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MilitaryTerms.INFO - Terms and definitions used in the US Military

























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

Glossary of Military Terms

I J - K L M
N O P - Q R
S T U - Z  

ultraviolet imagery
That imagery produced as a result of sensing ultraviolet radiations reflected from a given target surface.

unaccounted for
An inclusive term (not a casualty status) applicable to personnel whose person or remains are not recovered or otherwise accounted for following hostile action. Commonly used when referring to personnel who are killed in action and whose bodies are not recovered. See also casualty; casualty category; casualty status; casualty type.

unanticipated immediate targets
Those immediate targets that are unknown or not expected to exist in an operational area. See also operational area; target.

uncertain environment
See operational environment.

uncharged demolition target
A demolition target for which charges have been calculated, prepared, and stored in a safe place, and for which execution procedures have been established. See also demolition target.

unclassified matter
Official matter which does not require the application of security safeguards, but the disclosure of which may be subject to control for other reasons. See also classified matter.

unconventional assisted recovery
Evader recovery conducted by directed unconventional warfare forces, dedicated extraction teams, and/or unconventional assisted recovery mechanisms operated by guerrilla groups or other clandestine organizations to seek out, contact, authenticate, support, and return evaders to friendly control. Also called UAR. See also assisted recovery; authenticate; evader; recovery.

unconventional assisted recovery coordination center
A compartmented special operations forces (SOF) facility suitably staffed by supervisory personnel and tactical planners to coordinate, synchronize and de-conflict non-conventional assisted recovery (NAR) operations on a 24-hour basis within the geographical area assigned to the joint force commander. The unconventional assisted recovery coordination center (UARCC) is an integral part of the joint force commander's (JFC's) comprehensive personnel recovery architecture and the functional equivalent of a component rescue coordination center. When directed by the JFC, through the joint force special operations component commander, the special operations command Operations Directorate establishes the UARCC (normally within the Joint Operations Center (JOC)) to serve as the focal point for all NAR operations. The UARCC interfaces and coordinates with the JOC, joint search and rescue center, component rescue coordination centers (RCCs) (including the SOF RCC) and the special activities cell. Also called UARCC. See also joint operations center; joint search and rescue center; special operations forces; unconventional assisted recovery.

unconventional assisted recovery mechanism
That entity, group of entities, or organizations within enemy-held or hostile areas that operates to receive, support, move, and exfiltrate military personnel or selected individuals to friendly control. Also called UARM. See also assisted recovery; recovery; unconventional assisted recovery.

unconventional recovery operation
Evader recovery operations conducted by unconventional forces. See also evader; recovery operations.

unconventional warfare
A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted through, with, or by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes, but is not limited to, guerrilla warfare, subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and unconventional assisted recovery. Also called UW.

unconventional warfare forces
US forces having an existing unconventional warfare capability.

undersea warfare
Operations conducted to establish battlespace dominance in the underwater environment, which permits friendly forces to accomplish the full range of potential missions and denies an opposing force the effective use of underwater systems and weapons. It includes offensive and defensive submarine, antisubmarine, and mine warfare operations. Also called USW. See also antisubmarine warfare; mine warfare.

understowed cargo
See flatted cargo.

underwater demolition
The destruction or neutralization of underwater obstacles; this is normally accomplished by underwater demolition teams.

underwater demolition team
A group of officers and enlisted specially trained and equipped for making hydrographic reconnaissance of approaches to prospective landing beaches; for effecting demolition of obstacles and clearing mines in certain areas; locating, improving, and marking of useable channels; channel and harbor clearance; acquisition of pertinent data during pre-assault operations, including military information; observing the hinterland to gain information useful to the landing force; and for performing miscellaneous underwater and surface tasks within their capabilities. Also called UDT.

underway replenishment
See replenishment at sea.

underway replenishment force
A task force of fleet auxiliaries (consisting of oilers, ammunition ships, stores issue ships, etc.) adequately protected by escorts furnished by the responsible operational commander. The function of this force is to provide underway logistic support for naval forces. See also force.

underway replenishment group
A task group configured to provide logistic replenishment of ships underway by transfer-at-sea methods.

unexpended weapons or ordnance
Airborne weapons that have not been subjected to attempts to fire or drop and are presumed to be in normal operating conditions and can be fired or jettisoned if necessary. See also ordnance.

unexploded explosive ordnance
Explosive ordnance which has been primed, fused, armed or otherwise prepared for action, and which has been fired, dropped, launched, projected, or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard to operations, installations, personnel, or material and remains unexploded either by malfunction or design or for any other cause. Also called UXO. See also explosive ordnance.

unified action
A broad generic term that describes the wide scope of actions (including the synchronization of activities with governmental and nongovernmental agencies) taking place within unified commands, subordinate unified commands, or joint task forces under the overall direction of the commanders of those commands. See also joint task force; subordinate unified command; unified command.

Unified Action Armed Forces
A publication setting forth the policies, principles, doctrines, and functions governing the activities and performance of the Armed Forces of the United States when two or more Military Departments or Service elements thereof are acting together. Also called UNAAF.

unified combatant command
See unified command.

unified command
A command with a broad continuing mission under a single commander and composed of significant assigned components of two or more Military Departments that 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. Also called unified combatant command. See also combatant command; subordinate unified command.

Unified Command Plan
The document, approved by the President, that sets forth basic guidance to all unified combatant commanders; establishes their missions, responsibilities, and force structure; delineates the general geographical area of responsibility for geographic combatant commanders; and specifies functional responsibilities for functional combatant commanders. Also called UCP. See also combatant command; combatant commander.

uniformed services
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Services. See also Military Department; Military Service.

unilateral arms control measure
An arms control course of action taken by a nation without any compensating concession being required of other nations.

unintentional radiation exploitation
Exploitation for operational purposes of noninformation-bearing elements of electromagnetic energy unintentionally emanated by targets of interest.

unintentional radiation intelligence
Intelligence derived from the collection and analysis of noninformation-bearing elements extracted from the electromagnetic energy unintentionally emanated by foreign devices, equipment, and systems, excluding those generated by the detonation of nuclear weapons. Also called RINT. See also intelligence

uni-Service command
A command comprised of forces of a single Service.

1. Any military element whose structure is prescribed by competent authority, such as a table of organization and equipment; specifically, part of an organization. 2. An organization title of a subdivision of a group in a task force. 3. A standard or basic quantity into which an item of supply is divided, issued, or used. In this meaning, also called unit of issue. 4. With regard to Reserve Components of the Armed Forces, denotes a Selected Reserve unit organized, equipped, and trained for mobilization to serve on active duty as a unit or to augment or be augmented by another unit. Headquarters and support functions without wartime missions are not considered units.

unit aircraft
Those aircraft provided an aircraft unit for the performance of a flying mission. See also aircraft

unit combat readiness
See combat readiness.

unit commitment status
The degree of commitment of any unit designated and categorized as a force allocated to NATO.

unit designation list
A list of actual units by unit identification code designated to fulfill requirements of a force list.

United States
Includes the land area, internal waters, territorial sea, and airspace of the United States, including the following: a. US territories, possessions, and commonwealths; and b. Other areas over which the US Government has complete jurisdiction and control or has exclusive authority or defense responsibility.

United States Armed Forces
Used to denote collectively only the regular components of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. See also Armed Forces of the United States.

United States Civil Authorities
Those elected and appointed public officials and employees who constitute the governments of the 50 States, District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, US possessions and territories, and political subdivisions thereof.

United States Civilian Internee Information Center
The national center of information in the United States for enemy and US civilian internees.

United States controlled shipping
That shipping under US flag and selected ships under foreign flag considered to be under "effective US control," i.e., that can reasonably be expected to be made available to the United States in time of national emergency. See also effective US controlled ships.

United States message text format
A program designed to enhance joint and combined combat effectiveness through standardization of message formats, data elements, and information exchange procedures. Standard message formats with standard information content provides all tactical commanders at the joint interface with a common playing field and a common language. Also called USMTF.

United States Military Service-funded foreign training
Training that is provided to foreign nationals in United States Military Service schools and installations under authority other than the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

United States Naval Ship
A public vessel of the United States that is in the custody of the Navy and is: a. Operated by the Military Sealift Command and manned by a civil service crew; or b. Operated by a commercial company under contract to the Military Sealift Command and manned by a merchant marine crew. Also called USNS. See also Military Sealift Command.

United States Prisoner of War Information Center
The national center of information in the United States for enemy and US prisoners of war.

United States Signals Intelligence System
The unified organization of signals intelligence activities under the direction of the Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Service. It consists of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, the components of the Military Services authorized to conduct signals intelligence, and such other entities (other than the Federal Bureau of Investigation) authorized by the National Security Council or the Secretary of Defense to conduct signals intelligence activities. Also called USSS. See also counterintelligence.

United States Transportation Command
The unified command with the mission to provide strategic air, land, and sea transportation and common-user port management for the Department of Defense across the range of military operations. Also called USTRANSCOM. See also global transportation network; single port manager; transportation component command; unified command

unit identification code
A six-character, alphanumeric code that uniquely identifies each Active, Reserve, and National Guard unit of the Armed Forces. Also called UIC.

unitized load
A single item or a number of items packaged, packed, or arranged in a specified manner and capable of being handled as a unit. Unitization may be accomplished by placing the item or items in a container or by banding them securely together. See also palletized unit load.

unit line number
A seven-character alphanumeric code that describes a unique increment of a unit deployment, i.e., advance party, main body, equipment by sea and air, reception team, or trail party, in a Joint Operation Planning and Execution System time-phased force and deployment data. Also called ULN.

unit loading
The loading of troop units with their equipment and supplies in the same vessels, aircraft, or land vehicles. See also loading.

unit movement control center
A temporary organization activated by major subordinate commands and subordinate units during deployment to control and manage marshalling and movement. Also called UMCC. See also deployment; marshaling; unit.

unit movement data
A unit equipment and/or supply listing containing corresponding transportability data. Tailored unit movement data has been modified to reflect a specific movement requirement. Also called UMD.

unit of issue
In its special storage meaning, refers to the quantity of an item; as each number, dozen, gallon, pair, pound, ream, set, yard. Usually termed unit of issue to distinguish from "unit price." See also unit.

unit personnel and tonnage table
A table included in the loading plan of a combat-loaded ship as a recapitulation of totals of personnel and cargo by type, listing cubic measurements and weight. Also called UP&TT.

unit price
The cost or price of an item of supply based on the unit of issue.

unit readiness
See readiness.

unit-related equipment and supplies
All equipment and supplies that are assigned to a specific unit or that are designated as accompanying supplies. The logistic dimensions of these items are contained in the type unit characteristics file standard.

unit reserves
Prescribed quantities of supplies carried by a unit as a reserve to cover emergencies. See also reserve supplies.

unit training assembly
An authorized and scheduled period of unit inactive duty training of a prescribed length of time.

unit type code
A Joint Chiefs of Staff developed and assigned code, consisting of five characters that uniquely identify a "typeunit."

Universal Joint Task List
A menu of capabilities (mission-derived tasks with associated conditions and standards, i.e., the tools) that may be selected by a joint force commander to accomplish the assigned mission. Once identified as essential to mission accomplishment, the tasks are reflected within the command joint mission essential task list. Also called UJTL.

universal polar stereographic grid
A military grid prescribed for joint use in operations in limited areas and used for operations requiring precise position reporting. It covers areas between the 80 degree parallels and the poles

Universal Postal Union
A worldwide postal organization to which the United States and most other countries are members. The exchange of mail, except parcel post, between the United States and other nations is governed by the provisions of the Universal Postal Union convention. Also called UPU.

Universal Time
A measure of time that conforms, within a close approximation, to the mean diurnal rotation of the Earth and serves as the basis of civil timekeeping. Universal Time (UT1) is determined from observations of the stars, radio sources, and also from ranging observations of the moon and artificial Earth satellites. The scale determined directly from such observations is designated Universal Time Observed (UTO); it is slightly dependent on the place of observation. When UTO is corrected for the shift in longitude of the observing station caused by polar motion, the time scale UT1 is obtained. When an accuracy better than one second is not required, Universal Time can be used to mean Coordinated Universal Time. Also called ZULU time. Formerly called Greenwich Mean Time.

universal transverse mercator grid
A grid coordinate system based on the transverse mercator projection, applied to maps of the Earth's surface extending to 84 degrees N and 80 degrees S latitudes. Also called UTM grid.

1. A code meaning "information not available." 2. An unidentified target. An aircraft or ship that has not been determined to be hostile, friendly, or neutral using identification friend or foe and other techniques, but that must be tracked by air defense or naval engagement systems. 3. An identity applied to an evaluated track that has not been identified. See also assumed friend; friend; hostile; neutral; suspect.

unlimited war
Not to be used. See general war.

unmanned aerial vehicle
A powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload. Ballistic or semiballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles. Also called UAV.

unplanned immediate targets
Those immediate targets that are known to exist in an operational area but are not detected, located, or selected for action in sufficient time to be included in the normal targeting process. See also immediate targets; operational area; target.

unpremeditated expansion of a war
Not to be used. See escalation.

unscheduled convoy phase
The period in the early days of war when convoys are instituted on an ad hoc basis before the introduction of convoy schedules in the regular convoy phase.

The removal of cargo from a container. Also called stripping.

unwanted cargo
A cargo loaded in peacetime which is not required by the consignee country in wartime.

unwarned exposed
The vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects. In this condition, personnel are assumed to be standing in the open at burst time, but have dropped to a prone position by the time the blast wave arrives. They are expected to have areas of bare skin exposed to direct thermal radiation, and some personnel may suffer dazzle. See also warned exposed; warned protected

urgent mining
In naval mine warfare, the laying of mines with correct spacing but not in the ordered or planned positions. The mines may be laid either inside or outside the allowed area in such positions that they will hamper the movements of the enemy more than those of our own forces.

urgent priority
A category of immediate mission request that is lower than emergency priority but takes precedence over ordinary priority; e.g., enemy artillery or mortar fire that is falling on friendly troops and causing casualties or enemy troops or mechanized units moving up in such force as to threaten a breakthrough. See also immediate mission request; priority of immediate mission requests.

US commercial assets
US commercial aircraft, spacecraft, flag shipping, offshore, and land-based assets located landward of the outer limit of the continental shelf of the United States, its territories, and possessions, and excluding those privately owned oil rigs operating under foreign license in disputed offshore areas.

US Defense Representative
A senior US officer in a foreign country representing the Secretary of Defense, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the commander of the unified command that coordinates the security matters regarding in-country, non-combat Department of Defense elements (i.e., DOD personnel and organizations under the command of a combatant commander but not assigned to, or attached to, the combatant commander). Also called USDR.

use of force policy
Policy guidance issued by the Commandant, US Coast Guard, on the use of force and weapons.

US forces
All Armed Forces (including the Coast Guard) of the United States, any person in the Armed Forces of the United States, and all equipment of any description that either belongs to the US Armed Forces or is being used (including Type I and II Military Sealift Command vessels), escorted, or conveyed by the US Armed Forces.

US national
US citizen and US permanent and temporary legal resident aliens.

US Transportation Command coordinating instructions
Instructions of the US Transportation Command that establish suspense dates for selected members of the joint planning and execution community to complete updates to the operation plan database. Instructions will ensure that the target date movement requirements will be validated and available for scheduling

Execution procedure used by combatant command components, supporting combatant commanders, and providing organizations to confirm to the supported commander and US Transportation Command that all the information records in a time-phased force and deployment data not only are error-free for automation purposes, but also accurately reflect the current status, attributes, and availability of units and requirements. Unit readiness, movement dates, passengers, and cargo details should be confirmed with the unit before validation occurs.

1. A process associated with the collection and production of intelligence that confirms that an intelligence collection or production requirement is sufficiently important to justify the dedication of intelligence resources, does not duplicate an existing requirement, and has not been previously satisfied. 2. In computer modeling and simulation, the process of determining the degree to which a model or simulation is an accurate representation of the real world from the perspective of the intended uses of the model or simulation. 3. Execution procedure used by combatant command components, supporting combatant commanders, and providing organizations to confirm to the supported commander and US Transportation Command that all the information records in a time-phased force and deployment data not only are error free for automation purposes, but also accurately reflect the current status, attributes, and availability of units and requirements. Unit readiness, movementdates, passengers, and cargo details should be confirmed with theunit before validation occurs. See also independent review; time-phased force and deployment data; verification.

valuable cargo
Cargo which may be of value during a later stage of the war.

value engineering
An organized effort directed at analyzing the function of Department of Defense systems, equipment, facilities, procedures, and supplies for the purpose of achieving the required function at the lowest total cost of effective ownership, consistent with requirements for performance, reliability, quality, and maintainability.

The manner in which the probability of damage to a specific target decreases with the distance from ground zero; or, in damage assessment, a mathematical factor introduced to average the effects of orientation, minor shielding, and uncertainty of target response to the effects considered.

variable safety level
See safety level of supply.

1. One of two or more cipher or code symbols that have the same plain text equivalent. 2. One of several plain text meanings that are represented by a single code group. Also called alternative.

The angular difference between true and magnetic north. See also deviation.

vectored attack
Attack in which a weapon carrier (air, surface, or subsurface) not holding contact on the target is vectored to the weapon delivery point by a unit (air, surface, or subsurface) which holds contact on the target.

vehicle cargo
Wheeled or tracked equipment, including weapons, that require certain deck space, head room, and other definite clearance.

vehicle distance
The clearance between vehicles in a column which is measured from the rear of one vehicle to the front of the following vehicle.

vehicle summary and priority table
A table listing all vehicles by priority of debarkation from a combat-loaded ship. It includes the nomenclature, dimensions, square feet, cubic feet, weight, and stowage location of each vehicle; the cargo loaded in each vehicle; and the name of the unit to which the vehicle belongs.

1. In arms control, any action, including inspection, detection, and identification, taken to ascertain compliance with agreed measures. 2. In computer modeling and simulation, the process of determining that a model or simulation implementation accurately represents the developer's conceptual description and specifications. See also configuration management; independent review; validation.

To ensure that the meaning and phraseology of the transmitted message conveys the exact intention of the originator.

In artillery and naval gunfire support, the highest point in the trajectory of a projectile.

vertex height
See maximum ordinate.

vertical air photograph
An air photograph taken with the optical axis of the camera perpendicular to the surface of the Earth.

vertical and/or short takeoff and landing
Vertical and/or short takeoff and landing capability for aircraft.

vertical envelopment
A tactical maneuver in which troops, either air-dropped or air-landed, attack the rear and flanks of a force, in effect cutting off or encircling the force.

vertical interval
Difference in altitude between two specified points or locations, e.g., the battery or firing ship and the target; observer location and the target; location of previously fired target and new target; observer and a height of burst; and battery or firing ship and a height of burst, etc.

vertical landing zone
A specified ground area for landing vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to embark or disembark troops and/or cargo. A landing zone may contain one or more landing sites. Also called VLZ. See also landing zone; vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

vertical loading
A type of loading whereby items of like character are vertically tiered throughout the holds of a ship so that selected items are available at any stage of the unloading. See also loading.

vertical probable error
The product of the range probable error and the slope of fall.

vertical replenishment
The use of a helicopter for the transfer of materiel to or from a ship. Also called VERTREP.

vertical separation
Separation between aircraft expressed in units of vertical distance.

vertical strip
A single flightline of overlapping photos. Photography of this type is normally taken of long, narrow targets such as beaches or roads.

vertical takeoff and landing aircraft
Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters capable of taking off or landing vertically. Also called VTOL aircraft. See also vertical landing zone; vertical takeoff and landing aircraft transport area.

vertical takeoff and landing aircraft transport area
Areas to the seaward and on the flanks of the outer transport and landing ship areas, but preferably inside the area screen, for launching and/or recovering vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Also called VTOL aircraft transport area. See also vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

very 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 life is imminently endangered. Also called VSII. See also casualty status.

very small aperture terminal
Refers to a fixed satellite terminal whose antenna diameter typically does not exceed two meters. Also called VSAT.

vesicant agent
See blister agent.

A method of producing a band of color or tone on a map or chart, the density of which is reduced uniformly from edge to edge.

visibility range
The horizontal distance (in kilometers or miles) at which a large dark object can just be seen against the horizon sky in daylight.

visual call sign
A call sign provided primarily for visual signaling. See also call sign.

visual information
Use of one or more of the various visual media with or without sound. Generally, visual information includes still photography, motion picture photography, video or audio recording, graphic arts, visual aids, models, display, visual presentation services, and the support processes. Also called VI.

visual information documentation
Motion media, still photography, and audio recording of technical and nontechnical events while they occur, usually not controlled by the recording crew. Visual information documentation encompasses Combat Camera, operational documentation, and technical documentation. Also called VIDOC. See also combat camera; operational documentation; technical documentation.

visual meteorological conditions
Weather conditions in which visual flight rules apply; expressed in terms of visibility, ceiling height, and aircraft clearance from clouds along the path of flight. When these criteria do not exist, instrument meteorological conditions prevail and instrument flight rules must be complied with. Also called VMC. See also instrument meteorological conditions.

visual mine firing indicator
A device used with exercise mines to indicate that the mine would have detonated had it been poised.

vital area
A designated area or installation to be defended by air defense units.

vital ground
Ground of such importance that it must be retained or controlled for the success of the mission. See also key terrain.

voice call sign
A call sign provided primarily for voice communication. See also call sign.

Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement
The objective of the Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement is to provide the Department of Defense with assured access to US flag assets, both vessel capacity and intermodal systems, to meet DOD contingency requirements. This concept is modeled after DOD's civil reserve air fleet program. Carriers contractually commit specified portions of their fleet to meet time-phased DOD contingency requirements. Also called VISA. See also intermodal; intermodal systems; Sealift Readiness Program.

voluntary tanker agreement
An agreement established by the Maritime Administration to provide for US commercial tanker owners and operators to voluntarily make their vessels available to satisfy Department of Defense needs. It is designed to meet contingency or war requirements for point-to-point petroleum, oils, and lubricants movements, and not to deal with capacity shortages in resupply operations. Also called VTA.

voluntary training
Training in a non-pay status for Individual Ready Reservists and active status Standby Reservists. Participation in voluntary training is for retirement points only and may be achieved by training with Selected Reserve or voluntary training units; by active duty for training; by completion of authorized military correspondence courses; by attendance at designated courses of instruction; by performing equivalent duty; by participation in special military and professional events designated by the Military Departments; or by participation in authorized Civil Defense activities. Retirees may voluntarily train with organizations to which they are properly preassigned by orders for recall to active duty in a national emergency or declaration of war. Such training shall be limited to that training made available within the resources authorized by the Secretary concerned.

voluntary training unit
A unit formed by volunteers to provide Reserve Component training in a non-pay status for Individual Ready Reservists and active status Standby Reservists attached under competent orders and participating in such units for retirement points. Also called reinforcement training unit.

An air navigational radio aid which uses phase comparison of a ground transmitted signal to determine bearing. This term is derived from the words "very high frequency omnidirectional radio range."

1. The susceptibility of a nation or military force to any action by any means through which its war potential or combat effectiveness may be reduced or its will to fight diminished. 2. The characteristics of a system that cause it to suffer a definite degradation (incapability to perform the designated mission) as a result of having been subjected to a certain level of effects in an unnatural (manmade) hostile environment. 3. In information operations, a weakness in information system security design, procedures, implementation, or internal controls that could be exploited to gain unauthorized access to information or an information system. See also information; information operations; information system.

vulnerability analysis
In information operations, a systematic examination of an information system or product to determine the adequacy of security measures, identify security deficiencies, provide data from which to predict the effectiveness of proposed security measures, and confirm the adequacy of such measures after implementation. See also information operations; information system; security; vulnerability.

vulnerability assessment
A Department of Defense, command, or unit-level evaluation (assessment) to determine the vulnerability of a terrorist attack against an installation, unit, exercise, port, ship, residence, facility, or other site. Identifies areas of improvement to withstand, mitigate, or deter acts of violence or terrorism

vulnerability program
A program to determine the degree of any existing susceptibility of nuclear weapon systems to enemy countermeasures, accidental fire, and accidental shock and to remedy these weaknesses insofar as possible.

vulnerability study
An analysis of the capabilities and limitations of a force in a specific situation to determine vulnerabilities capable of exploitation by an opposing force

vulnerable area
See vital area.

vulnerable node
See target stress point.

vulnerable point
See vital area.

wading crossing
See deep fording capability; shallow fording.

walking patient
A patient whose injuries and/or illness are relatively minor, permitting the patient to walk and not require a litter. See also litter; patient; slightly wounded.

wanted cargo
In naval control of shipping, a cargo which is not immediately required by the consignee country but will be needed later.

In naval mine warfare, the process of varying the frequency of sound produced by a narrow band noisemaker to ensure that the frequency to which the mine will respond is covered.

warden system
An informal method of communication used to pass information to US citizens during emergencies. See also noncombatant evacuation operations.

war game
A simulation, by whatever means, of a military operation involving two or more opposing forces using rules, data, and procedures designed to depict an actual or assumed real life situation.

That part of a missile, projectile, torpedo, rocket, or other munition which contains either the nuclear or thermonuclear system, high explosive system, chemical or biological agents, or inert materials intended to inflict damage.

warhead mating
The act of attaching a warhead section to a rocket or missile body, torpedo, airframe, motor, or guidance section.

warhead section
A completely assembled warhead, including appropriate skin sections and related components.

war materiel procurement capability
The quantity of an item that can be acquired by orders placed on or after the day an operation commences (D-day) from industry or from any other available source during the period prescribed for war materiel procurement planning purposes.

war materiel requirement
The quantity of an item required to equip and support the approved forces specified in the current Secretary of Defense guidance through the period prescribed for war materiel planning purposes.

warned exposed
The vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects. In this condition, personnel are assumed to be prone with all skin covered and with thermal protection at least that provided by a two-layer summer uniform. See also unwarned exposed; warned protected.

warned protected
The vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects. In this condition, personnel are assumed to have some protection against heat, blast, and radiation such as that afforded in closed armored vehicles or crouched in fox holes with improvised overhead shielding. See also unwarned exposed; warned exposed.

1. A communication and acknowledgment of dangers implicit in a wide spectrum of activities by potential opponents ranging from routine defense measures to substantial increases in readiness and force preparedness and to acts of terrorism or political, economic, or military provocation. 2. Operating procedures, practices, or conditions that may result in injury or death if not carefully observed or followed.

warning area
See danger area.

warning net
A communication system established for the purpose of disseminating warning information of enemy movement or action to all interested commands.

warning of attack
A warning to national policymakers that an adversary is not only preparing its armed forces for war, but intends to launch an attack in the near future. See also tactical warning; warning; warning of war.

warning of war
A warning to national policymakers that a state or alliance intends war, or is on a course that substantially increases the risks of war and is taking steps to prepare for war. See also strategic warning; warning; warning of attack.

warning order
1. A preliminary notice of an order or action which is to follow. 2. (DOD only) A crisis action planning directive issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that initiates the development and evaluation of courses of action by a supported commander and requests that a commander's estimate be submitted. 3. (DOD only) A planning directive that describes the situation, allocates forces and resources, establishes command relationships, provides other initial planning guidance, and initiates subordinate unit mission planning.

warning red
See air defense warning conditions.

warning shots
The firing of shots or delivery of ordnance by personnel or weapons systems in the vicinity of a person, vessel, or aircraft as a signal to immediately cease activity. Warning shots are one measure to convince a potentially hostile force to withdraw or cease its threatening actions.

warning white
See air defense warning conditions.

warning yellow
See air defense warning conditions.

To haul a ship ahead by line or anchor.

war reserve materiel requirement
That portion of the war materiel requirement required to be on hand on D-day. This level consists of the war materiel requirement less the sum of the peacetime assets assumed to be available on D-day and the war materiel procurement capability.

war reserve materiel requirement, balance
That portion of the war reserve materiel requirement that has not been acquired or funded. This level consists of the war reserve materiel requirement less the war reserve materiel requirement, protectable.

war reserve materiel requirement, protectable
That portion of the war reserve materiel requirement that is either on hand and/or previously funded that shall be protected; if issued for peacetime use, it shall be promptly reconstituted. This level consists of the pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement, protectable, and the other war reserve materiel requirement, protectable.

war reserve (nuclear)
Nuclear weapons materiel stockpiled in the custody of the Department of Energy or transferred to the custody of the Department of Defense and intended for employment in the event of war.

war reserves
Stocks of materiel amassed in peacetime to meet the increase in military requirements consequent upon an outbreak of war. War reserves are intended to provide the interim support essential to sustain operations until resupply can be effected.

war reserve stock
That portion of total materiel assets designated to satisfy the war reserve materiel requirement. Also called WRS. See also reserve; war reserve materiel requirement; war reserves.

war reserve stocks for allies
A Department of Defense program to have the Services procure or retain in their inventories those minimum stockpiles of materiel such as munitions, equipment, and combat-essential consumables to ensure support for selected allied forces in time of war until future in-country production and external resupply can meet the estimated combat consumption.

wartime load
The maximum quantity of supplies of all kinds which a ship can carry. The composition of the load is prescribed by proper authority.

wartime manpower planning system
A standardized Department of Defense (DOD)-wide procedure, structure, and database for computing, compiling, projecting, and portraying the time-phased wartime manpower requirements, demand, and supply of the DOD components. Also called WARMAPS. See also S-day.

wartime reserve modes
Characteristics and operating procedures of sensor, communications, navigation aids, threat recognition, weapons, and countermeasures systems that will contribute to military effectiveness if unknown to or misunderstood by opposing commanders before they are used, but could be exploited or neutralized if known in advance. Wartime reserve modes are deliberately held in reserve for wartime or emergency use and seldom, if ever, applied or intercepted prior to such use. Also called WARM.

watching mine
In naval mine warfare, a mine secured to its mooring but showing on the surface, possibly only in certain tidal conditions. See also floating mine; mine.

Any vessel or craft designed specifically and only for movement on the surface of the water.

waterspace management
The allocation of waterspace in terms of antisubmarine warfare attack procedures to permit the rapid and effective engagement of hostile submarines while preventing inadvertent attacks on friendly submarines.

water terminal
A facility for berthing ships simultaneously at piers, quays, and/or working anchorages, normally located within sheltered coastal waters adjacent to rail, highway, air, and/or inland water transportation networks.

1. A formation of forces, landing ships, craft, amphibious vehicles or aircraft, required to beach or land about the same time. Can be classified as to type, function or order as shown: a. assault wave; b. boat wave; c. helicopter wave; d. numbered wave; e. on-call wave; f. scheduled wave. 2. (DOD only) An undulation of water caused by the progressive movement of energy from point to point along the surface of the water.

wave crest
The highest part of a wave. See also crest; wave.

wave height
The vertical distance between trough and crest, usually expressed in feet. See also wave.

wave length
The horizontal distance between successive wave crests measured perpendicular to the crest, usually expressed in feet.See also crest; wave; wave crest.

An action to abort a landing, initiated by the bridge, primary flight control, landing safety officer or enlisted man, or pilot at his or her discretion. The response to a wave-off signal is mandatory. See also abort; primary flight control.

wave period
The time it takes for two successive wave crests to pass a given point. See also wave; wave crest.

wave trough
The lowest part of the wave between crests. See also crest; wave.

wave velocity
The speed at which a wave form advances across the sea, usually expressed in knots. See also wave.

way point
1. In air operations, a point or a series of points in space to which an aircraft, ship, or cruise missile may be vectored. 2. A designated point or series of points loaded and stored in a global positioning system or other electronic navigational aid system to facilitate movement.

See times.

weapon and payload identification
1. The determination of the type of weapon being used in an attack. 2. The discrimination of a re-entry vehicle from penetration aids being utilized with the re-entry vehicle. See also attack assessment.

weapon debris (nuclear)
The residue of a nuclear weapon after it has exploded; that is, materials used for the casing and other components of the weapon, plus unexpended plutonium or uranium, together with fission products.

The process of determining the quantity of a specific type of lethal or nonlethal weapons required to achieve a specific level of damage to a given target, considering target vulnerability, weapons effect, munitions delivery accuracy, damage criteria, probability of kill, and weapon reliability.

weapon engagement zone
In air defense, airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with a particular weapon system. Also called WEZ. a. fighter engagement zone. In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with fighter aircraft. Also called FEZ. b. high-altitude missile engagement zone. In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with high-altitude surface-to-air missiles. Also called HIMEZ. c. low-altitude missile engagement zone. In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with low- to medium-altitude surface-to-air missiles. Also called LOMEZ. d. short-range air defense engagement zone. In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with short-range air defense weapons. It may be established within a low- or high-altitude missile engagement zone. Also called SHORADEZ. e. joint engagement zone. In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which multiple air defense systems (surface-to-air missiles and aircraft) are simultaneously employed to engage air threats. Also called JEZ.

weapons assignment
In air defense, the process by which weapons are assigned to individual air weapons controllers for use in accomplishing an assigned mission.

weapons free zone
An air defense zone established for the protection of key assets or facilities, other than air bases, where weapon systems may be fired at any target not positively recognized as friendly.

weapons of mass destruction
Weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Weapons of mass destruction can be high explosives or nuclear, biological, chemical, and radiological weapons, but exclude the means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a separable and divisible part of the weapon. Also called WMD. See also destruction; special operations.

weapons readiness state
The degree of readiness of air defense weapons which can become airborne or be launched to carry out an assigned task. Weapons readiness states are expressed in numbers of weapons and numbers of minutes. Weapon readiness states are defined as follows: a. 2 minutes--Weapons can be launched within two minutes. b. 5 minutes--Weapons can be launched within five minutes. c. 15 minutes--Weapons can be launched within fifteen minutes. d. 30 minutes--Weapons can be launched within thirty minutes. e. 1 hour--Weapons can be launched within one hour. f. 3 hours--Weapons can be launched within three hours. g. released--Weapons are released from defense commitment for a specified period of time.

weapons recommendation sheet
A sheet or chart which defines the intention of the attack, and recommends the nature of weapons, and resulting damage expected, tonnage, fuzing, spacing, desired mean points of impact, and intervals of reattack.

weapons state of readiness
See weapons readiness state.

weapon(s) system
A combination of one or more weapons with all related equipment, materials, services, personnel, and means of delivery and deployment (if applicable) required for self-sufficiency.

weapon system employment concept
A description in broad terms, based on established outline characteristics, of the application of a particular equipment or weapon system within the framework of tactical concept and future doctrines.

weapon system video
1. Imagery recorded by video camera systems aboard aircraft or ship that shows delivery and impact of air-to-ground, or surface-to-air ordnance and air-to-air engagements. 2. A term used to describe the overarching program or process of capturing, clipping, digitizing, editing, and transmitting heads-up display or multi-function display imagery. 3. A term used to refer to actual equipment used by various career fields to perform all or part of the weapon system video process. Also called WSV.

weapon-target line
An imaginary straight line from a weapon to a target.

weather central
An organization that collects, collates, evaluates, and disseminates meteorological information in such manner that it becomes a principal source of such information for a given area

weather deck
A deck having no overhead protection; uppermost deck.

weather minimum
The worst weather conditions under which aviation operations may be conducted under either visual or instrument flight rules. Usually prescribed by directives and standing operating procedures in terms of minimum ceiling, visibility, or specific hazards to flight.

weight and balance sheet
A sheet which records the distribution of weight in an aircraft and shows the center of gravity of an aircraft at takeoff and landing.

Force health protection program that consolidates and incorporates physical and mental fitness, health promotion, and environmental and occupational health. See also force health protection.

A structure built of open rather than solid construction along a shore or a bank that provides cargo-handling facilities. A similar facility of solid construction is called a quay. See also quay.

wheel load capacity
The capacity of airfield runways, taxiways, parking areas, or roadways to bear the pressures exerted by aircraft or vehicles in a gross weight static configuration.

white cap
A small wave breaking offshore as a result of the action of strong winds. See also wave.

Loss of orientation with respect to the horizon caused by sun reflecting on snow and overcast sky.

white propaganda
Propaganda disseminated and acknowledged by the sponsor or by an accredited agency thereof. See also propaganda.

Wilson cloud
See condensation cloud.

A hoisting machine used for loading and discharging cargo and stores or for hauling in lines. See also stores.

wind shear
A change of wind direction and magnitude.

wind velocity
The horizontal direction and speed of air motion.

1. An Air Force unit composed normally of one primary mission group and the necessary supporting organizations, i.e., organizations designed to render supply, maintenance, hospitalization, and other services required by the primary mission groups. Primary mission groups may be functional, such as combat, training, transport, or service. 2. A fleet air wing is the basic organizational and administrative unit for naval-, land-, and tender-based aviation. Such wings are mobile units to which are assigned aircraft squadrons and tenders for administrative organization control. 3. A balanced Marine Corps task organization of aircraft groups and squadrons, together with appropriate command, air control, administrative, service, and maintenance units. A standard Marine Corps aircraft wing contains the aviation elements normally required for the air support of a Marine division. 4. A flank unit; that part of a military force to the right or left of the main body.

An aviator subordinate to and in support of the designated section leader; also, the aircraft flown in this role.

withdrawal operation
A planned retrograde operation in which a force in contact disengages from an enemy force and moves in a direction away from the enemy.

withhold (nuclear)
The limiting of authority to employ nuclear weapons by denying their use within specified geographical areas or certain countries.

working anchorage
An anchorage where ships lie to discharge cargoes over-side to coasters or lighters. See also emergency anchorage.

working capital fund
A revolving fund established to finance inventories of supplies and other stores, or to provide working capital for industrial-type activities.

work order
A specific or blanket authorization to perform certain work--usually broader in scope than a job order. It is sometimes used synonymously with job order.

world geographic reference system
See georef.

Worldwide Port System
Automated information system to provide cargo management and accountability to water port and regional commanders while providing in-transit visibility to the Global Transportation Network. Also called WPS. See also Global Transportation Network.

See seriously wounded; slightly wounded.

wounded in action
A casualty category applicable to a hostile casualty, other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who has incurred an injury due to an external agent or cause. The term encompasses all kinds of wounds and other injuries incurred in action, whether there is a piercing of the body, as in a penetration or perforated wound, or none, as in the contused wound. These include fractures, burns, blast concussions, all effects of biological and chemical warfare agents, and the effects of an exposure to ionizing radiation or any other destructive weapon or agent. The hostile casualty's status may be categorized as "very seriously ill or injured," "seriously ill or injured," "incapacitating illness or injury," or "not seriously injured." Also called WIA. See also casualty category.

wreckage locator chart
A chart indicating the geographic location of all known aircraft wreckage sites and all known vessel wrecks that show above low water or can be seen from the air. It consists of a visual plot of each wreckage, numbered in chronological order, and cross referenced with a wreckage locator file containing all pertinent data concerning the wreckage.

1. The rotation of an aircraft, ship, or missile about its vertical axis so as to cause the longitudinal axis of the aircraft, ship, or missile to deviate from the flight line or heading in its horizontal plane. 2. Angle between the longitudinal axis of a projectile at any moment and the tangent to the trajectory in the corresponding point of flight of the projectile.

See nuclear yields.

zero-length launching
A technique in which the first motion of the missile or aircraft removes it from the launcher.

zero point
The location of the center of a burst of a nuclear weapon at the instant of detonation. The zero point may be in the air, or on or beneath the surface of land or water, depending upon the type of burst, and it is thus to be distinguished from ground zero.

zone III (nuclear)
A circular area (less zones I and II) determined by using minimum safe distance III as the radius and the desired ground zero as the center in which all personnel require minimum protection. Minimum protection denotes that armed forces personnel are prone on open ground with all skin areas covered and with an overall thermal protection at least equal to that provided by a two-layer uniform.

zone II (nuclear)
A circular area (less zone I) determined by using minimum safe distance II as the radius and the desired ground zero as the center in which all personnel require maximum protection. Maximum protection denotes that armed forces personnel are in "buttoned up" tanks or crouched in foxholes with improvised overhead shielding.

zone I (nuclear)
A circular area determined by using minimum safe distance I as the radius and the desired ground zero as the center from which all armed forces are evacuated. If evacuation is not possible or if a commander elects a higher degree of risk, maximum protective measures will be required.

zone of action
A tactical subdivision of a larger area, the responsibility for which is assigned to a tactical unit; generally applied to offensive action. See also sector.

zone of fire
An area into which a designated ground unit or fire support ship delivers, or is prepared to deliver, fire support. Fire may or may not be observed.

ZULU time
See Universal Time.


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