program or policy
directly related to the national security; revelation of
significant military plans or intelligence operations; and
compromise of significant scientific or technological
developments relating to national security. c.
confidential--National security information or material that
requires protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which
could reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national
security. See also classification; security.
An administrative determination by competent authority
that an individual is eligible, from a security stand-point, for
access to classified information
All Department of Defense interactions with foreign
defense establishments to build defense relationships that
promote specific US security interests, develop allied and
friendly military capabilities for self-defense and
multinational operations, and provide US forces with peacetime
and contingency access to a host nation. See also security
assistance; security assistance organization.
Those protective activities required to prevent espionage,
sabotage, theft, or unauthorized use of classified or controlled
information, systems, or material of the Department of Defense.
See also counterintelligence.
Intelligence on the identity, capabilities, and
intentions of hostile organizations or individuals who are or
may be engaged in espionage, sabotage, subversion, or terrorism.
See also counterintelligence; intelligence; security.
The process of reviewing news media products at some
point, usually before transmission, to ensure that no oral,
written, or visual information is filed for publication or
broadcast that would divulge national security information or
would jeopardize ongoing or future operations or that would
threaten the safety of the members of the force. See also
Willfully advocating or teaching the duty or necessity of
overthrowing the US government or any political subdivision by
force or violence. See also counterintelligence.
To employ combat forces to occupy physically and to
control a designated area. See also combat forces.
In counterdrug operations, includes drugs and conveyances
seized by law enforcement authorities and drug-related assets
(monetary instruments, etc.) confiscated based on evidence that
they have been derived from or used in illegal narcotics
activities. See also counterdrug operations; law enforcement
selected area for evasion
A designated area in hostile territory that offers evaders
or escapees a reasonable chance of avoiding capture and of
surviving until they can be evacuated. Also called SAFE. See
also escapee; evader; hostile.
selected area for evasion area intelligence description
In evasion and recovery operations, an in-depth,
all-source evasion study designed to assist the recovery of
military personnel from a selected area for evasion under
hostile conditions. Also called SAID. See also evasion; evasion
and recovery; hostile; recovery operations; selected area for
Those units and individuals within the Ready Reserve
designated by their respective Services and approved by the
Joint Chiefs of Staff as so essential to initial wartime
missions that they have priority over all other Reserves. All
Selected Reservists are in an active status. The Selected
Reserve also includes persons performing initial active duty for
training. See also Ready Reserve.
Selected Reserve strength
The total number of guardsmen and reservists in the
Selected Reserve who are subject to the 200K Presidential recall
or mobilization under declaration of war or national emergency.
selective identification feature
A capability that, when added to the basic identification
friend or foe system, provides the means to transmit, receive,
and display selected coded replies
See spot jamming.
The arrangement and stowage of equipment and
supplies aboard ship in a manner designed to facilitate issues
to units. See also loading.
See mobilization, Part 2.
selective release process
The process involving requesting, analyzing, and obtaining
approval for release of weapons to obtain specific, limited
damage on selected targets.
In an amphibious operation, the controlled unloading from
assault shipping, and movement ashore, of specific items of
cargo at the request of the landing force commander. Normally,
selective unloading parallels the landing of nonscheduled units
during the initial unloading period of the ship-to-shore
That branch of applied mathematics that determines, by
observation and measurement, the exact positions of points and
the figures and areas of large portions of the moon's surface,
or the shape and size of the moon.
A commander has the authority and obligation to use all
necessary means available and to take all appropriate action to
defend that commander's unit and other US forces in the vicinity
from a hostile act or hostile intent. Force used should not
exceed that which is necessary to decisively counter the hostile
act or intent and ensure the continued safety of US forces or
other persons and property they are ordered to protect. US
forces may employ such force in self-defense only so long as the
hostile force continues to present an imminent threat.
A fuze designed to burst a projectile before the end
of its flight.
The depth of water where the aggregate danger width
relative to mines affected by a minesweeping technique is zero.
Safe depth is a particular self-protection depth.
A containership with shipboard-installed cranes capable of
loading and off-loading containers without assistance of port
crane service. See also containership.
semi-active homing guidance
A system of homing guidance wherein the receiver in
the missile utilizes radiations from the target which has been
illuminated by an outside source
A mosaic composed of corrected or uncorrected prints
laid so that major ground features match their geographical
coordinates. See also mosaic.
semi-permanent joint task force
A joint task force that has been assigned an expanded or
follow-on mission and will continue to conduct these operations
in a specified area for an undetermined period of time. See also
joint task force; mission; operation.
senior meteorological and oceanographic officer
Meteorological and oceanographic officer responsible for
assisting the combatant commander and staff in developing and
executing operational meteorological and oceanographic service
concepts in support of a designated joint force. Also called
SMO. See also meteorological and oceanographic.
senior officer present afloat
The senior line officer of the Navy, on active service,
eligible for command at sea, who is present and in command of
any unit of the operating forces afloat in the locality or
within an area prescribed by competent authority. This officer
is responsible for the administration of matters which
collectively affect naval units of the operating forces afloat
in the locality prescribed. Also called SOPA.
Requiring special protection from disclosure that could
cause embarrassment, compromise, or threat to the security of
the sponsoring power. May be applied to an agency, installation,
person, position, document, material, or activity.
sensitive compartmented information
All information and materials bearing special community
controls indicating restricted handling within present and
future community intelligence collection programs and their end
products for which community systems of compartmentation have
been or will be formally established. (These controls are over
and above the provisions of DOD 5200.1-R, Information Security
Program Regulation.) Also called SCI.
sensitive compartmented information facility
An accredited area, room, group of rooms, or installation
where sensitive compartmented information (SCI) may be stored,
used, discussed, and/or electronically processed. Sensitive
compartmented information facility (SCIF) procedural and
physical measures prevent the free access of persons unless they
have been formally indoctrinated for the particular SCI
authorized for use or storage within the SCIF. Also called SCIF.
See also sensitive compartmented information.
sensitive site exploitation
A related series of activities inside a captured sensitive
site to exploit personnel documents, electronic data, and
material captured at the site, while neutralizing any threat
posed by the site or its contents. Also called SSE.
An area between two adjacent horizontal or vertical
areas into which units are not to proceed unless certain safety
measures can be fulfilled.
A major operation that follows the current major
operation. Plans for a sequel are based on the possible outcomes
(success, stalemate, or defeat) associated with the current
operation. See also branch.
In mine warfare, a circuit which requires actuation
by a predetermined sequence of influences of predetermined
sequenced ejection system
See ejection systems.
1. An element or a group of elements within a series
which is given a numerical or alphabetical designation for
convenience in planning, scheduling, and control. 2. (DOD only)
A serial can be a group of people, vehicles, equipment, or
supplies and is used in airborne, air assault, amphibious
operations, and convoys.
serial assignment table
A table that is used in amphibious operations and shows
the serial number, the title of the unit, the approximate number
of personnel; the material, vehicles, or equipment in the
serial; the number and type of landing craft and/or amphibious
vehicles required to boat the serial; and the ship on which the
serial is embarked.
seriously ill or injured
The casualty status of a person whose illness or injury is
classified by medical authority to be of such severity that
there is cause for immediate concern, but there is not imminent
danger to life. Also called SII. See also casualty status.
A casualty whose injuries or illness are of such severity
that the patient is rendered unable to walk or sit, thereby
requiring a litter for movement and evacuation. See also
evacuation; litter; patient.
Ammunition intended for combat rather than for training
Equipment, material, supplies, and services adopted by a
Military Service for use by its own forces and activities. These
include standard military items, base operating support, and the
supplies and services provided by a Military Service to support
and sustain its own forces, including those assigned to the
combatant commands. Items and services defined as Service-common
by one Military Service are not necessarily Service-common for
all other Military Services. See also special
Service component command
A command consisting of the Service component commander
and all those Service forces, such as individuals, units,
detachments, organizations, and installations under that
command, including the support forces that have been assigned to
a combatant command or further assigned to a subordinate unified
command or joint task force. See also component; functional
All external conditions, whether natural or induced,
to which items of materiel are likely to be subjected throughout
their life cycle.
Service force module
A hypothetical force module built per Service doctrine
composed of combat, combat support, and combat service support
forces and sustainment for an estimated period, e.g., 30 days.
A major naval administration and/or tactical organization,
consisting of the commander and the staff, designed to exercise
operational and administrative control of assigned squadrons and
units in executing their tasks of providing logistic support of
A mine capable of a destructive explosion.
Service-organic transportation assets
Transportation assets that are: a. Assigned to a Military
Department for functions of the Secretaries of the Military
Departments set forth in Sections 3013(b), 5013(b), and 8013(b)
of Title 10 of the United States Code, including administrative
functions (such as motor pools), intelligence functions,
training functions, and maintenance functions; b. Assigned to
the Department of the Army for the execution of the missions of
the Army Corps of Engineers; c. Assigned to the Department of
the Navy as the special mission support force of missile range
instrumentation ships, ocean survey ships, cable ships,
oceanographic research ships, acoustic research ships, and naval
test support ships; the naval fleet auxiliary force of fleet
ammunition ships, fleet stores ships, fleet ocean tugs, and
fleet oilers; hospital ships; and Navy Unique Fleet Essential
Airlift Aircraft to provide delivery of passengers and/or cargo
from forward Air Mobility Command channel hubs to mobile fleet
units; Marine Corps intermediate maintenance activity ships,
Marine Corps helicopter support to senior Federal officials;
and, prior to the complete discharge of cargo, maritime
pre-positioning ships; d. Assigned to the Department of the Air
Force for search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, audiovisual
services, and aeromedical evacuation functions, and
transportation of senior Federal officials.
An administrative and/or tactical subdivision of a naval
service force or service group, consisting of the commander and
the staff and organized to exercise operational and
administrative control of assigned units in providing logistic
support of fleet units as directed.
A test of an item, system of materiel, or technique
conducted under simulated or actual operational conditions to
determine whether the specified military requirements or
characteristics are satisfied. See also troop test.
Those units designed to render supply, maintenance,
transportation, evacuation, hospitalization, and other services
required by air and ground combat units to carry out effectively
their mission in combat. See also combat service support
Any 20- or 40-foot International Organization for
Standardization container procured or leased by a Service to
meet Service-unique requirements. Also called component-owned
container. See also common-use container; component-owned
See common servicing; cross-servicing; joint servicing. See also
See nuclear damage, Part 3.
A cartographic technique that provides an apparent
three-dimensional configuration of the terrain on maps and
charts by the use of graded shadows that would be cast by high
ground if light were shining from the northwest. Shaded relief
is usually used in combination with contours. See also hill
To observe and maintain contact (not necessarily
continuously) with a unit or force.
The ability of a self-propelled gun or ground vehicle
equipped with built-in waterproofing, with its wheels or tracks
in contact with the ground, to negotiate a water obstacle
without the use of a special waterproofing kit. See also
A charge shaped so as to concentrate its explosive
force in a particular direction.
shared data environment
Automation services that support the implementation and
maintenance of data resources that are used by two or more
combat support applications. Services provided include:
identification of common data, physical data modeling, database
segmentation, development of data access and maintenance
routines, and database reengineering to use the common data
environment. See also data.
shear link assembly
A device designed to break at a specified mechanical
Plastic explosive provided in a sheet form.
Those lines defining the geographic limits of the map or
The length of time during which an item of supply,
subject to deterioration or having a limited life which cannot
be renewed, is considered serviceable while stored. See also
A command or request indicating the type of
projectile to be used.
An International Organization for Standardization
container outfitted with live- or work-in capability. See also
International Organization for Standardization.
1. Material of suitable thickness and physical
characteristics used to protect personnel from radiation during
the manufacture, handling, and transportation of fissionable and
radioactive materials. 2. Obstructions which tend to protect
personnel or materials from the effects of a nuclear explosion.
Fire delivered at constant range at varying deflections;
used to cover the width of a target that is too great to be
covered by an open sheaf.
In naval mine warfare, a device in a mine which
prevents the mine from detonating until a preset number of
actuations has taken place.
See moving havens.
In naval mine warfare, the magnetic, acoustic, and
pressure effects of a ship, or a minesweep simulating a ship,
which is detectable by a mine or other sensing devices.
The manner in which an item is prepared for shipment.
See naval control of shipping.
A code word assigned to a particular overseas base, port,
or area for specific use as an address on shipments to the
overseas location concerned. The code word is usually four
letters and may be followed by a number to indicate a particular
A term used to indicate the general flow of merchant
shipping between two departure/terminal areas.
The time elapsing between the shipment of materiel by the
supplying activity and receipt of materiel by the requiring
activity. See also order and shipping time.
That portion of the assault phase of an amphibious
operation which includes the deployment of the landing force
from the assault shipping to designated landing areas.
A sandbank or bar that makes water shoal; i.e., a
sand-bank that is not rocky and on which there is a water depth
of 6 fathoms or less.
The boundary between the pressure disturbance
created by an explosion (in air, water, or earth) and the
ambient atmosphere, water, or earth.
shore fire control party
A specially trained unit for control of naval gunfire in
support of troops ashore. It consists of a spotting team to
adjust fire and a naval gunfire liaison team to perform liaison
functions for the supported battalion commander. Also called
See coastal refraction.
A task organization of the landing force, formed for
the purpose of facilitating the landing and movement off the
beaches of troops, equipment, and supplies; for the evacuation
from the beaches of casualties and enemy prisoners of war; and
for facilitating the beaching, retraction, and salvaging of
landing ships and craft. It comprises elements of both the naval
and landing forces. Also called beach group. See also
beachmaster unit; beach party; naval beach group.
The assault movement of personnel and materiel directly
from a shore staging area to the objective, involving no further
transfers between types of craft or ships incident to the
The lack of forces, equipment, personnel, materiel, or
capability, reflected as the difference between the resources
identified as a plan requirement and those apportioned to a
combatant commander for planning, that would adversely affect
the command's ability to accomplish its mission.
short-range air defense engagement zone
See weapon engagement zone.
short-range ballistic missile
A ballistic missile with a range capability up to about
600 nautical miles. Also called SRBM.
short-range transport aircraft
See transport aircraft.
short scope buoy
A buoy used as a navigational reference which
remains nearly vertical over its sinker.
An item is in short supply when the total of stock on hand
and anticipated receipts during a given period are less than the
total estimated demand during that period.
short takeoff and landing
The ability of an aircraft to clear a 50-foot (15
meters) obstacle within 1,500 feet (450 meters) of commencing
takeoff or in landing, to stop within 1,500 feet (450 meters)
after passing over a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle. Also called
short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft capable of clearing a 15-meter
(50-foot) obstacle within 450 meters (1,500 feet) of commencing
takeoff run, and capable of landing vertically. Also called
STOVL. See also short takeoff and landing.
A short, identifying combination of letters, and/or
numbers assigned to a document or device for purposes of brevity
2,000 pounds. Also called S/T or STON.
Maneuvering a vessel in contact with an opposing vessel to
cause the opposing vessel to turn away. Shouldering is
undertaken with the intent of minimizing damage to the opposing
show of force
An operation designed to demonstrate US resolve that
involves increased visibility of US deployed forces in an
attempt to defuse a specific situation that, if allowed to
continue, may be detrimental to US interests or national
A fuze in which inadvertent initiation of the
detonator will not initiate either the booster or the burst
side-looking airborne radar
An airborne radar, viewing at right angles to the
axis of the vehicle, which produces a presentation of terrain or
moving targets. Also called SLAR
side oblique air photograph
An oblique photograph taken with the camera axis at right
angles to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.
Actual visual contact. Does not include other contacts,
which must be reported by type, e.g., radar and sonar contacts.
See also contact report.
SIGINT direct service
A reporting procedure to provide signals intelligence
(SIGINT) to a military commander or other authorized recipient
in response to SIGINT requirements. The product may vary from
recurring, serialized reports produced by the National Security
Agency/Central Security Service to instantaneous aperiodic
reports provided to the command or other recipient, usually from
a fixed SIGINT activity engaged in collection and processing.
See also signals intelligence.
SIGINT direct service activity
A signals intelligence (SIGINT) activity composed of
collection and associated resources that normally performs in a
direct service role under the SIGINT operational control of the
Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security
Service. See also signals intelligence.
SIGINT direct support
The provision of signals intelligence (SIGINT) information
to a military commander by a SIGINT direct support unit in
response to SIGINT operational tasking levied by that commander.
See also signals intelligence.
SIGINT direct support unit
A signals intelligence (SIGINT) unit, usually mobile,
designed to perform a SIGINT direct support role for a military
commander under delegated authority from the Director, National
Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service. See also
SIGINT operational control
The authoritative direction of signals intelligence
(SIGINT) activities, including tasking and allocation of effort,
and the authoritative prescription of those uniform techniques
and standards by which SIGINT information is collected,
processed, and reported. See also signals intelligence
SIGINT operational tasking
The authoritative operational direction of and direct
levying of signals intelligence (SIGINT) information needs by a
military commander on designated SIGINT resources. These
requirements are directive, irrespective of other priorities,
and are conditioned only by the capability of those resources to
produce such information. Operational tasking includes authority
to deploy all or part of the SIGINT resources for which SIGINT
operational tasking authority has been delegated. See also
SIGINT operational tasking authority
A military commander's authority to operationally direct
and levy signals intelligence (SIGINT) requirements on
designated SIGINT resources; includes authority to deploy and
redeploy all or part of the SIGINT resources for which SIGINT
operational tasking authority has been delegated. Also called
SOTA. See also signals intelligence.
Personnel and equipment of any unit, activity, or
organizational element engaged in signals intelligence
activities. See also signals intelligence.
SIGINT support plans
Plans prepared by the National Security Agency/Central
Security Service, in coordination with concerned elements of the
United States SIGINT system, which specify how the resources of
the system will be aligned in crisis or war to support military
operations covered by certain Joint Chiefs of Staff and unified
and specified command operation plans. See also signals
1. As applied to electronics, any transmitted
electrical impulse. 2. Operationally, a type of message, the
text of which consists of one or more letters, words,
characters, signal flags, visual displays, or special sounds
with prearranged meaning, and which is conveyed or transmitted
by visual, acoustical, or electrical means.
A combination of signal communication facilities operated
by the Army in the field and consisting of a communications
center, telephone switching central and appropriate means of
signal communications. See also communications center.
See international call sign.
signal operation instructions
A series of orders issued for technical control and
coordination of the signal communication activities of a
command. In Marine Corps usage, these instructions are
designated communication operation instructions.
A generic term that includes both communications security
and electronics security. See also security.
1. A category of intelligence comprising either
individually or in combination all communications intelligence,
electronic intelligence, and foreign instrumentation signals
intelligence, however transmitted. 2. Intelligence derived from
communications, electronic, and foreign instrumentation signals.
Also called SIGINT. See also communications intelligence;
electronic intelligence; intelligence; foreign instrumentation
The ratio of the amplitude of the desired signal to the
amplitude of noise signals at a given point in time.
Any item of equipment which reveals the type and
nature of the unit or formation to which it belongs.
A route along which a unit has placed directional signs
bearing its unit identification symbol. The signs are for the
unit's use only and must comply with movement regulations.
significant wave height
The average height of the third of waves observed during a
given period of time. Significant wave height is used for
evaluating the impact of waves and breakers on watercraft in the
open sea and surf zones. See also surf zone.
The South American region consisting of Peru, Bolivia, and
Colombia that is historically known to be a major illegal drug
simulative electromagnetic deception
See electromagnetic deception.
The concurrent engagement of hostile targets by
combination of interceptor aircraft and surface-to-air missiles.
single-anchor leg mooring
A mooring facility dedicated to the offshore petroleum
discharge system. Once installed, it permits a tanker to remain
on station and pump in much higher sea states than is possible
with a spread moor. Also called SALM. See also offshore
petroleum discharge system.
single department purchase
A method of purchase whereby one Military Department buys
commodities for another Military Department or Departments.
single flow route
A route at least one-and-a-half lanes wide allowing
the passage of a column of vehicles, and permitting isolated
vehicles to pass or travel in the opposite direction at
predetermined points. See also double flow route.
single integrated theater logistic manager
Service component or agency, usually in a mature theater,
that is designated by the combatant commander or subunified
commander as the single in-theater manager for planning and
execution of a specific common-user logistic (CUL) item or
related items. Single integrated logistic managers are normally
long-term in nature with responsibilities that include planning,
coordination, control and execution of a specific CUL function
(or similar CUL functions) at the theater level, in both
peacetime and during actual operations, within the parameters of
combatant commander's directives. Also called SITLM. See also
A Military Department or Agency designated by the
Secretary of Defense to be responsible for management of
specified commodities or common service activities on a
Department of Defense-wide basis.
single manager for transportation
The United States Transportation Command is the Department
of Defense single manager for transportation, other than
Service-organic or theater-assigned transportation assets. See
also Service-organic transportation assets; theater-assigned
transportation assets; United States Transportation Command.
single port manager
Through its transportation component commands, the US
Transportation Command is the Department of Defense-designated
single port manager for all common-user aerial and sea ports
worldwide. The single port manager performs those functions
necessary to support the strategic flow of the deploying forces'
equipment and sustainment from the aerial and sea port of
embarkation and hand-off to the combatant commander in the
aerial and sea port of debarkation (APOE and SPOD). The single
port manager is responsible for providing strategic deployment
status information to the combatant commander and to manage
workload of the APOD and SPOD operator based on the commander's
priorities and guidance. The single port manager is responsible
through all phases of the theater aerial and sea port operations
continuum, from a unimproved airfield and bare beach deployment
to a commercial contract supported deployment. Also called SPM.
See also Military Traffic Management Command; transportation
component command; United States Transportation Command.
A component commander, designated by the combatant
commander, who has been assigned responsibility and delegated
the authority to coordinate specific theater personnel support
activities such as theater postal operations. See also
Those ships certified to have less than three adjacent
landing areas. See also spot.
In naval mine warfare, a heavy weight to which a
buoyant mine is moored. The sinker generally houses the mooring
rope drum and depth-setting mechanism and for mines laid by
ships, it also serves as a launching trolley.
A map showing the tactical or the administrative
situation at a particular time. See also map.
A report giving the situation in the area of a
reporting unit or formation. Also called SITREP.
A depiction of assumed adversary dispositions, based on
adversary doctrine and the effects of the battlespace if the
adversary should adopt a particular course of action. In effect,
situation templates are the doctrinal templates depicting a
particular operation modified to account for the effects of the
battlespace environment and the adversary's current situation
(training and experience levels, logistic status, losses,
dispositions). Normally, the situation template depicts
adversary units two levels of command below the friendly force,
as well as the expected locations of high-value targets.
Situation templates use time-phase lines to indicate movement of
forces and the expected flow of the operation. Usually, the
situation template depicts a critical point in the course of
action. Situation templates are one part of an adversary course
of action model. Models may contain more than one situation
template. See also course of action; doctrinal template.
In naval mine warfare, the technique of wire
sweeping to a fixed depth over deep-laid moored mines to cut any
shallow enough to endanger surface shipping.
A radar indication caused by the reflected radar signal
from an object.
The tracking of an object by means of a skin paint.
The line of sight distance between two points, not
at the same level relative to a specific datum.
Bulk petroleum and packaged bulk petroleum items that are
requisitioned for overseas use by means of a consolidated
requirement document, prepared and submitted through joint
petroleum office channels. Packaged petroleum items are
requisitioned in accordance with normal requisitioning
An average logistic planning factor used to obtain
estimates of requirements for personnel and materiel. (e.g., a
personnel slice generally consists of the total strength of the
stated basic combatant elements, plus its proportionate share of
all supporting and higher headquarters personnel.)
A casualty whose injuries or illness are relatively minor,
permitting the patient to walk and/or sit. See also patient;
Man portable, individual, and crew-served weapon systems
used mainly against personnel and lightly armored or unarmored
small arms ammunition
Ammunition for small arms, i.e., all ammunition up to and
including 20 millimeters (.787 inches).
small austere airfield
Unsophisticated airfield, usually with a short runway,
that is limited in one or a combination of the following:
taxiway systems, ramp space, security, materials handling
equipment, aircraft servicing, maintenance, navigation aids,
weather observing sensors, and communications. Also called SAAF.
See also airfield.
Generally considered to be a quantity of less than one
pallet stack, stacked to maximum storage height. Thus, the term
refers to a lot consisting of from one container to two or more
pallet loads, but is not of sufficient quantity to form a
complete pallet column. See also storage.
A map having a scale smaller than 1:600,000. See also map.
A cloud of smoke used to conceal ground maneuver, obstacle
breaching, recovery operations, and amphibious assault
operations as well as key assembly areas, supply routes, and
A contact mine with a buoyant line attached to one
of the horns or switches which may be caught up and pulled by
the hull or propellers of a ship.
soft missile base
A launching base that is not protected against a
soil shear strength
The maximum resistance of a soil to shearing stresses.
Monetary compensation given to alleviate grief, suffering,
and anxiety resulting from injuries, and property or personal
In naval mine warfare, a magnetic sweep consisting
of a horizontal axis coil wound on a floating iron tube.
A sonic device used primarily for the detection and
location of underwater objects. (This term is derived from the
words "sound navigation and ranging.")
Of or pertaining to sound or the speed of sound. See also
speed of sound.
A sonar device used to detect submerged submarines that,
when activated, relays information by radio. It may be active
directional or nondirectional, or it may be passive directional
In air operations, an operational flight by one
sortie allotment message
The means by which the joint force commander allots excess
sorties to meet requirements of subordinate commanders that are
expressed in their air employment and/or allocation plan. Also
A reference used to identify the images taken by all
the sensors during one air reconnaissance sortie
An overlay representing the area on a map covered by
imagery taken during one sortie.
See sortie number.
In counterdrug operations, the process involved in
differentiating traffic that could be involved in drug
trafficking from legitimate air traffic. Initial sorting
criteria are established jointly by the US Coast Guard and US
Customs Service, coordinated with Department of Defense
counterparts, and disseminated as required. See also counterdrug
1. A person, thing, or activity from which information is
obtained. 2. In clandestine activities, a person (agent),
normally a foreign national, in the employ of an intelligence
activity for intelligence purposes. 3. In interrogation
activities, any person who furnishes information, either with or
without the knowledge that the information is being used for
intelligence purposes. In this context, a controlled source is
in the employment or under the control of the intelligence
activity and knows that the information is to be used for
intelligence purposes. An uncontrolled source is a voluntary
contributor of information and may or may not know that the
information is to be used for intelligence purposes. See also
agent; collection agency.
A medium like the land, sea, and air within which military
activities shall be conducted to achieve US national
Any individual part of a space system as follows. (1)
Equipment that is or can be placed in space (e.g., a satellite
or a launch vehicle). (2) Terrestrially-based equipment that
directly supports space activity (e.g., a satellite ground
An assignment to the individual Departments/Services by
the appropriate transportation operating agency of movement
capability which completely or partially satisfies the stated
requirements of the Departments/Services for the operating month
and that has been accepted by them without the necessity for
referral to the Joint Transportation Board for allocation.
space available mail
A transportation category for military mail transported to
and from overseas bases by air on a space-available basis. Also
1. The ability of a space asset to accomplish a mission.
2. The ability of a terrestrial-based asset to accomplisha
mission in space (e.g., a ground-based or airborne laser capable
of negating a satellite). See also space; space asset.
Combat, combat support, and combat service support
operations to ensure freedom of action in space for theUnited
States and its allies and, when directed, deny an adversary
freedom of action in space. The space control missionarea
includes: surveillance of space; protection of US and friendly
space systems; prevention of an adversary's ability to use space
systems and services for purposes hostile to US national
security interests; negation of space systems and services used
for purposes hostile to US national security interests; and
directly supporting battle management, command, control,
communications, and intelligence. See also combat service
support; combat support; negation; space; space systems.
All defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy
vehicles (including missiles) while in space, or to nullify or
reduce the effectiveness of such attack. See also aerospace
The region beginning at the lower boundary of the Earth's
ionosphere (approximately 50 km) and extending outward that
contains solid particles (asteroids and meteoroids), energetic
charged particles (ions, protons, electrons, etc.), and
electromagnetic and ionizing radiation (x-rays, extreme
ultraviolet, gamma rays, etc.). See also ionosphere.
A nation with the ability to access space capabilities
using their indigenous space systems. See also space capability;
space force application
Combat operations in, through, and from space to influence
the course and outcome of conflict. The space force application
mission area includes ballistic missile defense and force
projection. See also ballistic missile; force protection; space.
space force enhancement
Combat support operations to improve the effectiveness of
military forces as well as support other intelligence, civil,
and commercial users. The space force enhancement mission area
includes: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance;
integrated tactical warning and attack assessment; command,
control, and communications; position, velocity, time, and
navigation; and environmental monitoring. See also combat
The space and terrestrial systems, equipment, facilities,
organizations, and personnel necessary to access, use and, if
directed, control space for national security. See also national
security; space; space systems.
The total strength of a nation's capabilities to conduct
and influence activities to, in, through, and from space to
achieve its objectives. See also space.
An instrument or mechanical device mounted on a space
platform or space vehicle for collecting information or
detecting activity or conditions either in space or in a
terrestrial medium. See also space.
The degree of dominance in space of one force over another
that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its
related land, sea, air, space, and special operations forces at
a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the
opposing force. See also space.
Combat service support operations to deploy and sustain
military and intelligence systems in space. The spacesupport
mission area includes launching and deploying space vehicles,
maintaining and sustaining spacecraft on-orbit, anddeorbiting
and recovering space vehicles, if required. See also combat
service support; space.
space support team
A team of space operations experts provided by the
Commander, US Strategic Command (or one of the space component
commands and augmented by national agencies, as required) upon
request of a geographic combatant commander to assist the
supported commander in integrating space power into the
terrestrial campaign. Also called SST. See also space; space
power; space support.
The observation of space and of the activities occurring
in space. This mission is normally accomplished with the aid of
ground-based radars and electro-optical sensors. This term is
separate and distinct from the intelligence collection mission
conducted by space-based sensors which surveil terrestrial
activity. See also space; space control.
All of the devices and organizations forming the space
network. These consist of: spacecraft; mission
packages(s);ground stations; data links among spacecraft,
mission or user terminals, which may include initial reception,
processing, andexploitation; launch systems; and directly
related supporting infrastructure, including space surveillance
and battle management and/or command, control, communications
and computers. See also space.
The conditions and phenomena in space and specifically in
the near-earth environment that may affect spaceassets or space
operations. Space weather may impact spacecraft and ground-based
systems. Space weather is influencedby phenomena such as solar
flare activity, ionospheric variability, energetic particle
events, and geophysical events. See also space; space asset.
span of detonation (atomic demolition munition employment)
That total period of time, resulting from a timer error,
between the earliest and the latest possible detonation time. 1.
early time--The earliest possible time that an atomic demolition
munition can detonate; 2. fire time--That time the atomic
demolition munition will detonate should the timers function
precisely without error; 3. late time--The latest possible time
that an atomic demolition munition can detonate.
special access program
A sensitive program, approved in writing by a head of
agency with original top secret classification authority, that
imposes need-to-know and access controls beyond those normally
provided for access to confidential, secret, or top secret
information. The level of controls is based on the criticality
of the program and the assessed hostile intelligence threat. The
program may be an acquisition program, an intelligence program,
or an operations and support program. Also called SAP.
Activities conducted in support of national foreign policy
objectives that are planned and executed so that the role of the
US Government is not apparent or acknowledged publicly. They are
also functions in support of such activities but are not
intended to influence US political processes, public opinion,
policies, or media and do not include diplomatic activities or
the collection and production of intelligence or related support
A person, either United States military or civilian, who
is a specialist in military security or the collection of
intelligence or counterintelligence information
special air operation
An air operation conducted in support of special
operations and other clandestine, covert, and psychological
special ammunition supply point
A mobile supply point where special ammunition is stored
and issued to delivery units.
special assignment airlift requirements
Airlift requirements, including Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff -directed or -coordinated exercises, that
require special consideration due to the number of passengers
involved, weight or size of cargo, urgency of movement,
sensitivity, or other valid factors that preclude the use of
channel airlift. See also airlift requirement; channel airlift.
special boat squadron
A permanent Navy echelon III major command to which two or
more special boat units are assigned for some operational and
all administrative purposes. The squadron is tasked with the
training and deployment of these special boat units and may
augment naval special warfare task groups and task units. Also
special boat team
US Navy forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct
or support special operations with patrol boats or other
combatant craft. Also called SBT.
Cargo that requires special handling or protection, such
as pyrotechnics, detonators, watches, and precision instruments.
A vehicle consisting of a general-purpose chassis with
special-purpose body and/or mounted equipments designed to meet
a specialized requirement.
US Army forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct
special operations with an emphasis on unconventional warfare
capabilities. Also called SF.
special forces group
A combat arms organization capable of planning,
conducting, and supporting special operations activities in all
operational environments in peace, conflict, and war. It
consists of a group headquarters and headquarters company, a
support company, and special forces battalions. The group can
operate as a single unit, but normally the battalions plan and
conduct operations from widely separated locations. The group
provides general operational direction and synchronizes the
activities of subordinate battalions. Although principally
structured for unconventional warfare, special forces group
units are capable of task-organizing to meet specific
requirements. Also called SFG.
special forces operations base
A command, control, and support base established and
operated by a special forces group or battalion from organic and
attached resources. The base commander and his staff coordinate
and synchronize the activities of subordinate and
forward-deployed forces. A special forces operations base is
normally established for an extended period of time to support a
series of operations. Also called SFOB.
In aircraft crash rescue and fire-fighting
activities: fuels, materials, components, or situations that
could increase the risks normally associated with military
aircraft accidents and could require special procedures,
equipment, or extinguishing agents.
special information operations
Information operations that by their sensitive nature and
due to their potential effect or impact, security requirements,
or risk to the national security of the United States, require a
special review and approval process. Also called SIO. See also
information; information operations; operation.
special interest target
In counterdrug operations, a contact that may be outside
initial sorting criteria but still requires special handling,
such as controlled deliveries or other unusual situations. Also
called SIT. See also suspect; track of interest.
specialist intelligence report
A category of specialized, technical reports used in the
dissemination of intelligence. Also called SPIREP. See also
An arrangement within an alliance wherein a member or
group of members most suited by virtue of technical skills,
location, or other qualifications assume(s) greater
responsibility for a specific task or significant portion
thereof for one or more other members.
special mission unit
A generic term to represent a group of operations and
support personnel from designated organizations that is
task-organized to perform highly classified activities. Also
Operations conducted in hostile, denied, or politically
sensitive environments to achieve military, diplomatic,
informational, and/or economic objectives employing military
capabilities for which there is no broad conventional force
requirement. These operations often require covert, clandestine,
or low visibility capabilities. Special operations are
applicable across the range of military operations. They can be
conducted independently or in conjunction with operations of
conventional forces or other government agencies and may include
operations through, with, or by indigenous or surrogate forces.
Special operations differ from conventional operations in degree
of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of
employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence
on detailed operational intelligence and indigenous assets. Also
special operations combat control team
A team of Air Force personnel organized, trained, and
equipped to conduct and support special operations. Under
clandestine, covert, or low-visibility conditions, these teams
establish and control air assault zones; assist aircraft by
verbal control, positioning, and operating navigation aids;
conduct limited offensive direct action and special
reconnaissance operations; and assist in the insertion and
extraction of special operations forces. Also called SOCCT. See
also combat control team.
special operations command
A subordinate unified or other joint command established
by a joint force commander to plan, coordinate, conduct, and
support joint special operations within the joint force
commander's assigned operational area. Also called SOC. See also
special operations command and control element
A special operations command and control element (SOCCE)
that is the focal point for the synchronization of special
operations forces activities with conventional forces
operations. It performs command and control or liaison functions
according to mission requirements and as directed by the
establishing special operations forces commander. Its level of
authority and responsibility may vary widely. It normally
collocates with the command post of the supported force. The
SOCCE can also receive special operations forces operational,
intelligence, and target acquisition reports directly from
deployed special operations elements and provide them to the
supported component headquarters. The SOCCE remains under the
operational control of the joint force special operations
component commander or commander, joint special operations task
force. Also called SOCCE. See also command and control; joint
force special operations component commander; special
operations; special operations forces.
special operations forces
Those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military
Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically
organized, trained, and equipped to conduct and support special
operations. Also called SOF. See also Air Force special
operations forces; Army special operations forces; naval special
special operations liaison element
A special operations liaison team provided by the joint
force special operations component commander to the joint force
air component commander (if designated), or appropriate Service
component air command and control organization, to coordinate,
deconflict, and integrate special operations air, surface, and
subsurface operations with conventional air operations. Also
called SOLE. See also joint force air component commander; joint
force special operations component commander; special
special operations mission planning folder
The package that contains the materials required to
execute a given special operations mission. It will include the
mission tasking letter, mission tasking package, original
feasibility assessment (as desired), initial assessment (as
desired), target intelligence package, plan of execution,
infiltration and exfiltration plan of execution, and other
documentation as required or desired. Also called SOMPF.
special operations naval mobile environment team
A team of Navy personnel organized, trained, and equipped
to support naval special warfare forces by providing weather,
oceanographic, mapping, charting, and geodesy support. Also
Equipment, material, supplies, and services required for
special operations missions for which there is no Service-common
requirement. These are limited to items and services initially
designed for, or used by, special operations forces until
adopted for Service-common use by one or more Military Service;
modifications approved by the Commander, US Special Operations
Command for application to standard items and services used by
the Military Services; and items and services approved by the
Commander, US Special Operations Command as critically urgent
for the immediate accomplishment of a special operations
mission. Also called SO-peculiar. See also Service-common;
special operations terminal attack controller
United States Air Force combat control personnel certified
to perform the terminal attack control function in support of
special operations forces missions. Special operations terminal
attack controller operations emphasize the employment of night
infrared, laser, and beacon tactics and equipment. Also called
SOTAC. See also special operations; special tactics team;
special operations weather team/tactical element
A task-organized team of Air Force personnel organized,
trained, and equipped to collect critical weather observations
from data-sparse areas. These teams are trained to operate
independently in permissive or uncertain environments, or as
augmentation to other special operations elements in hostile
environments, in direct support of special operations. Also
special operations wing
An Air Force special operations wing. Also called SOW.
special (or project) equipment
Equipment not authorized in standard equipment
publications but determined as essential in connection with a
contemplated operation, function, or mission. See also
special purpose Marine air-ground task force
A Marine air-ground task force organized, trained, and
equipped with narrowly focused capabilities. It is designed to
accomplish a specific mission, often of limited scope and
duration. It may be any size, but normally it is a relatively
small force--the size of a Marine expeditionary unit or smaller.
Also called SPMAGTF. See also aviation combat element; combat
service support element; command element; ground combat element;
Marine air-ground task force; Marine expeditionary force; Marine
expeditionary force (forward); Marine expeditionary unit; task
A vehicle incorporating a special chassis and designed to
meet a specialized requirement.
Reconnaissance and surveillance actions conducted as a
special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive
environments to collect or verify information of strategic or
operational significance, employing military capabilities not
normally found in conventional forces. These actions provide an
additive capability for commanders and supplement other
conventional reconnaissance and surveillance actions. Also
All staff officers having duties at a headquarters and not
included in the general (coordinating) staff group or in the
personal staff group. The special staff includes certain
technical specialists and heads of services, e.g., quartermaster
officer, antiaircraft officer, transportation officer, etc. See
US Air Force special operations forces organized, trained,
and equipped to conduct special operations. They include combat
control team, pararescue, and combat weather personnel who
provide the interface between air and ground combat operations.
Also called ST. See also special tactics team.
special tactics team
A task-organized element of special tactics that may
include combat control, pararescue, and combat weather
personnel. Functions include austere airfield and assault zone
reconnaissance, surveillance, establishment, and terminal
control; terminal attack control; combat search and rescue;
combat casualty care and evacuation staging; and tactical
weather observations and forecasting. Also called STT. See also
combat search and rescue; special operations; special operations
forces; special tactics; terminal attack control.
special unloading berth
Berths established in the vicinity of the approach lanes
into which transports may move for unloading, thus reducing the
running time for landing craft and assisting in the dispersion
A term sometimes used to indicate weapons grouped for
special procedures, for security, or other reasons. Specific
terminology, e.g., "nuclear weapons" or "guided missiles," is
specific intelligence collection requirement
An identified gap in intelligence holdings that may be
satisfied only by collection action, and that has been validated
by the appropriate requirements control authority. Also called
Reconnaissance of a limited number of points for specific
specified combatant command
See specified command.
A command that has a broad, continuing mission, normally
functional, and is established and so designated by the
President through the Secretary of Defense with the advice and
assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It
normally is composed of forces from a single Military
Department. Also called specified combatant command
A photographic technique whereby the natural
spectral emissions of all objects are selectively filtered in
order to image only those objects within a particular spectral
band or zone and eliminate the unwanted background.
Planning, coordinating, and managing joint use of the
electromagnetic spectrum through operational, engineering, and
administrative procedures. The objective of spectrum management
is to enable electronic systems to perform their functions in
the intended environment without causing or suffering
unacceptable interference. See also electromagnetic spectrum.
speed of advance
In naval usage, the speed expected to be made good
over the ground. Also called SOA. See also pace; rate of march.
speed of sound
The speed at which sound travels in a given medium
under specified conditions. The speed of sound at sea level in
the International Standard Atmosphere is 1108 ft/second, 658
knots, 1215 km/hour. See also hypersonic; sonic; subsonic;
The part of the laser spot that is not on the target
because of beam divergence or standoff range, improper
boresighting of laser designator, or poor operator illuminating
procedures. See also laser spot.
Directional stability of a projectile obtained by the
action of gyroscopic forces that result from spinning of the
body about its axis of symmetry.
An assembly of two cameras disposed at a fixed
overlapping angle relative to each other.
split vertical photography
Photographs taken simultaneously by two cameras
mounted at an angle from the vertical, one tilted to the left
and one to the right, to obtain a small side overlap.
A tactical maneuver employed to seriously impair a hostile
attack while the enemy is in the process of forming or
assembling for an attack. Usually employed by armored units in
defense by an attack on enemy assembly positions in front of a
main line of resistance or battle position.
The portion of the hub and spoke distribution system that
refers to transportation mode operators responsible for
scheduled delivery to a customer of the "hub." See also
distribution; distribution system; hub; hub and spoke
Military member or civilian employee with dependents.
1. To determine by observation, deviations of
ordnance from the target for the purpose of supplying necessary
information for the adjustment of fire. 2. To place in a proper
location. 3. (DOD only) An approved shipboard helicopter landing
site. See also ordnance.
A point on a map or chart whose elevation is noted.
The jamming of a specific channel or frequency. See
also barrage jamming; electronic warfare; jamming.
Radio communication net used by a spotter in calling fire.
A concise narrative report of essential information
covering events or conditions that may have an immediate and
significant effect on current planning and operations that is
afforded the most expeditious means of transmission consistent
with requisite security. Also called SPOTREP. (Note: In
reconnaissance and surveillance usage, spot report is not to be
used.) See Joint Tactical Air Reconnaissance/Surveillance
The size of the electron spot on the face of the
cathode ray tube.
An observer stationed for the purpose of observing and
reporting results of naval gunfire to the firing agency and who
also may be employed in designating targets. See also field
artillery observer; naval gunfire spotting team.
Any straight line to which the fall of shot of
projectiles is related or fire is adjusted by an observer or a
spotter. See also gun-target line; observer-target line.
The mound of water spray thrown up into the air when
the shock wave from an underwater detonation of a nuclear weapon
reaches the surface.
A device specially designed to permit the lifting and
handling of containers or vehicles and breakbulk cargo.
A notification by the spotter or the naval gunfire ship,
depending on who is controlling the fire, to indicate that fire
is about to be distributed over an area.
In naval mine warfare, an anti-sweep device included
in a mine mooring to allow a sweep wire to pass through the
mooring without parting the mine from its sinker.
1. An organization consisting of two or more divisions of
ships, or two or more divisions (Navy) or flights of aircraft.
It is normally but not necessarily composed of ships or aircraft
of the same type. 2. The basic administrative aviation unit of
the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. 3. Battalion-sized
ground or aviation units in US Army cavalry regiments.
A small pyrotechnic device that may be used to fire the
igniter in a rocket or for some similar purpose. Not to be
confused with a detonator that explodes.
In air-to-air refuelling, a means of providing
visual detection of a nearby aircraft. In practice this is
achieved by the donor aircraft dumping fuel and/or the receiver
aircraft selecting afterburners, if so equipped.
Metal alloys made from high-density depleted uranium mixed
with other metals for use in kinetic energy penetrators for
armor-piercing munitions. Several different metals, such as
titanium or molybdenum, can be used for the purpose. The various
staballoy metals have low radioactivity that is not considered
to be a significant health hazard.
stabilized glide slope indicator
An electrohydraulic optical landing aid for use on
air-capable ships. With it, a pilot can visually establish and
maintain the proper glide slope for a safe approach and landing.
The visual acquisition range is approximately 3 miles at night
under optimal conditions. Also called SGSI. See also air-capable
A patient whose airway is secured, hemorrhage is
controlled, shock treated, and fractures are immobilized. See
stable base film
A particular type of film having a high stability in
regard to shrinkage and stretching.
A patient for whom no inflight medical intervention is
expected but the potential for medical intervention exists. See
See multinational staff; general staff; integrated staff; joint
staff; parallel staff; special staff.
Assessments of courses of action by the various staff
elements of a command that serve as the foundation of the
The process of advising other staff officers and
individuals subordinate to the commander of the commander's
plans and policies, interpreting those plans and policies,
assisting such subordinates in carrying them out, determining
the extent to which they are being followed, and advising the
1. An element of the missile or propulsion system
that generally separates from the missile at burnout or cut-off.
Stages are numbered chronologically in order of burning. 2. To
process, in a specified area, troops which are in transit from
one locality to another. See also marshalling; staging area. 3
Aircrews specifically positioned at intermediate airfields
to take over aircraft operating on air routes, thus relieving
complementary crews of flying fatigue and speeding up the flow
rate of the aircraft concerned.
Assembling, holding, and organizing arriving personnel,
equipment, and sustaining materiel in preparation for onward
movement. The organizing and preparation for movement of
personnel, equipment, and materiel at designated areas to
incrementally build forces capable of meeting the operational
commander's requirements. See also staging area.
1. Amphibious or airborne-A general locality between the
mounting area and the objective of an amphibious or airborne
expedition, through which the expedition or parts thereof pass
after mounting, for refueling, regrouping of ships, and/or
exercise, inspection, and redistribution of troops. 2. Other
movements-A general locality established for the concentration
of troop units and transient personnel between movements over
the lines of communications. Also called SA. See also airborne;
marshalling; stage; staging.
1. An advanced naval base for the anchoring, fueling, and
refitting of transports and cargo ships as well as replenishment
of mobile service squadrons. 2. A landing and takeoff area with
minimum servicing, supply, and shelter provided for the
temporary occupancy of military aircraft during the course of
movement from one location to another.
standard advanced base units
Personnel and materiel organized to function as advanced
base units, including the functional components that are
employed in the establishment of naval advanced bases. Such
advanced base units may establish repair bases, supply bases,
supply depots, airfields, air bases, or other naval shore
establishments at overseas locations.
The process by which the Department of Defense achieves
the closest practicable cooperation among the Services and
Defense agencies for the most efficient use of research,
development, and production resources, and agrees to adopt on
the broadest possible basis the use of: a. common or compatible
operational, administrative, and logistic procedures; b. common
or compatible technical procedures and criteria; c. common,
compatible, or interchangeable supplies, components, weapons, or
equipment; and d. common or compatible tactical doctrine with
corresponding organizational compatibility.
standard operating procedure
See standing operating procedure.
A parallel on a map or chart along which the scale
is as stated for that map or chart
In land mine warfare, the agreed pattern to which
mines are normally laid.
standard positioning system
One of two levels of service provided by the global
positioning system, the standard positioning system normally
offers users a horizontal accuracy of 100 meters or better with
a 95% probability. Also called SPS.
In naval control of shipping, a pre-planned single track
that is assigned a code name and connects positions within the
main shipping lanes.
A type unit whose unit-type code and movement
characteristics are described in the type unit characteristics
standard use Army aircraft flight route
Routes established below the coordinating altitude to
facilitate the movement of Army aviation assets. Routes are
normally located in the corps through brigade rear areas of
operation and do not require approval by the airspace control
authority. Also called SAAFR.
Those units and members of the Reserve Components (other
than those in the Ready Reserve or Retired Reserve) who are
liable for active duty only, as provided in the US Code, title
10 (DOD), sections 10151, 12301, and 12306. See also active
duty; Ready Reserve; Reserve Components; Retired Reserve.
In artillery, the order at which all action on the
position ceases immediately.
standing operating procedure
A set of instructions covering those features of
operations which lend themselves to a definite or standardized
procedure without loss of effectiveness. The procedure is
applicable unless ordered otherwise. Also called SOP.
A promulgated order which remains in force until
amended or cancelled.
state and regional defense airlift
The program for use during an emergency of civil aircraft
other than air carrier aircraft.
Civilian who has been denationalized or whose country of
origin cannot be determined or who cannot establish a right to
the nationality claimed. See also dislocated civilian; displaced
person; evacuee; expellee; refugee.
state of readiness
See defense readiness condition; weapons readiness state.
state of readiness--state 1--safe
The state of a demolition target upon or within which the
demolition charge has been placed and secured. The firing or
initiating circuits have been installed, but not connected to
the demolition charge. Detonators or initiators have not been
connected nor installed. See also state of readiness--state
state of readiness--state 2--armed
The state of a demolition target in which the demolition
charges are in place, the firing and priming circuits are
installed and complete, and the charge is ready for immediate
firing. See also state of readiness--state 1--safe.
static air temperature
The temperature at a point at rest relative to the
static line (air transport)
A line attached to a parachute pack and to a strop or
anchor cable in an aircraft so that, when the load is dropped,
the parachute is deployed automatically.
static line cable
See anchor cable.
Marks on photographic negatives and other imagery
caused by unwanted discharges of static electricity.
1. A general term meaning any military or naval activity
at a fixed land location. 2. A particular kind of activity to
which other activities or individuals may come for a specific
service, often of a technical nature, e.g., aid station. 3. An
assigned or prescribed position in a naval formation or cruising
disposition; or an assigned area in an approach, contact, or
battle disposition. 4. Any place of duty or post or position in
the field to which an individual, group of individuals, or a
unit may be assigned. 5. One or more transmitters or receivers
or a combination of transmitters and receivers, including the
accessory equipment necessary at one location, for carrying on
radio communication service. Each station will be classified by
the service in which it operates permanently or temporarily.
A security measure designed to establish the authenticity
of a transmitting or receiving station.
In air transport operations, the time at which
crews, passengers, and cargo are to be on board and ready for
An agreement that defines the legal position of a visiting
military force deployed in the territory of a friendly state.
Agreements delineating the status of visiting military forces
may be bilateral or multilateral. Provisions pertaining to the
status of visiting forces may be set forth in a separate
agreement, or they may form a part of a more comprehensive
agreement. These provisions describe how the authorities of a
visiting force may control members of that force and the
amenability of the force or its members to the local law or to
the authority of local officials. To the extent that agreements
delineate matters affecting the relations between a military
force and civilian authorities and population, they may be
considered as civil affairs agreements. Also called SOFA. See
also civil affairs agreement.
Agent or agent organization established in a given country
to be activated in the event of hostile overrun or other
circumstances under which normal access would be denied.
stay behind force
A force which is left in position to conduct a
specified mission when the remainder of the force withdraws or
retires from the area.
A system wherein a guided missile may follow a
predetermined course with reference primarily to the relative
position of the missile and certain preselected celestial
The vertical separation in a formation of aircraft
measured from an aircraft ahead upward to the next aircraft
behind or in echelon.
Photographic coverage with overlapping air photographs to
provide a three-dimensional presentation of the picture; 60
percent overlap is considered normal and 53 percent is generally
regarded as the minimum.
1. In naval mine warfare, to permanently render a
mine incapable of firing by means of a device (e.g., sterilizer)
within the mine. 2. (DOD only) To remove from material to be
used in covert and clandestine operations, marks or devices
which can identify it as emanating from the sponsoring nation or
In mine warfare, a device included in mines to
render the mine permanently inoperative on expiration of a
pre-determined time after laying.
stick (air transport)
A number of paratroopers who jump from one aperture or
door of an aircraft during one run over a drop zone.
stick commander (air transport)
A designated individual who controls paratroops from the
time they enter the aircraft until their exit. See also
Controlled drugs that make the user feel stronger, more
decisive, and self-possessed; includes cocaine and amphetamines.
The maximum quantities of materiel to be maintained on
hand to sustain current operations. It will consist of the sum
of stocks represented by the operating level and the safety
level. See also level of supply.
Process of maintaining inventory data on the
quantity, location, and condition of supplies and equipment
due-in, on-hand, and due-out, to determine quantities of
material and equipment available and/or required for issue and
to facilitate distribution and management of materiel. See also
A supply management function exercised usually at
department level that controls the assignment of material
cognizance for items or categories of material to inventory
See level of supply.
See National Stock Number.
stockpile to target sequence
1. The order of events involved in removing a nuclear
weapon from storage and assembling, testing, transporting, and
delivering it on the target. 2. A document that defines the
logistic and employment concepts and related physical
environments involved in the delivery of a nuclear weapon from
the stockpile to the target. It may also define the logistic
flow involved in moving nuclear weapons to and from the
stockpile for quality assurance testing, modification and
retrofit, and the recycling of limited life components
stock record account
A basic record showing by item the receipt and issuance of
property, the balances on hand, and such other identifying or
stock control data as may be required by proper authority.
Presidential authority under Title 10 US Code 12305 to
suspend laws relating to promotion, retirement, or separation of
any member of the Armed Forces determined essential to the
national security of the United States ("laws relating to
promotion" broadly includes, among others, grade tables, current
general or flag officer authorizations, and E8 and 9 limits).
This authority may be exercised by the President only if
Reservists are serving on active duty under Title 10 authorities
for Presidential Reserve Callup Authority, partial mobilization,
or full mobilization. See also mobilization; partial
mobilization; Presidential Reserve Callup Authority.
1. The retention of data in any form, usually for the
purpose of orderly retrieval and documentation. 2. A device
consisting of electronic, electrostatic, electrical, hardware,
or other elements into which data may be entered, and from which
data may be obtained as desired. See also ammunition and toxic
material open space; bin storage; bulk storage; igloo space;
large-lot storage; medium-lot storage; open improved storage
space; open unimproved wet space; small-lot storage.
The length of time for which an item of supply,
including explosives, given specific storage conditions, may be
expected to remain serviceable and, if relevant, safe. See also
storage or stowage
Storage is the act of placing material or ammunition and
other supplies onboard the vessel. Stowage relates to the act of
securing those items stored in such a manner that they do not
shift or move during at-sea periods, using methods and equipment
as approved by higher authority. See also storage; stowage.
See naval stores; supplies.
The method of placing cargo into a single hold or
compartment of a ship to prevent damage, shifting, etc.
A scaled drawing included in the loading plan of a
vessel for each deck or platform showing the exact location of
all cargo. See also stowage plan.
The number that expresses the space, in cubic feet,
occupied by a long ton of any commodity as prepared for
shipment, including all crating or packaging.
A completed stowage diagram showing what materiel has been
loaded and its stowage location in each hold, between-deck
compartment, or other space in a ship, including deck space.
Each port of discharge is indicated by colors or other
appropriate means. Deck and between-deck cargo normally is shown
in perspective, while cargo stowed in the lower hold is shown in
profile, except that vehicles usually are shown in perspective
regardless of stowage. See also stowage diagram.
The delivery of automatic weapons fire by aircraft on
1. Any personnel, vehicles, ships, or aircraft
which, without apparent purpose or assigned mission, become
separated from their unit, column, or formation. 2. A ship
separated from its convoy by more than 5 nautical miles, through
inability to keep up, and unable to rejoin before dark, or over
10 nautical miles from its convoy whether or not it can rejoin
before dark. See also romper.
1. An operation by which supply containers, such as
cartons or boxes, are reinforced by bands, metal straps, or
wire, placed at specified intervals around them, drawn taut, and
then sealed or clamped by a machine. 2. Measurement of storage
tanks and calculation of volume to provide tables for conversion
of depth of product in linear units of measurement to volume of
The overall relative power relationship of opponents that
enables one nation or group of nations effectively to control
the course of a military or political situation.
See intertheater airlift.
strategic air transport
The movement of personnel and materiel by air in
accordance with a strategic plan.
strategic air transport operations
The carriage of passengers and cargo between
theaters by means of: a. scheduled service; b. special flight;
c. air logistic support; d. aeromedical evacuation.
strategic air warfare
Air combat and supporting operations designed to effect,
through the systematic application of force to a selected series
of vital targets, the progressive destruction and disintegration
of the enemy's war-making capacity to a point where the enemy no
longer retains the ability or the will to wage war. Vital
targets may include key manufacturing systems, sources of raw
material, critical material, stockpiles, power systems,
transportation systems, communication facilities, concentration
of uncommitted elements of enemy armed forces, key agricultural
areas, and other such target systems.
The assembly of designated forces in areas from
which it is intended that operations of the assembled force
shall begin so that they are best disposed to initiate the plan
The course of action accepted as the result of the
estimate of the strategic situation. It is a statement of what
is to be done in broad terms sufficiently flexible to permit its
use in framing the military, diplomatic, economic,
informational, and other measures which stem from it. See also
The estimate of the broad strategic factors that influence
the determination of missions, objectives, and courses of
action. The estimate is continuous and includes the strategic
direction received from the President or Secretary of Defense or
the authoritative body of an alliance or coalition. See also
commander's estimate of the situation; estimate; logistic
estimate of the situation; national intelligence estimate.
Intelligence that is required for the formulation of
strategy, policy, and military plans and operations at national
and theater levels. See also intelligence; operational
intelligence; tactical intelligence.
strategic level of war
The level of war at which a nation, often as a member of a
group of nations, determines national or multinational (alliance
or coalition) security objectives and guidance, and develops and
uses national resources to accomplish these objectives.
Activities at this level establish national and multinational
military objectives; sequence initiatives; define limits and
assess risks for the use of military and other instruments of
national power; develop global plans or theater war plans to
achieve these objectives; and provide military forces and other
capabilities in accordance with strategic plans. See also
operational level of war; tactical level of war.
A map of medium scale or smaller used for planning of
operations, including the movement, concentration, and supply of
troops. See also map.
strategic material (critical)
Material required for essential uses in a war emergency,
the procurement of which in adequate quantity, quality, or time,
is sufficiently uncertain, for any reason, to require prior
provision of the supply thereof.
A long-term mining operation designed to deny the enemy
the use of specific sea routes or sea areas.
A mission directed against one or more of a selected
series of enemy targets with the purpose of progressive
destruction and disintegration of the enemy's warmaking capacity
and will to make war. Targets include key manufacturing systems,
sources of raw material, critical material, stockpiles, power
systems, transportation systems, communication facilities, and
other such target systems. As opposed to tactical operations,
strategic operations are designed to have a long-range rather
than immediate effect on the enemy and its military forces.
The capability to deploy and sustain military forces
worldwide in support of national strategy. See also mobility.
A plan for the overall conduct of a war.
strategic psychological activities
Planned psychological activities in peace, crisis,
and war which pursue objectives to gain the support and
cooperation of friendly and neutral countries and to reduce the
will and the capacity of hostile or potentially hostile
countries to wage war.
The afloat pre-positioning and ocean movement of military
materiel in support of US and multinational forces. Sealift
forces include organic and commercially acquired shipping and
shipping services, including chartered foreign-flag vessels and
associated shipping services.
strategic sealift forces
Sealift forces composed of ships, cargo handling and
delivery systems, and the necessary operating personnel. They
include US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Army elements with
Active and Reserve components. Merchant marine vessels manned by
civilian mariners may constitute part of this force. See also
strategic sealift shipping
Common-user ships of the Military Sealift Command (MSC)
force, including pre-positioned ships after their
pre-positioning mission has been completed and they have been
returned to the operational control of MSC. See also Military
Sealift Command; Military Sealift Command force.
strategic transport aircraft
Aircraft designed primarily for the carriage of
personnel and/or cargo over long distances.
The susceptibility of vital instruments of national power
to being seriously decreased or adversely changed by the
application of actions within the capability of another nation
to impose. Strategic vulnerability may pertain to political,
geographic, economic, informational, scientific, sociological,
or military factors.
A warning prior to the initiation of a threatening act.
See also strategic warning lead time; strategic warning
post-decision time; strategic warning pre-decision time;
tactical warning; warning; warning of war.
strategic warning lead time
That time between the receipt of strategic warning and the
beginning of hostilities. This time may include two action
periods: strategic warning pre-decision time and strategic
warning post-decision time. See also commander's estimate of the
situation; strategic concept; strategic warning.
strategic warning post-decision time
That time beginning after the decision, made at the
highest levels of government(s) in response to strategic
warning, is ordered executed and ending with the start of
hostilities or termination of the threat. It is that part of
strategic warning lead time available for executing
pre-hostility actions to strengthen the national strategic
posture; however, some preparatory actions may be initiated in
the predecision period. See also strategic warning; strategic
warning lead time
strategic warning pre-decision time
That time which begins upon receipt of strategic warning
and ends when a decision is ordered executed. It is that part of
strategic warning lead time available to the highest levels of
government(s) to determine that strategic course of action to be
executed. See also strategic warning; strategic warning lead
The art and science of developing and employing
instruments of national power in a synchronized and integrated
fashion to achieve theater, national, and/or multinational
objectives. See also military strategy; national strategy.
The Joint Operation Planning and Execution System function
in which analysis of changing events in the international
environment and the development of national strategy to respond
to those events is conducted. In joint operation planning, the
responsibility for recommending military strategy to the
President and Secretary of Defense lies with the Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, in consultation with the other members of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in concert with supported
commanders. In the deliberate planning process, the Joint
Strategic Capabilities Plan is produced as a result of this
process. In the crisis assessment phase of the crisis action
planning process, crisis action planning procedures are used to
formulate decisions for direct development of possible military
courses of action.
A reduction in the delivery rate specified for a program
without a reduction in the total quantity to be delivered.
An attack which is intended to inflict damage on,
seize, or destroy an objective.
A term used to describe the movement of aircraft from the
flight deck to the hangar deck level. See also aircraft; flight
Air photographs taken during an air strike.
In land mine warfare, a marker, natural, artificial,
or specially installed, located at the start and finish of a
mine strip. See also marker.
A portion of a map or overlay on which a number of
photographs taken along a flight line is delineated without
defining the outlines of individual prints.
A key point in a defensive position, usually
strongly fortified and heavily armed with automatic weapons,
around which other positions are grouped for its protection.
structured message text
A message text composed of paragraphs ordered in a
specified sequence, each paragraph characterized by an
identifier and containing information in free form. It is
designed to facilitate manual handling and processing. See also
formatted message text; free form message text.
Packing of cargo into a container. See also unstuffing.
In logistics, a portion of an assembly, consisting
of two or more parts, that can be provisioned and replaced as an
entity. See also assembly; component.
A condition in which the resultant ambient acceleration is
between 0 and 1 G.
A nuclear weapon producing a yield below one
kiloton. See also kiloton weapon; megaton weapon; nominal
submarine operating authority
The naval commander exercising operational control
of submarines. Also called SUBOPAUTH.
submarine operations area
A geographic area defined for submarine operations for
peacetime or warfare activities.
submarine patrol area
A restricted area established to allow submarine
operations: a. unimpeded by the operation of, or possible attack
from, friendly forces in wartime; b. without submerged mutual
interference in peacetime.
Any munition that, to perform its task, separates
from a parent munition.
A command consisting of the commander and all those
individuals, units, detachments, organizations, or installations
that have been placed under the command by the authority
establishing the subordinate command.
subordinate unified command
A command established by commanders of unified commands,
when so authorized through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, to conduct operations on a continuing basis in accordance
with the criteria set forth for unified commands. A subordinate
unified command may be established on an area or functional
basis. Commanders of subordinate unified commands have functions
and responsibilities similar to those of the commanders of
unified commands and exercise operational control of assigned
commands and forces within the assigned operational area. Also
called subunified command. See also area command; functional
component command; operational control; subordinate command;
An agreement by a nation's Military Services to agree to
accept and abide by, with or without reservation, the details of
a standardization agreement. See also implementation;
In an amphibious operation, a landing usually made
outside the designated landing area, the purpose of which is to
support the main landing.
Of or pertaining to speeds less than the speed of sound.
See also speed of sound.
substitute transport-type vehicle
A wheeled vehicle designed to perform, within certain
limitations, the same military function as military transport
vehicles, but not requiring all the special characteristics
thereof. They are developed from civilian designs by addition of
certain features, or from military designs by deletion of
See subordinate unified command.
Action designed to undermine the military, economic,
psychological, or political strength or morale of a regime. See
also unconventional warfare.
subversion of Department of Defense personnel
Actions designed to undermine the loyalty, morale, or
discipline of Department of Defense military and civilian
Anyone lending aid, comfort, and moral support to
individuals, groups or organizations that advocate the overthrow
of incumbent governments by force and violence is subversive and
is engaged in subversive activity. All willful acts that are
intended to be detrimental to the best interests of the
government and that do not fall into the categories of treason,
sedition, sabotage, or espionage will be placed in the category
of subversive activity.
subversive political action
A planned series of activities designed to accomplish
political objectives by influencing, dominating, or displacing
individuals or groups who are so placed as to affect the
decisions and actions of another government.
The highest altitude above mean sea level that a
projectile reaches in its flight from the gun to the target; the
algebraic sum of the maximum ordinate and the altitude of the
An orbit in which the satellite's orbital plane is at a
fixed orientation to the sun, i.e., the orbit precesses about
the earth at the same rate that the earth orbits the sun. It has
the characteristics of maintaining similar sun angles along its
ground trace for all orbits, and typically has an inclination
from 96 to 98 degrees, depending on the orbit altitude and orbit
shape (eccentricity). See also synchronous orbit.
Personnel that accompany cargo on board a ship for the
purpose of accomplishing en route maintenance and security.
Of or pertaining to speed in excess of the speed of sound.
See also speed of sound.
In road traffic, a roadway over which limited
control is exercised by means of traffic control posts, traffic
patrols, or both. Movement credit is required for its use by a
column of vehicles or a vehicle of exceptional size or weight.
See also route.
Facilities required at a particular location to
provide a specified minimum of support for reinforcing forces,
which exceed the facilities required to support in-place forces.
In logistics, all materiel and items used in the
equipment, support, and maintenance of military forces. See also
assembly; component; equipment; subassembly.
The procurement, distribution, maintenance while in
storage, and salvage of supplies, including the determination of
kind and quantity of supplies. a. producer phase--That phase of
military supply that extends from determination of procurement
schedules to acceptance of finished supplies by the Military
Services. b. consumer phase--That phase of military supply which
extends from receipt of finished supplies by the Military
Services through issue for use or consumption.
supply by air
See airdrop; air movement.
The linked activities associated with providing materiel
from a raw materiel stage to an end user as a finished product.
See also supply; supply chain management.
supply chain management
A cross-functional approach to procuring, producing, and
delivering products and services to customers. The broad
management scope includes sub-suppliers, suppliers, internal
information, and funds flow. See also supply; supply chain.
The process by which an item of supply is controlled
within the supply system, including requisitioning, receipt,
storage, stock control, shipment, disposition, identification,
The ship in a replenishment unit that provides the
personnel and/or supplies to be transferred.
See inventory control.
A location where supplies, services, and materiels are
located and issued. These locations are temporary and mobile,
normally being occupied for up to 72 hours.
supply support activity
Activities assigned a Department of Defense activity
address code and that have a supply support mission, i.e.,
direct support supply units, missile support elements, and
maintenance support units. Also called SSA
supply transaction reporting
Reporting on individual transactions affecting the stock
status of materiel to the appropriate supply accounting activity
as they occur.
1. The action of a force that aids, protects, complements,
or sustains another force in accordance with a directive
requiring such action. 2. A unit that helps another unit in
battle. 3. An element of a command that assists, protects, or
supplies other forces in combat. See also close support; direct
support; general support; interdepartmental or agency support;
international logistic support; inter-Service support; mutual
1. The commander having primary responsibility for all
aspects of a task assigned by the Joint Strategic Capabilities
Plan or other joint operation planning authority. In the context
of joint operation planning, this term refers to the commander
who prepares operation plans or operation orders in response
torequirements of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 2.
Inthe context of a support command relationship, the commander
whoreceives assistance from another commander's force
orcapabilities, and who is responsible for ensuring that
thesupporting commander understands the assistance required. See
also support; supporting commander.
All active aircraft other than unit aircraft. See also
Weapons and weapons systems of all types employed to
support forces by indirect or direct fire.
supporting arms coordination center
A single location on board an amphibious command ship in
which all communication facilities incident to the coordination
of fire support of the artillery, air, and naval gunfire are
centralized. This is the naval counterpart to the fire support
coordination center utilized by the landing force. Also called
SACC. See also fire support coordination center.
Artillery that executes fire missions in support of a
specific unit, usually infantry, but remains under the command
of the next higher artillery commander.
An offensive operation carried out in conjunction
with a main attack and designed to achieve one or more of the
following: a. deceive the enemy; b. destroy or pin down enemy
forces which could interfere with the main attack; c. control
ground whose occupation by the enemy will hinder the main
attack; or d. force the enemy to commit reserves prematurely or
in an indecisive area.
1. A commander who provides augmentation forces or other
support to a supported commander or who develops a supporting
plan. Includes the designated combatant commands and Defense
agencies as appropriate. 2. In the context of a support
commandrelationship, the commander who aids, protects,
complements, orsustains another commander's force, and who is
responsible forproviding the assistance required by the
supported commander. See also support; supported commander.
Fire delivered by supporting units to assist or
protect a unit in combat. See also direct supporting fire.
Forces stationed in or to be deployed to an operational
area to provide support for the execution of an operation order.
Combatant command (command authority) of supporting forces is
not passed to the supported commander.
In amphibious operations, those operations conducted by
forces other than those conducted by the amphibious force. See
also amphibious force; amphibious operation.
An operation plan prepared by a supporting commander or a
subordinate commander to satisfy the requests or requirements of
the supported commander's plan. See also supported commander;
Items subordinate to or associated with an end item (i.e.,
spares, repair parts, tools, test equipment, and sundry
materiel) and required to operate, service, repair, or overhaul
an end item.
support to counterinsurgency
Support provided to a government in the military,
paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic
actions it undertakes to defeat insurgency. See also support to
support to insurgency
Support provided to an organized movement aimed at the
overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion
and armed conflict. See also support to counterinsurgency.
Temporary or transient degradation by an opposing force of
the performance of a weapons system below the level needed to
fulfill its mission objectives.
A mission to suppress an actual or suspected weapons
system for the purpose of degrading its performance below the
level needed to fulfill its mission objectives at a specific
time for a specified duration.
suppression of enemy air defenses
That activity which neutralizes, destroys, or temporarily
degrades surface-based enemy air defenses by destructive and/or
disruptive means. Also called SEAD. See also electromagnetic
spectrum; electronic warfare.
Fires on or about a weapons system to degrade its
performance below the level needed to fulfill its mission
objectives, during the conduct of the fire mission. See also
surface action group
A temporary or standing organization of combatant ships,
other than carriers, tailored for a specific tactical mission.
Also called SAG. See group; mission.
See panel code.
A ship constructed and armed for combat use with the
capability to conduct operations in multiple maritime roles
against air, surface and subsurface threats, and land targets.
surface smuggling event
In counterdrug operations, the sighting of a suspected
drug smuggling vessel or arrival of a suspected drug smuggling
vessel. See also arrival zone; counterdrug operations; transit
surface-to-air guided missile
A surface-launched guided missile for use against
surface-to-air missile envelope
That air space within the kill capabilities of a specific
surface-to-air missile system.
surface-to-air missile installation
A surface-to-air missile site with the surface-to-air
missile system hardware installed.
surface-to-air missile site
A plot of ground prepared in such a manner that it will
readily accept the hardware used in surface-to-air missile
A surface-launched weapon for use against airborne
targets. Examples include missiles, rockets, and air defense
surface-to-surface guided missile
A surface-launched guided missile for use against
That portion of maritime warfare in which operations are
conducted to destroy or neutralize enemy naval surface forces
and merchant vessels. Also called SUW.
See ground zero.
The point offshore where waves and swells are affected by
the underwater surface and become breakers. See also breaker.
The area of water from the surf line to the beach. See
also surf line.
Any excess property not required for the needs and for the
discharge of the responsibilities of all federal agencies,
including the Department of Defense, as determined by the
General Services Administration.
surprise dosage attack
A chemical operation which establishes on target a
dosage sufficient to produce the desired casualties before the
troops can mask or otherwise protect themselves.
The systematic observation of aerospace, surface, or
subsurface areas, places, persons, or things, by visual, aural,
electronic, photographic, or other means. See also air
surveillance; satellite and missile surveillance; sea
An instrument approach conducted in accordance with
directions issued by a controller referring to the surveillance
The directed effort to determine the location and the
nature of a chemical, biological, and radiological hazard in an
survey control point
A survey station used to coordinate survey control.
survey information center
A place where survey data are collected, correlated, and
made available to subordinate units.
survey, liaison, and reconnaissance party
A task organization formed from the Marine air-ground task
force and Navy support element, which is introduced into the
objective area prior to arrival of the fly-in echelon (FIE). The
survey, liaison, and reconnaissance party conducts initial
reconnaissance, establishes liaison with in theater authorities
and initiates preparations for arrival of the main body of the
FIE and the maritime pre-positioning ships squadron. Also called
See air cartographic photography.
Concept which includes all aspects of protecting
personnel, weapons, and supplies while simultaneously deceiving
the enemy. Survivability tactics include building a good
defense; employing frequent movement; using concealment,
deception, and camouflage; and constructing fighting and
protective positions for both individuals and equipment.
1. In counterdrug operations, a track of interest where
correlating information actually ties the track of interest to
alleged illegal drug operations. See also counterdrug
operations; special interest target; track of interest. 2. An
identity applied to a track that is potentially hostile because
of its characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality. See
also assumed friend; hostile; neutral; unknown.
All aircraft devices such as racks, adapters,
missile launchers, and pylons used for carriage, employment, and
jettison of aircraft stores
A length of webbing or wire rope between the
helicopter and cargo sling.
See military capability.
sustained attrition minefield
In naval mine warfare, a minefield which is
replenished to maintain its danger to the enemy in the face of
sustained rate of fire
Actual rate of fire that a weapon can continue to
deliver for an indefinite length of time without seriously
Stocks to support the execution of approved
operation plans beyond the initial predetermined period covered
by basic stocks until resupply is available for support of
The provision of personnel, logistic, and other support
required to maintain and prolong operations or combat until
successful accomplishment or revision of the mission or of the
To employ technical means to uncover planted microphones
or other surveillance devices. See also technical survey.
See hunter track.
A narrow band of jamming that is swept back and
forth over a relatively wide operating band of frequencies.
Ocean waves that have traveled out of their fetch. Swell
characteristically exhibits a more regular and longer period and
has flatter crests than waves within their fetch.
In naval mine warfare, the width of the lane swept
by the mechanical sweep at all depths less than the sweep depth.
In naval mine warfare, a switch in a mine operated
by a projecting spike. See also horn.
Detonation of a charge by exploding another charge
adjacent to it.
1. The arrangement of military actions in time, space, and
purpose to produce maximum relative combat power at a decisive
place and time. 2. In the intelligence context, application of
intelligence sources and methods in concert with the operation
A technique of timing the delivery of fires by placing all
units on a common time. The synchronized clock uses a specific
hour and minute based on either local or universal time. Local
time is established using the local time zone.
A satellite orbit where the orbital period is equal to, or
multiples of, the Earth's rotational period; i.e. makingone,
two, three, etc., orbits in a 24-hour period. Examples include
geosynchronous (period equals Earth's rotation),semisynchronous
(two orbits per day); and geostationary (geosynchronous orbit
where satellite maintains a fixed positionon the equator). See
also sun-synchronous orbit.
In intelligence usage, the examining and combining of
processed information with other information and intelligence
for final interpretation.
An exercise in which enemy and/or friendly forces
are generated, displayed, and moved by electronic or other means
on simulators, radar scopes, or other training devices.
Descriptions, including graphics, of systems and
interconnections providing for or supporting warfighting
The preparation of an assembly of methods, procedures, or
techniques united by regulated interaction to form an organized
systems support contractors
Contract personnel, normally with high levels of technical
expertise, hired to support specific military systems. See also
external support contractors; theater support contractors.