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This site contains a comprehensive list of U.S. military terms and definitions.

abort — (*) 1. To terminate a mission for any reason other than enemy action. It may
occur at any point after the beginning of the mission and prior to its completion. 2. To
discontinue aircraft takeoff or missile launch.
absolute altimeter — (*) A type of altimeter which measures vertical distance to the
surface below, using radio, radar, sonic, laser, or capacitive technology.
absolute dud — A nuclear weapon which, when launched at or emplaced on a target, fails
to explode.
absolute filter — (*) A filter capable of cutting off 100% by weight of solid particles
greater than a stated micron size.
absolute height — (*) The height of an aircraft directly above the surface or terrain over
which it is flying. See also altitude.
acceptability — The joint operation plan review criterion for assessing whether the
contemplated course of action is proportional and worth the cost in personnel,
equipment, materiel, time involved, or position; is consistent with the law of war; and is
militarily and politically supportable. See also adequacy; feasibility. (JP 5-0)
access to classified information — The ability and opportunity to obtain knowledge of
classified information. Persons have access to classified information if they are
permitted to gain knowledge of the information or if they are in a place where they
would be expected to gain such knowledge. Persons do not have access to classified
information by being in a place where classified information is kept if security
measures prevent them from gaining knowledge of the information.
accidental attack — An unintended attack which occurs without deliberate national design
as a direct result of a random event, such as a mechanical failure, a simple human error,
or an unauthorized action by a subordinate.
accompanying supplies — Unit supplies that deploy with forces.
accountability — The obligation imposed by law or lawful order or regulation on an officer
or other person for keeping accurate record of property, documents, or funds. The
person having this obligation may or may not have actual possession of the property,
documents, or funds. Accountability is concerned primarily with records, while
responsibility is concerned primarily with custody, care, and safekeeping. See also
accounting line designator — A five-character code, consisting of the target desired
ground zero designator and the striking command suffix, to indicate a specific nuclear
strike by a specified weapon delivery system on a target objective to the operation plan.
Also called ALD.
accuracy of fire — (*) The precision of fire expressed by the closeness of a grouping of
shots at and around the center of the target.
accuracy of information — See evaluation.
acoustical surveillance — Employment of electronic devices, including sound-recording,
-receiving, or -transmitting equipment, for the collection of information.
acoustic circuit — A mine circuit which responds to the acoustic field of a target. See also
acoustic intelligence — (*) Intelligence derived from the collection and processing of
acoustic phenomena. Also called ACINT. (JP 2-0)
acoustic jamming — The deliberate radiation or reradiation of mechanical or
electroacoustic signals with the objectives of obliterating or obscuring signals that the
enemy is attempting to receive and of disrupting enemy weapons systems. See also
barrage jamming; electronic warfare; jamming; spot jamming.
acoustic mine — (*) A mine with an acoustic circuit which responds to the acoustic field
of a ship or sweep. See also mine.
acoustic minehunting — (*) The use of a sonar to detect mines or mine-like objects which
may be on or protruding from the seabed, or buried.
acoustic warfare — (*) Action involving the use of underwater acoustic energy to
determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the underwater acoustic spectrum
and actions which retain friendly use of the underwater acoustic spectrum. Also called
AW. There are three divisions within acoustic warfare. 1. acoustic warfare support
measures. That aspect of acoustic warfare involving actions to search for, intercept,
locate, record, and analyze radiated acoustic energy in water for the purpose of
exploiting such radiations. The use of acoustic warfare support measures involves no
intentional underwater acoustic emission and is generally not detectable by the enemy.
Also called AWSM. 2. acoustic warfare countermeasures. That aspect of acoustic
warfare involving actions taken to prevent or reduce an enemy’s effective use of the
underwater acoustic spectrum. Acoustic warfare countermeasures involve intentional
underwater acoustic emissions for deception and jamming. Also called AWCM. 3.
acoustic warfare counter-countermeasures. That aspect of acoustic warfare
involving actions taken to ensure friendly effective use of the underwater acoustic
spectrum despite the enemy’s use of underwater acoustic warfare. Acoustic warfare
counter-countermeasures involve anti-acoustic warfare support measures and antiacoustic
warfare countermeasures, and may not involve underwater acoustic emissions.
Also called AWCCM.
acoustic warfare counter-countermeasures — See acoustic warfare Part 3.
acoustic warfare countermeasures — See acoustic warfare Part 2.
acoustic warfare support measures — See acoustic warfare Part 1.
acquire — 1. When applied to acquisition radars, the process of detecting the presence and
location of a target in sufficient detail to permit identification. 2. When applied to
tracking radars, the process of positioning a radar beam so that a target is in that beam
to permit the effective employment of weapons. See also target acquisition.
acquire (radar) — See acquire.
acquisition — See collection (acquisition).
acquisition and cross-servicing agreement — Agreements negotiated on a bilateral basis
with US allies or coalition partners that allow US forces to exchange most common
types of support, including food, fuel, transportation, ammunition, and equipment.
Authority to negotiate these agreements is usually delegated to the combatant
commander by the Secretary of Defense. Authority to execute these agreements lies
with the Secretary of Defense, and may or may not be delegated. Governed by legal
guidelines, these agreements are used for contingencies, peacekeeping operations,
unforeseen emergencies, or exercises to correct logistic deficiencies that cannot be
adequately corrected by national means. The support received or given is reimbursed
under the conditions of the acquisition and cross-servicing agreement. Also called
ACSA. See also cross-servicing; servicing. (JP 4-08)
action agent — In intelligence usage, one who has access to, and performs actions against,
the target.
action deferred — Tactical action on a specific track is being withheld for better tactical
advantage. Weapons are available and commitment is pending.
action information center — See air defense control center; combat information
action phase — In an amphibious operation, the period of time between the arrival of the
landing forces of the amphibious force in the operational area and the accomplishment
of their mission. See also amphibious force; amphibious operation; landing force;
mission. (JP 3-02)
activation — Order to active duty (other than for training) in the federal service. See also
active duty; federal service. (JP 4-05)
activation detector — (*) A device used to determine neutron flux or density by virtue of
the radioactivity induced in it as a result of neutron capture.
active air defense — Direct defensive action taken to destroy, nullify, or reduce the
effectiveness of hostile air and missile threats against friendly forces and assets. It
includes the use of aircraft, air defense weapons, electronic warfare, and other available
weapons. See also air defense. (JP 3-01)
active communications satellite — See communications satellite.
active defense — The employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a
contested area or position to the enemy. See also passive defense.
active duty — Full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. This
includes members of the Reserve Components serving on active duty or full-time
training duty, but does not include full-time National Guard duty. Also called AD. See
also active duty for training; inactive duty training.
active duty for special work — A tour of active duty for reserve personnel authorized from
military and reserve personnel appropriations for work on active or reserve component
programs. This includes annual screening, training camp operations, training ship
operations, and unit conversion to new weapon systems when such duties are essential.
Active duty for special work may also be authorized to support study groups, training
sites and exercises, short-term projects, and doing administrative or support functions.
By policy, active duty for special work tours are normally limited to 179 days or less in
one fiscal year. Tours exceeding 180 days are accountable against active duty end
active duty for training — A tour of active duty which is used for training members of the
Reserve Components to provide trained units and qualified persons to fill the needs of
the Armed Forces in time of war or national emergency and such other times as the
national security requires. The member is under orders that provide for return to
non-active status when the period of active duty for training is completed. This
includes annual training, special tours of active duty for training, school tours, and the
initial duty for training performed by nonprior service enlistees. Also called ADT.
Active Guard and Reserve — National Guard and Reserve members who are on voluntary
active duty providing full-time support to National Guard, Reserve, and Active
Component organizations for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting,
instructing, or training the Reserve Components. Also called AGR. (CJCSM 3150.13)
active homing guidance — (*) A system of homing guidance wherein both the source for
illuminating the target and the receiver for detecting the energy reflected from the target
as the result of the illumination are carried within the missile.
active material — (*) Material, such as plutonium and certain isotopes of uranium, which
is capable of supporting a fission chain reaction.
active mine — (*) A mine actuated by the reflection from a target of a signal emitted by
the mine.
active sealift forces — Military Sealift Command active, common-user sealift and the
afloat pre-positioning force, including the required cargo handling and delivery systems
as well as necessary operating personnel. See also afloat pre-positioning force;
common-user sealift; Military Sealift Command. (JP 4-01.2)
active status — Status of all Reserves except those on an inactive status list or in the
Retired Reserve. Reservists in an active status may train for points and/or pay and may
be considered for promotion.
activity — 1. A unit, organization, or installation performing a function or mission, e.g.,
reception center, redistribution center, naval station, naval shipyard. 2. A function,
mission, action, or collection of actions. Also called ACT. See also establishment.
act of mercy — In personnel recovery, assistance rendered to evaders by an individual or
elements of the local population who sympathize or empathize with the evaders’ cause
or plight. See also evader; evasion; recovery; recovery operations. (JP 3-50)
actual ground zero — (*) The point on the surface of the Earth at, or vertically below or
above, the center of an actual nuclear detonation. See also desired ground zero;
ground zero.
actuate — (*) To operate a mine-firing mechanism by an influence or a series of influences
in such a way that all the requirements of the mechanism for firing, or for registering a
target count, are met.
acute care services — Medical services provided for patients with conditions that generally
have a rapid onset and follow a short course or require immediate attention. Most
battlefield care rendered after wounding, illness, or injury onset is acute care service.
Acute care service is delivered after the onset of symptoms, which differentiates it from
preventive care that is delivered before symptoms appear. (JP 4-02)
acute radiation dose — (*) Total ionizing radiation dose received at one time and over a
period so short that biological recovery cannot occur. (JP 3-11)
acute radiation syndrome — An acute illness caused by irradiation of the body by a high
dose of penetrating radiation in a very short period of time. Also called ARS. (JP 3-11)
adequacy — The joint operation plan review criterion for assessing whether the scope and
concept of planned operations can accomplish the assigned mission and comply with
the planning guidance provided. See also acceptability; feasibility. (JP 5-0)
adjust — An order to the observer or spotter to initiate an adjustment on a designated target.
administrative airlift service — The airlift service normally provided by specifically
identifiable aircraft assigned to organizations or commands for internal administration.
administrative contracting officer — Contracting officer whose primary duties involve
contract administration. Also called ACO. See also contracting officer; procuring
contracting officer. (JP 4-10)
administrative control — Direction or exercise of authority over subordinate or other
organizations in respect to administration and support, including organization of
Service forces, control of resources and equipment, personnel management, unit
logistics, individual and unit training, readiness, mobilization, demobilization,
discipline, and other matters not included in the operational missions of the subordinate
or other organizations. Also called ADCON. (JP 1)
administrative escort — A warship or merchant ship under naval control, carrying a
convoy commodore and staff, and serving as a platform for simultaneous
communication with an operational control authority and a coastal convoy.
administrative landing — An unopposed landing involving debarkation from vessels that
have been administratively loaded. See also administrative loading; administrative
movement; logistics over-the-shore operations.
administrative loading — (*) A loading system which gives primary consideration to
achieving maximum utilization of troop and cargo space without regard to tactical
considerations. Equipment and supplies must be unloaded and sorted before they can
be used. Also called commercial loading. See also loading.
administrative map — A map that contains graphically recorded information pertaining to
administrative matters, such as supply and evacuation installations, personnel
installations, medical facilities, collecting points for stragglers and enemy prisoners of
war, train bivouacs, service and maintenance areas, main supply roads, traffic
circulation, boundaries, and other details necessary to show the administrative situation.
See also map.
administrative movement — (*) A movement in which troops and vehicles are arranged
to expedite their movement and conserve time and energy when no enemy interference,
except by air, is anticipated.
administrative order — (*) An order covering traffic, supplies, maintenance, evacuation,
personnel, and other administrative details.
administrative shipping — Support shipping that is capable of transporting troops and
cargo from origin to destination, but that cannot be loaded or unloaded without nonAs
organic personnel and/or equipment (e.g., cargo handling personnel, stevedores, piers,
barges, cranes, materials handling equipment, vessels, etc.). See also administrative
loading; administrative movement.
advanced base — A base located in or near an operational area whose primary mission is to
support military operations.
advanced geospatial intelligence — Refers to the technical, geospatial, and intelligence
information derived through interpretation or analysis using advanced processing of all
data collected by imagery or imagery-related collection systems. Also known as
imagery-derived measurement and signature intelligence. Also called AGI. (JP 2-03)
advanced logistic support site — See naval advanced logistic support site. Also called
ALSS. (JP 4-01.3)
advanced operations base — In special operations, a small temporary base established
near or within a joint special operations area to command, control, and/or support
training or tactical operations. Facilities are normally austere. The base may be ashore
or afloat. If ashore, it may include an airfield or unimproved airstrip, a pier, or an
anchorage. An advanced operations base is normally controlled and/or supported by a
main operations base or a forward operations base. Also called AOB. See also
forward operations base; main operations base. (JP 3-05.1)
advance force — (*) A temporary organization within the amphibious task force which
precedes the main body to the objective area. Its function is to participate in preparing
the objective for the main assault by conducting such operations as reconnaissance,
seizure of supporting positions, minesweeping, preliminary bombardment, underwater
demolitions, and air support.
advance guard — Detachment sent ahead of the main force to ensure its uninterrupted
advance; to protect the main body against surprise; to facilitate the advance by
removing obstacles and repairing roads and bridges; and to cover the deployment of the
main body if it is committed to action.
advance guard reserve — Second of the two main parts of an advance guard, the other
being the advance guard support. It protects the main force and is itself protected by
the advance guard support. Small advance guards do not have reserves.
advance guard support — First of the two main parts of an advance guard, the other being
the advance guard reserve. It is made up of three smaller elements, in order from front
to rear, the advance guard point, the advance party, and the support proper. The
advance guard support protects the advance guard reserve.
adversary — (*) A party acknowledged as potentially hostile to a friendly party and against
which the use of force may be envisaged. (JP 3-0)
adverse weather aerial delivery system — The precise delivery of personnel, equipment,
and supplies during adverse weather, using a self-contained aircraft instrumentation
system without artificial ground assistance or the use of ground navigational aids. Also
called AWADS. (JP 3-17)
advisory area — (*) A designated area within a flight information region where air traffic
advisory service is available.
aerial picket — See air picket.
aerial port — An airfield that has been designated for the sustained air movement of
personnel and materiel as well as an authorized port for entrance into or departure from
the country where located. Also called APORT. See also port of debarkation; port
of embarkation.
aerial port control center — The agency responsible for the management and control of all
aerial port resources and for the receipt and dissemination of all airlift requirements
received from the airlift control team as the joint force commander’s agent. Also called
APCC. See also aerial port; airlift control team. (JP 3-17)
aerial port squadron — An Air Force organization that operates and provides the functions
assigned to aerial ports, including processing personnel and cargo, rigging for airdrop,
packing parachutes, loading equipment, preparing air cargo and load plans, loading and
securing aircraft, ejecting cargo for inflight delivery, and supervising units engaged in
aircraft loading and unloading operations.
aerodynamic missile — (*) A missile which uses aerodynamic forces to maintain its flight
path. See also ballistic missile; guided missile.
aeromedical evacuation — The movement of patients under medical supervision to and
between medical treatment facilities by air transportation. Also called AE.
aeromedical evacuation cell — The interface between validation and execution; an
aeromedical evacuation cell is established in the tanker airlift control center/air mobility
operations control center. The aeromedical evacuation cell provides the critical link
between command and control, operations, and medical direction. It performs
operational mission planning, tasking, and scheduling, and mission monitoring of airlift
and aeromedical evacuation assets to support patient movement in coordination with
the patient movement requirement center. See also aeromedical evacuation; Tanker
Airlift Control Center. (JP 3-17)
aeromedical evacuation control officer — An officer of the air transport force or air
command controlling the flow of patients by air.
aeromedical evacuation control team — A cell within the air operations center and one of
the core teams in the air mobility division. Provides command and control for theater
aeromedical evacuation elements. It is responsible to the director of mobility forces for
current aeromedical evacuation operational planning and mission execution. The
aeromedical evacuation control team analyzes patient movement requirements;
coordinates airlift to meet aeromedical evacuation requirements; tasks the appropriate
aeromedical evacuation elements including special medical requirements, when
necessary; and passes mission information to the patient movement requirement center.
Also called AECT. See also aeromedical evacuation; aeromedical evacuation cell;
air mobility division. (JP 3-17)
aeromedical evacuation coordination center — A coordination center within the joint air
operations center’s airlift coordination cell that monitors all activities related to
aeromedical evacuation (AE) operations execution. It manages the medical aspects of
the AE mission and serves as the net control station for AE communications. It
coordinates medical requirements with airlift capability, assigns medical missions to
the appropriate AE elements, and monitors patient movement activities. Also called
AECC. See also aeromedical evacuation; aeromedical evacuation system;
aeromedical evacuation unit. (JP 4-02.2)
aeromedical evacuation system — A system that provides: a. control of patient movement
by air transport; b. specialized medical aircrew, medical crew augmentees, and
specialty medical attendants and equipment for inflight medical care; c. facilities on or
in the vicinity of air strips and air bases for the limited medical care of intransit patients
entering, en route via, or leaving the system; and d. communication with originating,
destination, and en route medical facilities concerning patient transportation. Also
called AES. See also aeromedical evacuation. (JP 4-02.2)
aeromedical evacuation unit — An operational medical organization concerned primarily
with the management and control of patients being transported via an aeromedical
evacuation system or system echelon. See also forward aeromedical evacuation.
aeronautical chart — A specialized representation of mapped features of the Earth, or
some part of it, produced to show selected terrain, cultural and hydrographic features,
and supplemental information required for air navigation, pilotage, or for planning air
aeronautical information overprint — (*) Additional information which is printed or
stamped on a map or chart for the specific purpose of air navigation.
aeronautical plotting chart — (*) A chart designed for the graphical processes of
aerospace — Of, or pertaining to, Earth’s envelope of atmosphere and the space above it;
two separate entities considered as a single realm for activity in launching, guidance,
and control of vehicles that will travel in both entities.
aerospace defense — 1. All defensive measures designed to destroy or nullify attacking
enemy aircraft and missiles and also negate hostile space systems. 2. An inclusive
term encompassing air defense, ballistic missile defense, and space defense. See also
air defense; space defense. (JP 3-27)
afloat pre-positioning force — Shipping maintained in full operational status to afloat preposition
military equipment and supplies in support of combatant commanders’
operation plans. The afloat pre-positioning force consists of the three maritime prepositioning
ships squadron, the Army’s afloat pre-positioning stocks-3 ships, and the
Navy, Defense Logistics Agency, and Air Force ships. Also called APF. See also
maritime pre-positioning ships. (JP 4-01.2)
afloat pre-positioning operations — Pre-positioning of ships, preloaded with equipment
and supplies (including ammunition and petroleum) that provides for an alternative to
land-based programs. This concept provides for ships and onboard force support
equipment and supplies positioned near potential crisis areas that can be delivered
rapidly to joint airlifted forces in the operational area. Afloat pre-positioning in
forward areas enhances a force’s capability to respond to a crisis, resulting in faster
reaction time. See also operation. (JP 4-01.6)
afloat pre-positioning ships — Forward deployed merchant ships loaded with tactical
equipment and supplies to support the initial deployment of military forces. Also called
APS. See also merchant ship. (JP 4-01.2)
afloat support — (*) A form of logistic support outside the confines of a harbor in which
fuel, ammunition, and supplies are provided for operating forces either underway or at
anchor. See also floating base support.
afterwinds — Wind currents set up in the vicinity of a nuclear explosion directed toward
the burst center, resulting from the updraft accompanying the rise of the fireball.
agency — (*) In intelligence usage, an organization or individual engaged in collecting
and/or processing information. Also called collection agency. See also agent;
intelligence process; source. (JP 2-01)
agent — In intelligence usage, one who is authorized or instructed to obtain or to assist in
obtaining information for intelligence or counterintelligence purposes.
agent authentication — The technical support task of providing an agent with personal
documents, accoutrements, and equipment which have the appearance of authenticity
as to claimed origin and which support and are consistent with the agent’s cover story.
agent net — An organization for clandestine purposes that operates under the direction of a
principal agent.
aggressor forces — 1. Forces engaged in aggressive military action. 2. In the context of
training exercises, the “enemy” created to add realism in training maneuvers and
aimpoint — 1. A point associated with a target and assigned for a specific weapon
impact. May be defined descriptively (e.g., vent in center of roof), by grid reference,
or geolocation. More specific classifications of aimpoint include desired point of
impact, joint desired point of impact, and desired mean point of impact. 2. A
prominent radar-significant feature, for example a tip of land or bridge, used to assist
an aircrew in navigating and delivering their weapons (usually in bad weather and/or
at night). See also desired mean point of impact; desired point of impact. (JP 3-60)
air — (*) In artillery and naval gunfire support, a spotting, or an observation, by a spotter
or an observer to indicate that a burst or group of bursts occurred before impact.
air alert — See airborne alert; air defense warning conditions; ground alert.
air and space expeditionary task force — A deployed numbered air force (NAF) or
command echelon immediately subordinate to a NAF provided as the US Air Force
component command committed to a joint operation. Also called AETF. See also air
expeditionary force; air expeditionary wing. (JP 3-33)
air apportionment — See apportionment (air). (JP 3-30)
air assault — The movement of friendly assault forces (combat, combat support, and
combat service support) by rotary-wing aircraft to engage and destroy enemy forces or
to seize and hold key terrain. See also assault. (JP 3-18)
air assault force — A force composed primarily of ground and rotary-wing air units
organized, equipped, and trained for air assault operations. (JP 3-18)
air assault operation — An operation in which assault forces (combat, combat support, and
combat service support), using the mobility of rotary-wing assets and the total
integration of available firepower, maneuver under the control of a ground or air
maneuver commander to engage enemy forces or to seize and hold key terrain.
(JP 3-18)
air attack — 1. coordinated — A combination of two or more types of air attack (dive,
glide, low-level) in one strike, using one or more types of aircraft. 2. deferred — A
procedure in which attack groups rendezvous as a single unit. It is used when attack
groups are launched from more than one station with their departure on the mission
being delayed pending further orders. 3. divided — A method of delivering a
coordinated air attack which consists of holding the units in close tactical concentration
up to a point, then splitting them to attack an objective from different directions.
airborne — 1. In relation to personnel, troops especially trained to effect, following
transport by air, an assault debarkation, either by parachuting or touchdown. 2. In
relation to equipment, pieces of equipment that have been especially designed for use
by airborne troops during or after an assault debarkation. It also designates some
aeronautical equipment used to accomplish a particular mission. 3. When applied to
materiel, items that form an integral part of the aircraft. 4. The state of an aircraft,
from the instant it becomes entirely sustained by air until it ceases to be so sustained. A
lighter-than-air aircraft is not considered to be airborne when it is attached to the
ground, except that moored balloons are airborne whenever sent aloft. Also called
ABN. See also air transportable unit.
airborne alert — (*) A state of aircraft readiness wherein combat-equipped aircraft are
airborne and ready for immediate action. See also fighter cover. (DOD only) It is
designed to reduce reaction time and to increase survivability. See also combat air
patrol; fighter cover; ground alert.
airborne assault — See assault phase, Part 2.
airborne assault weapon — An unarmored, mobile, full-tracked gun providing a mobile
antitank capability for airborne troops. Can be airdropped.
airborne command post — (*) A suitably equipped aircraft used by the commander for
the control of his or her forces.
airborne early warning — The detection of enemy air or surface units by radar or other
equipment carried in an airborne vehicle, and the transmitting of a warning to friendly
units. Also called AEW.
airborne early warning and control — (*) Air surveillance and control provided by
airborne early warning aircraft which are equipped with search and height-finding radar
and communications equipment for controlling weapon systems. Also called AEW &
C. See also air picket.
airborne force — (*) A force composed primarily of ground and air units organized,
equipped, and trained for airborne operations. See also force(s).
airborne interception equipment — (*) A fire control system, including radar equipment,
installed in interceptor aircraft used to effect air interception.
airborne lift — The total capacities expressed in terms of personnel and cargo that are, or
can be, carried by available aircraft in one trip.
airborne mission coordinator — The designated individual that serves as an airborne
extension of the component commander or supported commander responsible for the
personnel recovery mission, through the designated personnel recovery task force to
manage requirements for the rescue force by monitoring the status of all its elements,
requesting additional assets when needed, and ensuring the recovery and supporting
forces arrive at their designated areas to accomplish the mission. Also called AMC.
See also combat search and rescue; combat search and rescue task force;
personnel recovery coordination cell. (JP 3-50)
airborne operation — An operation involving the air movement into an objective area of
combat forces and their logistic support for execution of a tactical, operational, or
strategic mission. The means employed may be any combination of airborne units, air
transportable units, and types of transport aircraft, depending on the mission and the
overall situation. See also assault; assault phase. (JP 3-18)
airborne order — A command and authorization for flight when a predetermined time
greater than five minutes is established for aircraft to become airborne.
airborne radio relay — Airborne equipment used to relay radio transmission from selected
originating transmitters.
airborne sensor operator — An individual trained to operate sensor equipment aboard
aircraft and to perform limited interpretations of collected information produced in
airborne troops — Those ground units whose primary mission is to make assault landings
from the air. See also troops.
air-breathing missile — A missile with an engine requiring the intake of air for combustion
of its fuel, as in a ramjet or turbojet. To be contrasted with the rocket missile, which
carries its own oxidizer and can operate beyond the atmosphere.
airburst — (*) An explosion of a bomb or projectile above the surface as distinguished
from an explosion on contact with the surface or after penetration. See also types of
air-capable ship — A ship other than aircraft carrier; aircraft carrier, nuclear; amphibious
assault ship, landing platform helicopter; general purpose amphibious assault ship; or
general purpose amphibious assault ship (with internal dock) from which aircraft can
take off, be recovered, or routinely receive and transfer logistic support. See also
aviation ship. (JP 3-04)
air cargo — (*) Stores, equipment or vehicles, which do not form part of the aircraft, and
are either part or all of its payload.
air cartographic camera — (*) A camera having the accuracy and other characteristics
essential for air survey or cartographic photography. Also called mapping camera.
air cartographic photography — (*) The taking and processing of air photographs for
mapping and charting purposes.
air component coordination element — An Air Force component element that interfaces
and provides liaison with the joint force land component commander, or commander
Army forces. The air component coordination element is the senior Air Force element
assisting the joint force land component commander, or commander Army forces in
planning air component supporting and supported requirements. The air component
coordination element is responsible to the joint force air component commander and
coordinates with the joint force land component commander’s staff, representing the
joint force air component commander’s needs in either a supporting or supported role.
Also called ACCE. (JP 3-31)
air corridor — (*) A restricted air route of travel specified for use by friendly aircraft and
established for the purpose of preventing friendly aircraft from being fired on by
friendly forces. (JP 3-52)
aircraft — See inactive aircraft inventory; program aircraft; reserve aircraft;
supporting aircraft; unit aircraft.
aircraft arresting barrier — (*) A device, not dependent on an aircraft arresting hook,
used to stop an aircraft by absorbing its forward momentum in an emergency landing or
an aborted takeoff. Also called barricade; emergency barrier. See also aircraft
arresting system.
aircraft arresting cable — (*) That portion of an aircraft arresting system which spans the
runway surface or flight deck landing area and is engaged by the aircraft arresting
hook. Also called aircraft arresting wire.
aircraft arresting gear — (*) A device used to engage hook-equipped aircraft to absorb
the forward momentum of a routine or emergency landing or aborted takeoff. See also
aircraft arresting system.
aircraft arresting hook — (*) A device fitted to an aircraft to engage arresting gear. Also
called tail hook. See also aircraft arresting system.
aircraft arresting system — (*) A series of components used to stop an aircraft by
absorbing its momentum in a routine or emergency landing or aborted takeoff. See also
aircraft arresting barrier; aircraft arresting gear; aircraft arresting hook.
aircraft arresting wire — See aircraft arresting cable. See also aircraft arresting
aircraft arrestment — (*) Controlled stopping of an aircraft by external means.
aircraft block speed — True airspeed in knots under zero wind conditions adjusted in
relation to length of sortie to compensate for takeoff, climbout, letdown, instrument
approach, and landing.
aircraft captain — See aircraft commander.
aircraft carrier — A warship designed to support and operate aircraft, engage in attacks on
targets afloat or ashore, and engage in sustained operations in support of other forces.
Designated as CV or CVN. CVN is nuclear powered.
aircraft commander — (*) The aircrew member designated by competent authority as
being in command of an aircraft and responsible for its safe operation and
accomplishment of the assigned mission. Also called AC.
aircraft control and warning system — A system established to control and report the
movement of aircraft. It consists of observation facilities (radar, passive electronic,
visual, or other means), control center, and necessary communications.
aircraft cross-servicing — (*) Services performed on an aircraft by an organization other
than that to which the aircraft is assigned, according to an established operational
aircraft cross-servicing requirement, and for which there may be a charge. Aircraft
cross-servicing has been divided into two categories: a. Stage A cross-servicing: The
servicing of an aircraft on an airfield/ship which enables the aircraft to be flown to
another airfield/ship. b. Stage B cross-servicing: The servicing of an aircraft on an
airfield/ship which enables the aircraft to be flown on an operational mission. See also
aircraft transient servicing.
aircraft loading table — A data sheet used by the airlift commander containing
information as to the load that actually goes into each aircraft.
aircraft mission equipment — (*) Equipment that must be fitted to an aircraft to enable it
to fulfill a particular mission or task. Also called aircraft role equipment.
aircraft modification — (*) A change in the physical characteristics of aircraft,
accomplished either by a change in production specifications or by alteration of items
already produced.
aircraft monitoring and control — That equipment installed in aircraft to permit
monitoring and control of safing, arming, and fuzing functions of nuclear weapons or
nuclear weapon systems.
aircraft role equipment — See aircraft mission equipment.
aircraft scrambling — (*) Directing the immediate takeoff of aircraft from a ground alert
condition of readiness.
aircraft store — (*) Any device intended for internal or external carriage and mounted on
aircraft suspension and release equipment, whether or not the item is intended to be
separated in flight from the aircraft. Aircraft stores are classified in two categories as
follows. a. expendable store — An aircraft store normally separated from the aircraft
in flight such as a missile, rocket, bomb, nuclear weapon, mine, torpedo, pyrotechnic
device, sonobuoy, signal underwater sound device, or other similar items. b.
nonexpendable store — An aircraft store which is not normally separated from the
aircraft in flight such as a tank (fuel and spray), line-source disseminator, pod
(refueling, thrust augmentation, gun, electronic attack, data link, etc.), multiple rack,
target, cargo drop container, drone, or other similar items. See also payload.
aircraft tiedown — Securing aircraft when parked in the open to restrain movement due to
the weather or condition of the parking area.
aircraft transient servicing — (*) Services performed on an aircraft by an organization
other than that to which the aircraft is assigned and for which there may be a financial
charge. This activity is separate from the established aircraft cross-servicing program
and requires that the transient aircrew supervise the correct application of ground crew
procedures. See also aircraft cross-servicing.
aircraft utilization — Average numbers of hours during each 24-hour period that an
aircraft is actually in flight.
aircraft vectoring — (*) The directional control of in-flight aircraft through transmission
of azimuth headings.
air cushion vehicle — A vehicle capable of being operated so that its weight, including its
payload, is wholly or significantly supported on a continuously generated cushion or
“bubble” of air at higher than ambient pressure. Also called ACV. (Note: NATO uses
the term “ground effect machine.”)
air defense — Defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy aircraft or missiles
in the atmosphere, or to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of such attack. Also called
AD. See also active air defense; aerospace defense; passive air defense. (JP 3-01)
air defense area — 1. overseas — A specifically defined airspace for which air defense
must be planned and provided. 2. United States — Airspace of defined dimensions
designated by the appropriate agency within which the ready control of airborne
vehicles is required in the interest of national security during an air defense emergency.
air defense artillery — Weapons and equipment for actively combating air targets from the
ground. Also called ADA. (JP 3-40)
air defense control center — (*) The principal information, communications, and
operations center from which all aircraft, antiaircraft operations, air defense artillery,
guided missiles, and air warning functions of a specific area of air defense
responsibility are supervised and coordinated. Also called air defense operations
center. See also combat information center.
air defense direction center — An installation having the capability of performing air
surveillance, interception, control, and direction of allocated air defense weapons
within an assigned sector of responsibility. It may also have an identification
air defense early warning — See early warning.
air defense emergency — An emergency condition, declared by the Commander in Chief,
North American Air Defense Command, that exists when attack upon the continental
United States, Alaska, Canada, or United States installations in Greenland by hostile
aircraft or missiles is considered probable, is imminent, or is taking place. Also called
air defense ground environment — (*) The network of ground radar sites and command
and control centers within a specific theater of operations which are used for the tactical
control of air defense operations.
air defense identification zone — Airspace of defined dimensions within which the ready
identification, location, and control of airborne vehicles are required. Also called
air defense operations center — See air defense control center.
air defense operations team — A team of United States Air Force ground environment
personnel assigned to certain allied air defense control and warning units/elements.
air defense readiness — An operational status requiring air defense forces to maintain
higher than ordinary preparedness for a short period of time.
air defense region — (*) A geographical subdivision of an air defense area.
air defense sector — (*) A geographical subdivision of an air defense region.
air defense warning conditions — A degree of air raid probability according to the
following code. The term air defense region/sector referred to herein may include
forces and units afloat and/or deployed to forward areas, as applicable. Air defense
warning yellow — attack by hostile aircraft and/or missiles is probable. This means
that hostile aircraft and/or missiles are en route toward an air defense region/sector, or
unknown aircraft and/or missiles suspected to be hostile are en route toward or are
within an air defense region/sector. Air defense warning red — attack by hostile
aircraft and/or missiles is imminent or is in progress. This means that hostile aircraft
and/or missiles are within an air defense region/sector or are in the immediate vicinity
of an air defense region/sector with high probability of entering the region/sector. Air
defense warning white — attack by hostile aircraft and/or missiles is improbable.
May be called either before or after air defense warning yellow or red. The initial
declaration of air defense emergency will automatically establish a condition of air
defense warning other than white for purposes of security control of air traffic. Also
called ADWCs. (JP 3-01)
air delivery — See airdrop; air landed; air movement; air supply.
air delivery container — A sling, bag, or roll, usually of canvas or webbing, designed to
hold supplies and equipment for air delivery.
air delivery equipment — Special items of equipment (such as parachutes, air delivery
containers, platforms, tie downs, and related items) used in air delivery of personnel,
supplies, and equipment.
air direct delivery — The intertheater air movement of cargo or personnel from an airlift
point of embarkation to a point as close as practicable to the user’s specified final
destination, thereby minimizing transshipment requirements. Air direct delivery
eliminates the traditional Air Force two step intertheater and intratheater airlift
transshipment mission mix. See also intertheater airlift; intratheater airlift.
(JP 3-17)
airdrop — The unloading of personnel or materiel from aircraft in flight. See also airdrop
platform; air movement; free drop; free fall; high velocity drop; low velocity
airdrop platform — A base upon which vehicles, cargo, or equipment are loaded for
airdrop. See also airdrop.
air employment/allocation plan — The means by which subordinate commanders advise
the joint force commander of planned employment/allocation of organic or assigned
assets, of any expected excess sorties, or of any additional air support requirements.
air expeditionary force — Deployed US Air Force wings, groups, and squadrons
committed to a joint operation. Also called AEF. See also air and space
expeditionary task force. (JP 3-33)
air expeditionary wing — A wing or wing slice placed under the administrative control of
an air and space expeditionary task force or air and space task force by Department of
the Air Force orders for a joint operation. Also called AEW. See also air and space
expeditionary task force. (JP 3-33)
air facility — An installation from which air operations may be or are being conducted.
See also facility.
airfield — An area prepared for the accommodation (including any buildings, installations,
and equipment), landing, and takeoff of aircraft. See also alternate airfield;
departure airfield; landing area; landing point; landing site; main airfield;
redeployment airfield. (DOD Note: In all entries involving “airfield” or “aerodrome,”
the US uses “airfield,” and NATO uses “aerodrome.” The terms are synonymous.)
airfield traffic — (*) All traffic on the maneuvering area of an airfield and all aircraft
flying in the vicinity of an airfield.
Air Force air and space operations center — The senior agency of the Air Force
component commander that provides command and control of Air Force air and space
operations and coordinates with other components and Services. Also called AFAOC.
(JP 3-09.3)
Air Force Component Headquarters — The field headquarters facility of the Air Force
commander charged with the overall conduct of Air Force operations. It is composed
of the command section and appropriate staff elements.
Air Force special operations base — A base, airstrip, or other appropriate facility that
provides physical support to Air Force special operations forces (AFSOF). The facility
may be used solely to support AFSOF or may be a portion of a larger base supporting
other operations. As a supporting facility, it is distinct from the forces operating from
or being supported by it. Also called AFSOB. (JP 3-05)
Air Force special operations component — The Air Force component of a joint force
special operations component. Also called AFSOC. See also Army special
operations component; Navy special operations component. (JP 3-05.1)
Air Force special operations detachment — A squadron-size headquarters that could be a
composite organization composed of different Air Force special operations assets. The
detachment is normally subordinate to an Air Force special operations component, joint
special operations task force, or joint task force, depending upon size and duration of
the operation. Also called AFSOD. (JP 3-05)
Air Force special operations element — An element-size Air Force special operations
headquarters. It is normally subordinate to an Air Force special operations component
or detachment, depending upon size and duration of the operation. Also called
AFSOE. (JP 3-05)
Air Force special operations forces — Those Active and Reserve Component Air Force
forces designated by the Secretary of Defense that are specifically organized, trained,
and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called AFSOF. (JP 3-05)
airhead — (*) 1. A designated area in a hostile or potentially hostile operational area that,
when seized and held, ensures the continuous air landing of troops and materiel and
provides the maneuver space necessary for projected operations. Normally it is the area
seized in the assault phase of an airborne operation. 2. A designated location in an
operational area used as a base for supply and evacuation by air. See also beachhead;
bridgehead. (JP 3-18)
airhead line — A line denoting the limits of the objective area for an airborne assault. The
airhead line is bounded by assault objectives that are operationally located to ensure
that enemy fires cannot be brought to bear on the main objective and for friendly forces
to conduct defensive operations in depth. See also airhead; assault phase; objective
area. (JP 3-18)
air intercept control common — A tactical air-to-ground radio frequency, monitored by
all air intercept control facilities within an area, that is used as a backup for other
discrete tactical control frequencies.
air interception — To effect visual or electronic contact by a friendly aircraft with another
aircraft. Normally, the air intercept is conducted in the following five phases: a. climb
phase — Airborne to cruising altitude. b. maneuver phase — Receipt of initial
vector to target until beginning transition to attack speed and altitude. c. transition
phase — Increase or decrease of speed and altitude required for the attack. d. attack
phase — Turn to attack heading, acquire target, complete attack, and turn to breakaway
heading. e. recovery phase — Breakaway to landing. See also close-controlled air
air interdiction — Air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the
enemy’s military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly
forces, or to otherwise achieve objectives. Air interdiction is conducted at such
distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire
and movement of friendly forces is not required. (JP 3-0)
air landed — (*) Moved by air and disembarked, or unloaded, after the aircraft has landed
or while a helicopter is hovering. See also air movement.
air landed operation — An operation involving movement by air with a designated
destination for further ground deployment of units and personnel and/or further ground
distribution of supplies. See also air landed. (JP 3-17)
air-launched ballistic missile — A ballistic missile launched from an airborne vehicle.
air liaison officer — The senior tactical air control party member attached to a ground unit
who functions as the primary advisor to the ground commander on air power. An air
liaison officer is usually an aeronautically rated officer. Also called ALO. See also
liaison. (JP 3-09.3)
airlift capability — The total capacity expressed in terms of number of passengers and/or
weight/cubic displacement of cargo that can be carried at any one time to a given
destination by available airlift. See also airlift requirement; allowable load;
airlift control team — A cell within the air operations center and one of the core teams in
the air mobility division. The airlift control team brings intratheater airlift functional
expertise from the theater organizations to plan, coordinate, manage, and execute
intratheater airlift operations in the area of responsibility and joint operations area for
the joint force air component commander. US Transportation Command and Air
Mobility Command may augment the airlift control team with intratheater airlift
expertise. These two sources of airlift expertise integrate into a single airlift control
team within the air mobility division. Also called ALCT. See also Air Force air and
space operations center; air mobility division; intratheater airlift. (JP 3-17)
airlift coordination cell — A cell within the air operations center which plans, coordinates,
manages, and executes theater airlift operations in the area of responsibility or joint
operations area. Normally consists of an airlift plans branch, an airlift operations
branch, and an airlift support branch. Also called ALCC. See also Air Force air and
space operations center; area of responsibility; joint operations area. (JP 3-17)
airlift mission commander — A commander designated when airlift aircraft are
participating in airlift operations specified in the implementing directive. The airlift
mission commander is usually designated by the commander of the deployed airlift
unit, but may be selected by the Air Force component commander or joint force air
component commander depending on the nature of the mission. See also joint force
air component commander. (JP 3-17)
airlift requirement — (*) The total number of passengers and/or weight/cubic
displacement of cargo required to be carried by air for a specific task. See also airlift
airlift service — The performance or procurement of air transportation and services
incident thereto required for the movement of persons, cargo, mail, or other goods.
air logistic support — Support by air landing or airdrop, including air supply, movement of
personnel, evacuation of casualties and enemy prisoners of war, and recovery of
equipment and vehicles.
air logistic support operation — (*) An air operation, excluding an airborne operation,
conducted within a theater to distribute and recover personnel, equipment, and supplies.
airmiss — See near miss.
air mission — See mission, Part 3.
air mission intelligence report — A detailed report of the results of an air mission,
including a complete intelligence account of the mission.
airmobile forces — (*) The ground combat, supporting, and air vehicle units required to
conduct an airmobile operation.
airmobile operation — (*) An operation in which combat forces and their equipment
move about the battlefield by aircraft to engage in ground combat.
air mobility — The rapid movement of personnel, materiel and forces to and from or within
a theater by air. This includes both airlift and air refueling. See also air
refueling. (JP 3-17)
Air Mobility Command — The Air Force component command of the US Transportation
Command. Also called AMC.
air mobility control team — A cell within the air operations center and one of the core
teams in the air mobility division. The air mobility control team is the centralized
source of air mobility command, control, and communications for the director of
mobility forces during mission execution. The director of mobility forces uses the air
mobility control team to direct (or redirect as required) air mobility forces in concert
with other air and space forces to respond to requirement changes, higher priorities, or
immediate execution limitations. The air mobility control team deconflicts all air
mobility operations into, out of, and within the area of responsibility or joint operations
area. The air mobility control team maintains execution process and communications
connectivity for tasking, coordination, and flight with the air operations center’s combat
operations division, subordinate air mobility units, and mission forces. Also called
AMCT. See also Air Force air and space operations center; air mobility; air
mobility division. (JP 3-17)
air mobility division — Located in the joint air operations center to plan, coordinate, task,
and execute the air mobility mission. Consists of the air mobility control team, airlift
control team, aerial refueling control team, aeromedical evacuation control team, and
the air mobility element. Coordinates with the joint force commander’s movement
requirements and control authority, the theater air mobility operations control center, if
established, and the Air Mobility Command’s tanker/airlift control center, as required.
Also called AMD. See also air mobility; joint air operations center. (JP 4-01)
air mobility element — The air mobility element provides air mobility integration and
coordination of US Transportation Command-assigned air mobility forces. The air
mobility element receives direction from the director of mobility forces and is the
primary team for providing coordination with the tanker airlift control center. Direct
delivery intertheater air mobility missions, if required, will be coordinated through the
air mobility division and tasked by the Air Mobility Command tanker airlift control
center. The tanker airlift control center commander maintains operational control of
direct delivery missions during execution. The air mobility element ensures the
integration of intertheater air mobility missions with theater air and space operations
planning. Also called AME. See also Air Force air and space operations center;
air mobility division; director of mobility forces; Tanker Airlift Control
Center. (JP 3-17)
air mobility express — An express airlift system that is activated when Department of
Defense requirements dictate. It is comprised of express carrier aircraft and related
continental United States infrastructure, Air Mobility Command airlift, and an intheater
rapid distribution system. Also called AMX. See also air mobility; Air
Mobility Command. (JP 3-17)
air mobility liaison officer — An officer specially trained to implement the theater air
control system and to advise on control of airlift assets. They are highly qualified, rated
airlift officers with airdrop airlift experience, and assigned duties supporting US Army
units. Air mobility liaison officers provide expertise on the efficient use of air mobility
assets. Also called AMLO. (JP 3-17)
air movement — Air transport of units, personnel, supplies, and equipment including
airdrops and air landings. See also airdrop; air landed. (JP 3-17)
air movement column — In airborne operations, the lead formation and the serials
following, proceeding over the same flight path at the same altitude.
air movement table — (*) A table prepared by a ground force commander in coordination
with an air force commander. This form, issued as an annex to the operation order: a.
indicates the allocation of aircraft space to elements of the ground units to be airlifted;
b. designates the number and type of aircraft in each serial; c. specifies the departure
area, time of loading, and takeoff.
air observation — See air observer.
air observation post — See observation post.
air observer — (*) An individual whose primary mission is to observe or take photographs
from an aircraft in order to adjust artillery fire or obtain military information.
air observer adjustment — The correcting of gunfire from an aircraft. See also spot.
air offensive — Sustained operations by strategic and/or tactical air weapon systems against
hostile air forces or surface targets.
air photographic reconnaissance — (*) The obtaining of information by air photography,
divided into three types: a. Strategic photographic reconnaissance; b. Tactical
photographic reconnaissance; and c. Survey/cartographic photography-air photography
taken for survey/cartographical purposes and to survey/cartographic standards of
accuracy. It may be strategic or tactical.
air picket — (*) An airborne early warning aircraft positioned primarily to detect, report,
and track approaching enemy aircraft or missiles and to control intercepts. Also called
aerial picket. See also airborne early warning and control.
air plot — (*) 1. A continuous plot used in air navigation of a graphic representation of
true headings steered and air distances flown. 2. A continuous plot of the position of
an airborne object represented graphically to show true headings steered and air
distances flown. 3. Within ships, a display that shows the positions and movements of
an airborne object relative to the plotting ship.
airport — See airfield.
air portable — (*) Denotes materiel which is suitable for transport by an aircraft loaded
internally or externally, with no more than minor dismantling and reassembling within
the capabilities of user units. This term must be qualified to show the extent of air
portability. See also load.
airport surface detection equipment — Short-range radar displaying the airport surface.
Aircraft and vehicular traffic operating on runways, taxiways, and ramps, moving or
stationary, may be observed with a high degree of resolution.
airport surveillance radar — Radar displaying range and azimuth that is normally
employed in a terminal area as an aid to approach- and departure-control.
airport traffic area — Unless otherwise specifically designated, that airspace within a
horizontal radius of five statute miles from the geographic center of any airport at
which a control tower is operating, extending from the surface up to, but not including,
an altitude of 3,000 feet above the elevation of the airport. Also called ATA.
air position — (*) The calculated position of an aircraft assuming no wind effect.
air priorities committee — (*) A committee set up to determine the priorities of
passengers and cargo.
air raid reporting control ship — (*) A ship to which the air defense ship has delegated
the duties of controlling air warning radar and air raid reporting.
air reconnaissance — The acquisition of information by employing visual observation
and/or sensors in air vehicles.
air reconnaissance liaison officer — An Army officer especially trained in air
reconnaissance and imagery interpretation matters who is attached to a tactical air
reconnaissance unit. This officer assists and advises the air commander and staff on
matters concerning ground operations and informs the supported ground commander
on the status of air reconnaissance requests.
air refueling — The capability to refuel aircraft in flight, which extends presence, increases
range, and serves as a force multiplier. Also called AR.
air refueling control point — During refueling operations, the geographic point where the
receiver arrives in the observation or precontact position with respect to the tanker.
Also called ARCP.
air refueling control team — A cell within the air operations center and one of the core
teams in the air mobility division. Part of the air operations center that coordinates
aerial refueling planning, tasking, and scheduling to support combat air operations or to
support a strategic airbridge within the area of responsibility or joint area of operations.
Also called ARCT. See also Air Force air and space operations center; air
mobility division; air refueling. (JP 3-17)
air refueling control time — During refueling operations, the time the receiver and tanker
arrive at the air refueling control point. Also called ARCT.
air refueling initiation point — During refueling operations, a point located upstream from
the air refueling control point (inbound to the air refueling control point) where the
receiver aircraft initiates the rendezvous. Also called ARIP.
air request net — A high frequency, single sideband, nonsecure net monitored by all
tactical air control parties (TACPs) and the air support operations center (ASOC) that
allows immediate requests to be transmitted from a TACP at any Army echelon
directly to the ASOC for rapid response. (JP 3-01)
air route — (*) The navigable airspace between two points, identified to the extent
necessary for the application of flight rules.
air route traffic control center — The principal facility exercising en route control of
aircraft operating under instrument flight rules within its area of jurisdiction.
Approximately 26 such centers cover the United States and its possessions. Each has a
communication capability to adjacent centers.
air smuggling event — In counterdrug operations, the departure of a suspected drug
smuggling aircraft, an airdrop of drugs, or the arrival of a suspected drug smuggling
aircraft. (JP 3-07.4)
air sovereignty — A nation’s inherent right to exercise absolute control and authority over
the airspace above its territory. See also air sovereignty mission.
air sovereignty mission — The integrated tasks of surveillance and control, the execution
of which enforces a nation’s authority over its territorial airspace. See also air
airspace control — See airspace control in the combat zone. (JP 3-52)
airspace control area — Airspace that is laterally defined by the boundaries of the
operational area, and may be subdivided into airspace control sectors. (JP 3-01)
airspace control authority — (*) The commander designated to assume overall
responsibility for the operation of the airspace control system in the airspace control
area. Also called ACA. See also airspace control; airspace control area; airspace
control system; control; operation.
airspace control boundary — The lateral limits of an airspace control area, airspace
control sector, high density airspace control zone, or airspace restricted area. (JP 3-52)
airspace control center — The airspace control authority’s primary airspace control
facility, including assigned Service component, host-nation, and/or multinational
personnel and equipment. (JP 3-52)
airspace control facility — Any of the several Service component, host nation, or
multinational facilities that provide airspace control in the combat zone. (JP 3-52)
airspace control in the combat zone — A process used to increase combat effectiveness
by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace. Airspace control is
provided in order to reduce the risk of friendly fire, enhance air defense operations, and
permit greater flexibility of operations. Airspace control does not infringe on the
authority vested in commanders to approve, disapprove, or deny combat operations.
Also called airspace control; combat airspace control. (JP 3-52)
airspace control order — An order implementing the airspace control plan that provides
the details of the approved requests for airspace coordinating measures. It is published
either as part of the air tasking order or as a separate document. Also called
ACO. (JP 3-52)
airspace control plan — The document approved by the joint force commander that
provides specific planning guidance and procedures for the airspace control system for
the joint force operational area. Also called ACP. See also airspace control system;
joint force commander. (JP 3-52)
airspace control procedures — Rules, mechanisms, and directions that facilitate the
control and use of airspace of specified dimensions. See also airspace control
authority; airspace control in a combat zone; airspace control order; airspace
control plan. (JP 3-52)
airspace control sector — A subelement of the airspace control area, established to
facilitate the control of the overall area. Airspace control sector boundaries normally
coincide with air defense organization subdivision boundaries. Airspace control sectors
are designated in accordance with procedures and guidance contained in the airspace
control plan in consideration of Service component, host nation, and multinational
airspace control capabilities and requirements. See also airspace control area.
(JP 3-52)
airspace control system — (*) An arrangement of those organizations, personnel, policies,
procedures, and facilities required to perform airspace control functions. Also called
airspace coordinating measures — Measures employed to facilitate the efficient use of
airspace to accomplish missions and simultaneously provide safeguards for friendly
forces. Also called ACMs. See also airspace control area; airspace control
boundary; airspace control sector; airspace coordination area; high-density
airspace control zone; weapons engagement zone. (JP 3-52)
airspace coordination area — A three-dimensional block of airspace in a target area,
established by the appropriate ground commander, in which friendly aircraft are
reasonably safe from friendly surface fires. The airspace coordination area may be
formal or informal. Also called ACA. (JP 3-09.3)
airspace management — The coordination, integration, and regulation of the use of
airspace of defined dimensions.
airspace reservation — The airspace located above an area on the surface of the land or
water, designated and set apart by Executive Order of the President or by a state,
commonwealth, or territory, over which the flight of aircraft is prohibited or restricted
for the purpose of national defense or for other governmental purposes.
airspace restrictions — (*) Special restrictive measures applied to segments of airspace of
defined dimensions.
air space warning area — See danger area.
airspeed — The speed of an aircraft relative to its surrounding air mass. The unqualified
term “airspeed” can mean any one of the following. a. calibrated airspeed —
Indicated airspeed corrected for instrument installation error. b. equivalent airspeed
— Calibrated airspeed corrected for compressibility error. c. indicated airspeed —
The airspeed shown by an airspeed indicator. d. true airspeed — Equivalent airspeed
corrected for error due to air density (altitude and temperature).
airspeed indicator — (*) An instrument which displays the indicated airspeed of the
aircraft derived from inputs of pitot and static pressures.
air staging unit — (*) A unit situated at an airfield and concerned with reception, handling,
servicing, and preparation for departure of aircraft and control of personnel and cargo.
air station — (*) In photogrammetry, the point in space occupied by the camera lens at the
moment of exposure.
air strike — An attack on specific objectives by fighter, bomber, or attack aircraft on an
offensive mission. May consist of several air organizations under a single command in
the air.
air strike coordinator — The air representative of the force commander in a target area,
who is responsible for directing all aircraft in the target area and coordinating their
efforts to achieve the most effective use of air striking power.
air strip — (*) An unimproved surface which has been adapted for takeoff or landing of
aircraft, usually having minimum facilities. See also airfield.
air superiority — That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another that
permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, and air forces
at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force.
(JP 3-30)
air supply — (*) The delivery of cargo by airdrop or air landing.
air support — (*) All forms of support given by air forces on land or sea. See also close
air support; immediate air support; preplanned air support; tactical air support.
air support operations center — The principal air control agency of the theater air control
system responsible for the direction and control of air operations directly supporting the
ground combat element. It processes and coordinates requests for immediate air
support and coordinates air missions requiring integration with other supporting arms
and ground forces. It normally collocates with the Army tactical headquarters senior
fire support coordination center within the ground combat element. Also called ASOC.
See also air support; close air support; operation; tactical air control center.
(JP 3-09.3)
air support request — A means to request preplanned and immediate close air support, air
interdiction, air reconnaissance, surveillance, escort, helicopter airlift, and other aircraft
missions. Also called AIRSUPREQ. (JP 3-30)
air supremacy — (*) That degree of air superiority wherein the opposing air force is
incapable of effective interference.
air surface zone — (*) A restricted area established for the purpose of preventing friendly
surface vessels and aircraft from being fired upon by friendly forces and for permitting
antisubmarine operations, unrestricted by the operation of friendly submarines. See
also restricted area.
air surveillance — (*) The systematic observation of airspace by electronic, visual or other
means, primarily for the purpose of identifying and determining the movements of
aircraft and missiles, friendly and enemy, in the airspace under observation. See also
satellite and missile surveillance; surveillance.
air surveillance officer — (*) An individual responsible for coordinating and maintaining
an accurate, current picture of the air situation within an assigned airspace area.
air survey camera — See air cartographic camera.
air survey photography — See air cartographic photography.
air target chart — A display of pertinent air target intelligence on a specialized graphic
base. It is designed primarily to support operations against designated air targets by
various weapon systems. Also called ATC.
Air Target Materials Program — A Department of Defense program under the
management control of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency established for and
limited to the production of medium- and large-scale map, chart, and geodetic products,
that supports worldwide targeting requirements of the unified and specified commands,
the Military Departments, and allied participants. It encompasses the determination of
production and coverage requirements, standardization of products, establishment of
production priorities and schedules, and the production, distribution, storage, and
release/exchange of products included under it.
air target mosaic — A large-scale mosaic providing photographic coverage of an area and
permitting comprehensive portrayal of pertinent target detail. These mosaics are used
for intelligence study and in planning and briefing for air operations.
air tasking order — A method used to task and disseminate to components, subordinate
units, and command and control agencies projected sorties, capabilities and/or forces to
targets and specific missions. Normally provides specific instructions to include call
signs, targets, controlling agencies, etc., as well as general instructions. Also called
ATO. (JP 3-30)
air tasking order/confirmation — A message used to task joint force components; to
inform the requesting command and the tasking authority of the action being taken;
and/or to provide additional information about the mission. The message is used only
for preplanned missions and is transmitted on a daily basis, normally 12 hours prior to
the start of the air tasking day or in accordance with established operation plans for the
operational area. Also called ATOCONF. (JP 3-30)
air terminal — A facility on an airfield that functions as an air transportation hub and
accommodates the loading and unloading of airlift aircraft and the intransit processing
of traffic. The airfield may or may not be designated an aerial port.
air-to-air guided missile — (*) An air-launched guided missile for use against air targets.
See also guided missile.
air-to-surface guided missile — (*) An air-launched guided missile for use against surface
targets. See also guided missile.
air traffic control and landing system — Department of Defense facilities, personnel, and
equipment (fixed, mobile, and seaborne) with associated avionics to provide safe,
orderly, and expeditious aerospace vehicle movements worldwide. Also called
air traffic control center — (*) A unit combining the functions of an area control center
and a flight information center. Also called ATCC. See also area control center;
flight information region.
air traffic control clearance — (*) Authorization by an air traffic control authority for an
aircraft to proceed under specified conditions.
air traffic control facility — Any of the component airspace control facilities primarily
responsible for providing air traffic control services and, as required, limited tactical
control services. (JP 3-52)
air traffic controller — An air controller especially trained for and assigned to the duty of
airspace management and traffic control of airborne objects.
air traffic control service — (*) A service provided for the purpose of: a. preventing
collisions: (1) between aircraft; and (2) on the maneuvering area between aircraft and
obstructions; and b. expediting and maintaining an orderly flow of air traffic.
air traffic identification — The use of electronic devices, operational procedures, visual
observation, and/or flight plan correlation for the purpose of identifying and locating
aircraft flying within the airspace control area.
air traffic section — The link between the staging post and the local air priority committee.
It is the key to the efficient handling of passengers and cargo at a staging post. It must
include load control (including Customs and Immigrations facilities), freight, and mail
air transportable unit — (*) A unit, other than airborne, whose equipment is adapted for
air movement. See also airborne; airborne operation.
air transported operations — The movement by aircraft of troops and their equipment for
an operation.
air transport group — A task organization of transport aircraft units that provides air
transport for landing force elements or provides logistic support. (JP 3-02)
airways station — A ground communication installation established, manned, and
equipped to communicate with aircraft in flight, as well as with other designated
airways installations, for the purpose of expeditious and safe movements of aircraft.
These stations may or may not be located on designated airways.
air weapons controller — An individual especially trained for and assigned to the duty of
employing and controlling air weapon systems against airborne and surface objects.
alert force — Specified forces maintained in a special degree of readiness.
alerting service — (*) A service provided to notify appropriate organizations regarding
aircraft in need of search and rescue aid, and assist such organizations as required.
alert order — 1. A crisis action planning directive from the Secretary of Defense, issued by
the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that provides essential guidance for planning
and directs the initiation of execution planning for the selected course of action
authorized by the Secretary of Defense. 2. A planning directive that provides essential
planning guidance and directs the initiation of execution planning after the directing
authority approves a military course of action. An alert order does not authorize
execution of the approved course of action. Also called ALERTORD. See also
course of action; execution planning. (JP 5-0)
all appropriate action — Action taken in self-defense that is reasonable in intensity,
duration, and magnitude, based on all the facts known to the commander at the time.
alliance — The relationship that results from a formal agreement (e.g., treaty) between two
or more nations for broad, long-term objectives that further the common interests of the
members. See also coalition; multinational. (JP 3-0)
allocation — In a general sense, distribution for employment of limited forces and
resources among competing requirements. Specific allocations (e.g., air sorties, nuclear
weapons, forces, and transportation) are described as allocation of air sorties, nuclear
weapons, etc. See also allocation (air); allocation (nuclear); allocation
(transportation); apportionment. (JP 5-0)
allocation (air) — The translation of the air apportionment decision into total numbers of
sorties by aircraft type available for each operation or task. See also allocation.
(JP 3-17)
allocation (nuclear) — The apportionment of specific numbers and types of nuclear
weapons to a commander for a stated time period as a planning factor for use in the
development of war plans. (Additional authority is required for the actual deployment
of allocated weapons to locations desired by the commander to support the war plans.
Expenditures of these weapons are not authorized until released by proper authority.)
allocation request — A message used to provide an estimate of the total air effort, to
identify any excess and joint force general support aircraft sorties, and to identify
unfilled air requirements. This message is used only for preplanned missions and is
transmitted on a daily basis, normally 24 hours prior to the start of the next air tasking
day. Also called ALLOREQ. (JP 3-30)
allocation (transportation) — Distribution by designated authority of available transport
capability to users. See also allocation. (JP 3-17)
allotment — The temporary change of assignment of tactical air forces between subordinate
commands. The authority to allot is vested in the commander having combatant
command (command authority). See also combatant command (command
allowable cabin load — The maximum payload that can be carried on an individual sortie.
Also called ACL. (JP 3-17)
allowable load — (*) The total load that an aircraft can transport over a given distance,
taking into account weight and volume. See also airlift capability; airlift
requirement; load; payload.
allowable stacking weight — The amount of weight that can be stacked on corner posts of
a container when subjected to 1.8 times the force of gravity. (JP 4-01.7)
all-source intelligence — 1. Intelligence products and/or organizations and activities that
incorporate all sources of information, most frequently including human resources
intelligence, imagery intelligence, measurement and signature intelligence, signals
intelligence, and open-source data in the production of finished intelligence. 2. In
intelligence collection, a phrase that indicates that in the satisfaction of intelligence
requirements, all collection, processing, exploitation, and reporting systems and
resources are identified for possible use and those most capable are tasked. See also
intelligence. (JP 2-0)
all-weather air defense fighter — (*) A fighter aircraft with equipment and weapons
which enable it to engage airborne targets in all weather conditions, day and night.
alongside replenishment — The transfer at sea of personnel and/or supplies by rigs
between two or more ships proceeding side by side.
alphabet code — See phonetic alphabet.
alternate airfield — (*) An airfield specified in the flight plan to which a flight may
proceed when it becomes inadvisable to land at the airfield of intended landing. An
alternate airfield may be the airfield of departure.
alternate command authority — One or more predesignated officers empowered by the
commander through predelegation of authority to act under stipulated emergency
conditions in the accomplishment of previously defined functions.
alternate command post — Any location designated by a commander to assume command
post functions in the event the command post becomes inoperative. It may be partially
or fully equipped and manned or it may be the command post of a subordinate unit.
alternate headquarters — An existing headquarters of a component or subordinate
command that is predesignated to assume the responsibilities and functions of another
headquarters under prescribed emergency conditions.
alternative — See variant.
altitude — (*) The vertical distance of a level, a point or an object considered as a point,
measured from mean sea level. See also drop altitude; elevation; minimum safe
altitude; transition altitude; true altitude.
altitude acclimatization — (*) A slow physiological adaptation resulting from prolonged
exposure to significantly reduced atmospheric pressure.
altitude chamber — See hypobaric chamber.
altitude delay — (*) Synchronization delay introduced between the time of transmission of
the radar pulse and the start of the trace on the indicator, for the purpose of eliminating
the altitude hole on the plan position indicator-type display.
altitude hole — (*) The blank area at the origin of a radial display, on a radar tube
presentation, the center of the periphery of which represents the point on the ground
immediately below the aircraft. In side-looking airborne radar, this is known as the
altitude slot.
altitude separation — See vertical separation.
altitude slot — See altitude hole.
ambulance exchange point — A location where a patient is transferred from one
ambulance to another en route to a medical treatment facility. This may be an
established point in an ambulance shuttle or it may be designated independently. Also
called AXP. See also medical treatment facility. (JP 4-02.2)
ammunition — See munition.
ammunition and toxic material open space — (*) An area especially prepared for storage
of explosive ammunition and toxic material. For reporting purposes, it does not include
the surrounding area restricted for storage because of safety distance factors. It
includes barricades and improvised coverings. See also storage.
ammunition controlled supply rate — In Army usage, the amount of ammunition
estimated to be available to sustain operations of a designated force for a specified time
if expenditures are controlled at that rate. It is expressed in terms of rounds per weapon
per day for ammunition items fired by weapons, and in terms of units of measure per
organization per day for bulk allotment ammunition items. Tactical commanders use
this rate to control expenditures of ammunition during tactical operations at planned
intervals. It is issued through command channels at each level. It is determined based
on consideration of the required supply rates submitted by subordinate commanders
and ammunition assets available.
ammunition lot — (*) A quantity of homogeneous ammunition, identified by a unique lot
number, which is manufactured, assembled, or renovated by one producer under
uniform conditions and which is expected to function in a uniform manner. (JP 3-04)
ammunition supply point — See distribution point.
amphibian — A small craft, propelled by propellers and wheels or by air cushions for the
purpose of moving on both land and water. (JP 4-01.6)
amphibious assault — The principal type of amphibious operation that involves
establishing a force on a hostile or potentially hostile shore. See also assault; assault
phase. (JP 3-02)
amphibious assault area — See landing area.
amphibious assault landing — See amphibious operation, Part e.
amphibious assault ship (dock) — A naval ship designed to embark, deploy, and land
elements of a landing force in an assault by helicopters, landing craft, amphibious
vehicles, and by combinations of these methods. Also called LHD. (JP 3-04)
amphibious assault ship (general purpose) — A naval ship designed to embark, deploy,
and land elements of a landing force in an assault by helicopters, landing craft,
amphibious vehicles, and by combinations of these methods. Also called LHA. (JP 3-04)
amphibious aviation assault ship — An amphibious assault ship, landing platform
helicopter; general purpose amphibious assault ship; or general purpose amphibious
assault ship (with internal dock). (JP 3-04)
amphibious bulk liquid transfer system — Hosereel system providing capability to
deliver fuel and/or water from ship to shore. System includes 10,000 feet of 6" buoyant
hose for fuel, and 10,000 ft of 4" buoyant hose for water. System are deployed on
Maritime Pre-positioning Squadrons, and are normally used in direct support of
maritime pre-positioning force operations. Also called ABLTS. (JP 4-01.6)
amphibious chart — (*) A special naval chart designed to meet special requirements for
landing operations and passive coastal defense, at a scale of 1:25,000 or larger, and
showing foreshore and coastal information in greater detail than a combat chart.
amphibious command ship — (*) A naval ship from which a commander exercises
control in amphibious operations. Designated as LCC.
amphibious construction battalion — A permanently commissioned naval unit,
subordinate to the Commander, Naval Beach Group, designed to provide an
administrative unit from which personnel and equipment are formed in tactical
elements and made available to appropriate commanders to operate pontoon
causeways, transfer barges, warping tugs, and assault bulk fuel systems, and to meet
salvage requirements of the naval beach party. Also called PHIBCB. (JP 3-02)
amphibious control group — (*) Personnel, ships, and craft designated to control the
waterborne ship-to-shore movement in an amphibious operation.
amphibious demonstration — (*) A type of amphibious operation conducted for the
purpose of deceiving the enemy by a show of force with the expectation of deluding the
enemy into a course of action unfavorable to him.
amphibious force — An amphibious task force and a landing force together with other
forces that are trained, organized, and equipped for amphibious operations. Also called
AF. See also amphibious operation; amphibious task force; landing force.
(JP 3-02)
amphibious group — A command within the amphibious force, consisting of the
commander and staff, designed to exercise operational control of assigned units in
executing all phases of a division-size amphibious operation. (JP 3-02.2)
amphibious lift — (*) The total capacity of assault shipping utilized in an amphibious
operation, expressed in terms of personnel, vehicles, and measurement or weight tons
of supplies.
amphibious objective area — A geographical area (delineated for command and control
purposes in the order initiating the amphibious operation) within which is located the
objective(s) to be secured by the amphibious force. This area must be of sufficient size
to ensure accomplishment of the amphibious force’s mission and must provide
sufficient area for conducting necessary sea, air, and land operations. Also called
AOA. See also amphibious force; mission. (JP 3-02)
amphibious objective study — A study designed to provide basic intelligence data of a
permanent or semipermanent nature required for planning amphibious operations.
Each study deals with a specific area, the selection of which is based on strategic
location, susceptibility to seizure by amphibious means, and other considerations.
amphibious operation — A military operation launched from the sea by an amphibious
force, embarked in ships or craft with the primary purpose of introducing a landing
force ashore to accomplish the assigned mission. See also amphibious force; landing
force; mission; operation. (JP 3-02)
amphibious planning — The process of planning for an amphibious operation,
distinguished by the necessity for concurrent, parallel, and detailed planning by all
participating forces. The planning pattern is cyclical in nature, composed of a series of
analyses and judgments of operational situations, each stemming from those that have
preceded. (JP 3-02.2)
amphibious raid — (*) A type of amphibious operation involving swift incursion into or
temporary occupation of an objective followed by a planned withdrawal. See also
amphibious operation.
amphibious reconnaissance — (*) An amphibious landing conducted by minor elements,
normally involving stealth rather than force of arms, for the purpose of securing
information, and usually followed by a planned withdrawal.
amphibious reconnaissance unit — A unit organized, equipped, and trained to conduct
and support amphibious reconnaissance missions. An amphibious reconnaissance unit
is made up of a number of amphibious reconnaissance teams.
amphibious shipping — Organic Navy ships specifically designed to transport, land, and
support landing forces in amphibious assault operations and capable of being loaded or
unloaded by naval personnel without external assistance in the amphibious objective
amphibious squadron — (*) A tactical and administrative organization composed of
amphibious assault shipping to transport troops and their equipment for an amphibious
assault operation. Also called PHIBRON.
amphibious striking forces — Forces capable of projecting military power from the sea
upon adjacent land areas for initiating and/or conducting operations in the face of
enemy opposition.
amphibious task force — A Navy task organization formed to conduct amphibious
operations. The amphibious task force, together with the landing force and other
forces, constitutes the amphibious force. Also called ATF. See also amphibious
force; amphibious operation; landing force. (JP 3-02)
amphibious tractor — See amphibious vehicle.
amphibious transport dock — A ship designed to transport and land troops, equipment,
and supplies by means of embarked landing craft, amphibious vehicles, and helicopters.
Designated as LPD.
amphibious transport group — A subdivision of an amphibious task force composed
primarily of transport ships. The size of the transport group will depend upon the scope
of the operation. Ships of the transport group will be combat-loaded to support the
landing force scheme of maneuver ashore. A transport unit will usually be formed to
embark troops and equipment to be landed over a designated beach or to embark all
helicopter-borne troops and equipment. (JP 3-02.2)
amphibious vehicle — (*) A wheeled or tracked vehicle capable of operating on both land
and water. See also landing craft.
amphibious vehicle availability table — A tabulation of the type and number of
amphibious vehicles available primarily for assault landings and for support of other
elements of the operation.
amphibious vehicle employment plan — A plan showing in tabular form the planned
employment of amphibious vehicles in landing operations, including their employment
after the initial movement to the beach.
amphibious vehicle launching area — (*) An area, in the vicinity of and to seaward of the
line of departure, to which landing ships proceed and launch amphibious vehicles.
amphibious withdrawal — A type of amphibious operation involving the extraction of
forces by sea in ships or craft from a hostile or potentially hostile shore. See also
amphibious operation. (JP 3-02)
analysis and production — In intelligence usage, the conversion of processed information
into intelligence through the integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of all
source data and the preparation of intelligence products in support of known or
anticipated user requirements. See also intelligence process. (JP 2-01)
anchorage — A specified location for anchoring or mooring a vessel in-stream or offshore.
(JP 4-01.6)
anchor cable — (*) In air transport, a cable in an aircraft to which the parachute static lines
or strops are attached.
anchor line extension kit — (*) A device fitted to an aircraft equipped with removable
clamshell doors to enable paratroopers to exit from the rear.
annex — A document appended to an operation order or other document to make it clearer
or to give further details.
annotated print — (*) A photograph on which interpretation details are indicated by
words or symbols.
annotation — (*) A marking placed on imagery or drawings for explanatory purposes or to
indicate items or areas of special importance.
annual screening — One day of active duty for training required each year for Individual
Ready Reserve members so the Services can keep current on each member’s physical
condition, dependency status, military qualifications, civilian occupational skills,
availability for service, and other information.
annual training — The minimal period of training reserve members must perform each
year to satisfy the training requirements associated with their Reserve Component
assignment. Also called AT.
antemortem identification media — Records, samples, and photographs taken prior to
death. These include (but are not limited to) fingerprints, dental x-rays, body tissue
samples, photographs of tattoos, or other identifying marks. These “predeath” records
would be compared against records completed after death to help establish a positive
identification of human remains. See also mortuary affairs. (JP 4-06)
antenna mine — (*) In naval mine warfare, a contact mine fitted with antennae which,
when touched by a steel ship, sets up galvanic action to fire the mine. See also mine.
antiarmor helicopter — (*) A helicopter armed primarily for use in the destruction of
armored targets. Also called antitank helicopter.
anticountermining device — (*) A device fitted in an influence mine designed to prevent
its actuation by shock.
antideficiency violations — The incurring of obligations or the making of expenditure
(outlays) in violation of appropriation law as to purpose, time, and amounts as specified
in the defense appropriation or appropriations of funds. (JP 1-06)
anti-G suit — A device worn by aircrew to counteract the effects on the human body of
positive acceleration.
antilift device — A device arranged to detonate the mine to which it is attached, or to
detonate another mine or charge nearby, if the mine is disturbed.
antimateriel agent — (*) A living organism or chemical used to cause deterioration of, or
damage to, selected materiel.
antimateriel operation — (*) The employment of antimateriel weapons or agents in
military operations.
antipersonnel mine (land mine warfare) — A mine designed to cause casualties to
personnel. See also mine.
antiradiation missile — (*) A missile which homes passively on a radiation source. Also
called ARM. See also guided missile.
antirecovery device — (*) In naval mine warfare, any device in a mine designed to prevent
an enemy discovering details of the working of the mine mechanism.
antisubmarine action — An operation by one or more antisubmarine-capable ships,
submarines, or aircraft (or a combination thereof) against a particular enemy
antisubmarine air distant support — Antisubmarine air support at a distance from, but
directly related to, specific convoys or forces.
antisubmarine air search attack unit — The designation given to one or more aircraft
separately organized as a tactical unit to search for and destroy submarines.
antisubmarine barrier — (*) The line formed by a series of static devices or mobile units
arranged for the purpose of detecting, denying passage to, or destroying hostile
submarines. See also antisubmarine patrol.
antisubmarine close air support — Air operations for the antisubmarine warfare
protection of a supported force.
antisubmarine operation — Operation contributing to the conduct of antisubmarine
antisubmarine patrol — (*) The systematic and continuing investigation of an area or
along a line to detect or hamper submarines, used when the direction of submarine
movement can be established. See also antisubmarine barrier.
antisubmarine screen — (*) An arrangement of ships and/or aircraft for the protection of a
screened unit against attack by a submarine.
antisubmarine search — (*) Systematic investigation of a particular area for the purpose
of locating a submarine known or suspected to be somewhere in the area. Some types
of search are also used in locating the position of a distress incident.
antisubmarine support operation — (*) An operation conducted by an antisubmarine
force in the area around a force or convoy, in areas through which the force or convoy
is passing, or in defense of geographic areas. Support operations may be completely
coordinated with those of the force or convoy, or they may be independent operations
coordinated only to the extent of providing operational intelligence and information.
antisubmarine warfare — (*) Operations conducted with the intention of denying the
enemy the effective use of submarines. Also called ASW.
antisubmarine warfare forces — Forces organized primarily for antisubmarine action.
May be composed of surface ships, aircraft, submarines, or any combination of these,
and their supporting systems.
antisurface air operation — (*) An air operation conducted in an air/sea environment
against enemy surface forces.
antisweep device — (*) Any device incorporated in the mooring of a mine or obstructor, or
in the mine circuits to make the sweeping of the mine more difficult.
antisweeper mine — (*) A mine which is laid or whose mechanism is designed or adjusted
with the specific object of damaging mine countermeasures vessels. See also mine.
antitank helicopter — See antiarmor helicopter.
antitank mine — (*) A mine designed to immobilize or destroy a tank. See also mine.
antiterrorism — Defensive measures used to reduce the vulnerability of individuals and
property to terrorist acts, to include limited response and containment by local military
and civilian forces. Also called AT. See also counterterrorism; proactive measures;
terrorism. (JP 3-07.2)
antiwatching device — A device fitted in a moored mine which causes it to sink should it
show on the surface, so as to prevent the position of the mine or minefield being
disclosed. See also watching mine.
any Service member mail — Mail sent by the general public to an unspecified Service
member deployed on a contingency operation, as an expression of patriotic support.
(JP 1-0)
apogee — The point at which a missile trajectory or a satellite orbit is farthest from the
center of the gravitational field of the controlling body or bodies.
apparent horizon — (*) The visible line of demarcation between land/sea and sky.
apparent precession — (*) The apparent deflection of the gyro axis, relative to the Earth,
due to the rotating effect of the Earth and not due to any applied force. Also called
apparent wander.
appendix — A document appended to an annex of an operation order, operation plan, or
other document to clarify or to give further details.
applicable materiel assets — That portion of the total acceptable materiel assets that meets
the military or other characteristics as defined by the responsible Military Service and
that is in the right condition and location to satisfy a specific military requirement.
application — 1. The system or problem to which a computer is applied. Reference is
often made to an application as being either of the computational type (arithmetic
computations predominate) or of the data processing type (data handling operations
predominate). 2. In the intelligence context, the direct extraction and tailoring of
information from an existing foundation of intelligence and near real time reporting. It
is focused on and meets specific, narrow requirements, normally on demand. (JP 2-0)
apportionment — In the general sense, distribution for planning of limited resources
among competing requirements. Specific apportionments (e.g., air sorties and forces
for planning) are described as apportionment of air sorties and forces for planning, etc.
See also allocation; apportionment (air).
apportionment (air) — The determination and assignment of the total expected effort by
percentage and/or by priority that should be devoted to the various air operations for a
given period of time. Also called air apportionment. See also apportionment.
(JP 3-0)
approach clearance — Authorization for a pilot conducting flight in accordance with
instrument flight rules to commence an approach to an airport.
approach end of runway — (*) That end of the runway nearest to the direction from
which the final approach is made.
approach lane — An extension of a boat lane from the line of departure toward the
transport area.
approach march — (*) Advance of a combat unit when direct contact with the enemy is
imminent. Troops are fully or partially deployed. The approach march ends when
ground contact with the enemy is made or when the attack position is occupied.
approach schedule — The schedule that indicates, for each scheduled wave, the time of
departure from the rendezvous area, from the line of departure, and from other control
points and the time of arrival at the beach.
approach sequence — (*) The order in which two or more aircraft are cleared for an
approach time — The time at which an aircraft is expected to commence approach
approval authority — A representative (person or organization) of the Commandant, US
Coast Guard, authorized to approve containers within terms of the International
Conference for Safe Containers. See also International Convention for Safe
Containers. (JP 4-01.7)
apron — A defined area on an airfield intended to accommodate aircraft for purposes of
loading or unloading passengers or cargo, refueling, parking, or maintenance.
archipelagic sea lanes passage — The nonsuspendable right of continuous and expeditious
transit through archipelagic waters in the normal mode through and over routes
normally used for navigation and overflight.
architecture — A framework or structure that portrays relationships among all the elements
of the subject force, system, or activity. (JP 3-05)
area air defense commander — Within a unified command, subordinate unified
command, or joint task force, the commander will assign overall responsibility for air
defense to a single commander. Normally, this will be the component commander with
the preponderance of air defense capability and the command, control, and
communications capability to plan and execute integrated air defense operations.
Representation from the other components involved will be provided, as appropriate, to
the area air defense commander’s headquarters. Also called AADC. (JP 3-52)
area assessment — The commander’s prescribed collection of specific information that
commences upon employment and is a continuous operation. It confirms, corrects,
refutes, or adds to previous intelligence acquired from area studies and other sources
prior to employment. (JP 3-05)
area bombing — (*) Bombing of a target which is in effect a general area rather than a
small or pinpoint target.
area command — (*) A command which is composed of those organized elements of one
or more of the Armed Services, designated to operate in a specific geographical area,
which are placed under a single commander. See also command. (JP 3-10)
area control center — (*) A unit established to provide air traffic control service to
controlled flights in control areas under its jurisdiction. See also air traffic control
center; flight information region.
area damage control — (*) Measures taken before, during, or after hostile action or natural
or manmade disasters, to reduce the probability of damage and minimize its effects.
Also called ADC. See also damage control; disaster control. (JP 3-10)
area of influence — (*) A geographical area wherein a commander is directly capable of
influencing operations by maneuver or fire support systems normally under the
commander’s command or control. (JP 3-16)
area of interest — That area of concern to the commander, including the area of influence,
areas adjacent thereto, and extending into enemy territory to the objectives of current or
planned operations. This area also includes areas occupied by enemy forces who could
jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. Also called AOI. See also area of
influence. (JP 2-03)
area of limitation — A defined area where specific limitations apply to the strength and
fortifications of disputing or belligerent forces. Normally, upper limits are established
for the number and type of formations, tanks, antiaircraft weapons, artillery, and other
weapons systems in the area of limitation. Also called AOL. See also line of
demarcation; peace operations. (JP 3-07.3)
area of militarily significant fallout — (*) Area in which radioactive fallout affects the
ability of military units to carry out their normal mission.
area of northern operations — A region of variable width in the Northern Hemisphere
that lies north of the 50 degrees isotherm — a line along which the average temperature
of the warmest 4-month period of the year does not exceed 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mountain regions located outside of this area are included in this category of operations
provided these same temperature conditions exist.
area of operations — An operational area defined by the joint force commander for land
and maritime forces. Areas of operation do not typically encompass the entire
operational area of the joint force commander, but should be large enough for
component commanders to accomplish their missions and protect their forces. Also
called AO. See also area of responsibility; joint operations area; joint special
operations area. (JP 3-0)
area of responsibility — The geographical area associated with a combatant command
within which a geographic combatant commander has authority to plan and conduct
operations. Also called AOR. See also combatant command. (JP 1)
area of separation — See buffer zone. Also called AOS. See also peace operations.
(JP 3-07.3)
area operations — (*) In maritime usage, operations conducted in a geographical area and
not related to the protection of a specific force.
area oriented — Personnel or units whose organizations, mission, training, and equipping
are based on projected operational deployment to a specific geographic or demographic
area. (JP 3-05)
area radar prediction analysis — Radar target intelligence study designed to provide
radar-significant data for use in the preparation of radar target predictions.
area search — Visual reconnaissance of limited or defined areas.
area target — (*) A target consisting of an area rather than a single point.
armament delivery recording — Motion picture, still photography, and video recordings
showing the delivery and impact of ordnance. This differs from reconnaissance
imagery in that it records the act of delivery and impact and normally is done by the
weapon system delivering the ordnance. Armament delivery recording is used
primarily for evaluating strike effectiveness and for combat crew training. It is also one
of the principal sources of over-the-target documentation in force employments, and
may be used for public affairs purposes. Also called ADR.
armed forces — The military forces of a nation or a group of nations. See also force.
armed forces censorship — The examination and control of personal communications to
or from persons in the Armed Forces of the United States and persons accompanying or
serving with the Armed Forces of the United States. See also censorship.
armed forces courier — An officer or enlisted member in the grade of E-7 or above, of the
US Armed Forces, assigned to perform Armed Forces Courier Service duties and
identified by possession of an Armed Forces Courier Service Identification Card (ARFCOS
Form 9). See also courier.
Armed Forces Courier Service — A joint service of the Departments of the Army, the
Navy, and the Air Force, with the Chief of Staff, US Army, as Executive Agent. The
courier service provides one of the available methods for the secure and expeditious
transmission of material requiring protected handling by military courier.
armed forces courier station — An Army, Navy, or Air Force activity, approved by the
respective military department and officially designated by Headquarters, Armed
Forces Courier Service, for the acceptance, processing, and dispatching of Armed
Forces Courier Service material.
Armed Forces of the United States — A term used to denote collectively all components
of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. See also United States
Armed Forces.
Armed Forces Radio and Television Service — A worldwide radio and television
broadcasting organization that provides US military commanders overseas and at sea
with sufficient electronic media resources to effectively communicate theater, local,
Department of Defense, and Service-unique command information to their personnel
and family members. Also called AFRTS. (JP 3-61)
armed mine — (*) A mine from which all safety devices have been withdrawn and, after
laying, all automatic safety features and/or arming delay devices have operated. Such a
mine is ready to be actuated after receipt of a target signal, influence, or contact.
armed reconnaissance — A mission with the primary purpose of locating and attacking
targets of opportunity, i.e., enemy materiel, personnel, and facilities, in assigned general
areas or along assigned ground communications routes, and not for the purpose of
attacking specific briefed targets.
armed sweep — (*) A sweep fitted with cutters or other devices to increase its ability to
cut mine moorings.
arming — As applied to explosives, weapons, and ammunition, the changing from a safe
condition to a state of readiness for initiation.
arming delay device — A device fitted in a mine to prevent it being actuated for a preset
time after laying.
arming pin — (*) A safety device inserted in a munition, which until its removal, prevents
the unintentional action of the arming cycle. Also called safety pin. See also safety
arming system — That portion of a weapon that serves to ready (arm), safe, or re-safe
(disarm) the firing system and fuzing system and that may actuate devices in the
nuclear system.
armistice — In international law, a suspension or temporary cessation of hostilities by
agreement between belligerent powers. (JP 3-07.3)
armistice demarcation line — A geographically defined line from which disputing or
belligerent forces disengage and withdraw to their respective sides following a truce or
cease fire agreement. Also called cease fire line in some United Nations operations.
Also called ADL. See also armistice; cease fire; cease fire line; peace operations.
(JP 3-07.3)
arm or de-arm — Applies to those procedures in the arming or de-arming section of the
applicable aircraft loading manual or checklist that places the ordnance or explosive
device in a ready or safe condition i.e., rocket launchers, guided missiles, guns —
internal and pods, paraflares — (external and SUU-44/25 dispenser). (NOTE: The
removal or installation of pylon or bomb rack safety pins from a nonordnance-loaded
station is considered a function requiring certification within the purview of this
publication.) See also arming; de-arming; ordnance. (JP 3-04)
armored personnel carrier — A lightly armored, highly mobile, full-tracked vehicle,
amphibious and air-droppable, used primarily for transporting personnel and their
individual equipment during tactical operations. Production modifications or
application of special kits permit use as a mortar carrier, command post, flame thrower,
antiaircraft artillery chassis, or limited recovery vehicle. Also called APC.
arms control agreement — The written or unwritten embodiment of the acceptance of one
or more arms control measures by two or more nations.
arms control agreement verification — A concept that entails the collection, processing,
and reporting of data indicating testing or employment of proscribed weapon systems,
including country of origin and location, weapon and payload identification, and event
arms control measure — Any specific arms control course of action.
Army Air Defense Command Post — The tactical headquarters of an Army air defense
Army air-ground system — The Army system which provides for interface between Army
and tactical air support agencies of other Services in the planning, evaluating,
processing, and coordinating of air support requirements and operations. It is
composed of appropriate staff members, including G-2 air and G-3 air personnel, and
necessary communication equipment. Also called AAGS.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service imprest fund activity — A military-operated
retail activity, usually in remote or forward sites, when regular direct operations
exchanges cannot be provided. It is a satellite activity of an Army and Air Force
Exchange Service (AAFES) direct operation. The supported unit appoints the officer in
charge of an imprest fund activity, who is issued an initial fund by AAFES to purchase
beginning inventory. Money generated from sales is used to replenish the merchandise
stock. See also imprest fund. (JP 1-0)
Army base — A base or group of installations for which a local commander is responsible,
consisting of facilities necessary for support of Army activities including security,
internal lines of communications, utilities, plants and systems, and real property for
which the Army has operating responsibility. See also base complex.
Army corps — A tactical unit larger than a division and smaller than a field army. A corps
usually consists of two or more divisions together with auxiliary arms and services.
See also field army.
Army service area — The territory between the corps rear boundary and the combat zone
rear boundary. Most of the Army administrative establishment and service troops are
usually located in this area. See also rear area.
Army Service component command — Command responsible for recommendations to
the joint force commander on the allocation and employment of Army forces within a
combatant command. Also called ASCC. (JP 3-31)
Army space support team — A team of space operations experts provided by the
Commander, US Army Forces Strategic Command upon request of an Army
component commander or a geographic combatant commander to assist the supported
commander in integrating space power into the terrestrial operation or campaign. Also
called ARSST. See also space; space power; space support. (JP 3-14)
Army special operations component — The Army component of a joint force special
operations component. Also called ARSOC. See also Air Force special operations
component; Navy special operations component. (JP 3-05.1)
Army special operations forces — Those Active and Reserve Component Army forces
designated by the Secretary of Defense that are specifically organized, trained, and
equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called ARSOF. (JP 3-05)
Army tactical data link 1 — See tactical digital information link.
arresting barrier — See aircraft arresting barrier.
arresting gear — See aircraft arresting gear.
arrival zone — In counterdrug operations, the area in or adjacent to the United States where
smuggling concludes and domestic distribution begins (by air, an airstrip; by sea, an
offload point on land, or transfer to small boats). See also transit zone. (JP 3-07.4)
artificial horizon — See attitude indicator.
artillery fire plan table — (*) A presentation of planned targets giving data for
engagement. Scheduled targets are fired in a definite time sequence. The starting time
may be on call, at a prearranged time, or at the occurrence of a specific event.
artillery survey control point — (*) A point at which the coordinates and the altitude are
known and from which the bearings/azimuths to a number of reference objects are also
assault — 1. The climax of an attack, closing with the enemy in hand-to-hand fighting. 2.
In an amphibious operation, the period of time between the arrival of the major assault
forces of the amphibious task force in the objective area and the accomplishment of the
amphibious task force mission. 3. To make a short, violent, but well-ordered attack
against a local objective, such as a gun emplacement, a fort, or a machine gun nest. 4.
A phase of an airborne operation beginning with delivery by air of the assault echelon
of the force into the objective area and extending through attack of assault objectives
and consolidation of the initial airhead. See also assault phase; landing attack.
(JP 3-18)
assault aircraft — (*) A powered aircraft that moves assault troops and/or cargo into an
objective area.
assault area — In amphibious operations, that area that includes the beach area, the boat
lanes, the lines of departure, the landing ship areas, the transport areas, and the fire
support areas in the immediate vicinity of the boat lanes. (JP 3-02)
assault area diagram — A graphic means of showing, for amphibious operations, the
beach designations, boat lanes, organization of the line of departure, scheduled waves,
landing ship area, transport areas, and the fire support areas in the immediate vicinity of
the boat lanes.
assault craft — (*) A landing craft or amphibious vehicle primarily employed for landing
troops and equipment in the assault waves of an amphibious operation.
assault craft unit — A permanently commissioned naval organization, subordinate to the
commander, naval beach group, that contains landing craft and crews necessary to
provide lighterage required in an amphibious operation. Also called ACU. (JP 3-02)
assault echelon — In amphibious operations, the element of a force comprised of tailored
units and aircraft assigned to conduct the initial assault on the operational area. Also
called AE. See also amphibious operation. (JP 3-02)
assault fire — 1. That fire delivered by attacking troops as they close with the enemy. 2.
In artillery, extremely accurate, short-range destruction fire at point targets.
assault follow-on echelon — In amphibious operations, that echelon of the assault troops,
vehicles, aircraft, equipment, and supplies that, though not needed to initiate the assault,
is required to support and sustain the assault. In order to accomplish its purpose, it is
normally required in the objective area no later than five days after commencement of
the assault landing. Also called AFOE.
assault phase — (*) 1. In an amphibious operation, the period of time between the arrival
of the major assault forces of the amphibious task force in the objective area and the
accomplishment of their mission. 2. In an airborne operation, a phase beginning with
delivery by air of the assault echelon of the force into the objective area and extending
through attack of assault objectives and consolidation of the initial airhead. See also
assault. (JP 3-18)
assault schedule — See landing schedule.
assault shipping — (*) Shipping assigned to the amphibious task force and utilized for
transporting assault troops, vehicles, equipment, and supplies to the objective area.
assault wave — See wave.
assembly — (*) In logistics, an item forming a portion of an equipment, that can be
provisioned and replaced as an entity and which normally incorporates replaceable
parts or groups of parts. See also component; subassembly.
assembly anchorage — (*) An anchorage intended for the assembly and onward routing of
assembly area — (*) 1. An area in which a command is assembled preparatory to further
action. 2. In a supply installation, the gross area used for collecting and combining
components into complete units, kits, or assemblies.
assessment — 1. A continuous process that measures the overall effectiveness of employing
joint force capabilities during military operations. 2. Determination of the progress
toward accomplishing a task, creating an effect, or achieving an objective. 3. Analysis
of the security, effectiveness, and potential of an existing or planned intelligence
activity. 4. Judgment of the motives, qualifications, and characteristics of present or
prospective employees or “agents.” (JP 3-0)
assessment agent — The organization responsible for conducting an assessment of an
approved joint publication. The assessment agent is assigned by the Director, J-7, Joint
Staff; normally US Joint Forces Command. Also called AA. (CJCSI 5120.02)
asset (intelligence) — Any resource — person, group, relationship, instrument, installation,
or supply — at the disposition of an intelligence organization for use in an operational
or support role. Often used with a qualifying term such as agent asset or propaganda
asset. (JP 2-0)
asset visibility — Provides users with information on the location, movement, status, and
identity of units, personnel, equipment, and supplies. It facilitates the capability to act
upon that information to improve overall performance of the Department of Defense’s
logistics practices. Also called AV. (JP 3-35)
assign — (*) 1. To place units or personnel in an organization where such placement is
relatively permanent, and/or where such organization controls and administers the units
or personnel for the primary function, or greater portion of the functions, of the unit or
personnel. 2. (DOD only) To detail individuals to specific duties or functions where
such duties or functions are primary and/or relatively permanent. See also attach.
(JP 3-0)
assistance in kind — The provision of material and services for a logistic exchange of
materials and services of equal value between the governments of eligible countries.
Also called AIK. (JP 1-06)
assumed azimuth — The assumption of azimuth origins as a field expedient until the
required data are available.
assumed grid — A grid constructed using an arbitrary scale superimposed on a map, chart,
or photograph for use in point designation without regard to actual geographic location.
See also grid.
assumption — A supposition on the current situation or a presupposition on the future
course of events, either or both assumed to be true in the absence of positive proof,
necessary to enable the commander in the process of planning to complete an estimate
of the situation and make a decision on the course of action.
astern fueling — (*) The transfer of fuel at sea during which the receiving ship(s) keep(s)
station astern of the delivering ship.
asymmetrical sweep — (*) A sweep whose swept path under conditions of no wind or
cross-tide is not equally spaced either side of the sweeper’s track.
atmospheric environment — The envelope of air surrounding the Earth, including its
interfaces and interactions with the Earth’s solid or liquid surface. (JP 3-59)
at my command — (*) In artillery and naval gunfire support, the command used when it is
desired to control the exact time of delivery of fire. (JP 3-09.1)
atomic air burst — See airburst.
atomic demolition munition — A nuclear device designed to be detonated on or below the
ground surface, or under water as a demolition munition against material-type targets to
block, deny, and/or canalize the enemy.
atomic underground burst — See nuclear underground burst.
atomic underwater burst — See nuclear underwater burst.
atomic warfare — See nuclear warfare.
atomic weapon — See nuclear weapon.
at priority call — (*) A precedence applied to the task of an artillery unit to provide fire to
a formation/unit on a guaranteed basis. Normally observer, communications, and
liaison are not provided. An artillery unit in “direct support” or “in support” may
simultaneously be placed “at priority call” to another unit or agency for a particular task
and/or for a specific period of time.
at sea — Includes the following maritime areas: foreign internal waters, archipelagic
waters, and territorial seas; foreign contiguous zones; foreign exclusive economic
zones; the high seas; and US-exclusive economic zone, territorial sea, and internal
attach — 1. The placement of units or personnel in an organization where such placement
is relatively temporary. 2. The detailing of individuals to specific functions where
such functions are secondary or relatively temporary, e.g., attached for quarters and
rations; attached for flying duty. See also assign. (JP 3-0)
attachment — See attach.
attack assessment — An evaluation of information to determine the potential or actual
nature and objectives of an attack for the purpose of providing information for timely
decisions. See also damage estimation. (JP 3-14)
attack cargo ship — A naval ship designed or converted to transport combat-loaded cargo
in an assault landing. Capabilities as to carrying landing craft, speed of ship,
armament, and size of hatches and booms are greater than those of comparable cargo
ship types. Designated as LKA.
attack group — (*) A subordinate task organization of the navy forces of an amphibious
task force. It is composed of assault shipping and supporting naval units designated to
transport, protect, land, and initially support a landing group. (JP 3-02)
attack heading — 1. The interceptor heading during the attack phase that will achieve the
desired track-crossing angle. 2. The assigned magnetic compass heading to be flown
by aircraft during the delivery phase of an air strike.
attack origin — 1. The location or source from which an attack was initiated. 2. The
nation initiating an attack. See also attack assessment.
attack pattern — The type and distribution of targets under attack. Also called target
pattern. See also attack assessment.
attack position — The last position occupied by the assault echelon before crossing the line
of departure.
attack timing — The predicted or actual time of bursts, impacts, or arrival of weapons at
their intended targets.
attenuation — (*) 1. Decrease in intensity of a signal, beam, or wave as a result of
absorption of energy and of scattering out of the path of a detector, but not including
the reduction due to geometric spreading, i.e., the inverse square of distance effect. 2.
In mine warfare, the reduction in intensity of an influence as distance from the source
increases. 3. In camouflage and concealment, the process of making an object or
surface less conspicuous by reducing its contrast to the surroundings and/or
background. Also called tone down.
attenuation factor — (*) The ratio of the incident radiation dose or dose rate to the
radiation dose or dose rate transmitted through a shielding material. This is the
reciprocal of the transmission factor.
attitude — (*) The position of a body as determined by the inclination of the axes to some
frame of reference. If not otherwise specified, this frame of reference is fixed to the
attitude indicator — (*) An instrument which displays the attitude of the aircraft by
reference to sources of information which may be contained within the instrument or be
external to it. When the sources of information are self-contained, the instrument may
be referred to as an artificial horizon.
attrition — (*) The reduction of the effectiveness of a force caused by loss of personnel
and materiel.
attrition minefield — (*) In naval mine warfare, a field intended primarily to cause
damage to enemy ships. See also minefield.
attrition rate — (*) A factor, normally expressed as a percentage, reflecting the degree of
losses of personnel or materiel due to various causes within a specified period of time.
attrition reserve aircraft — Aircraft procured for the specific purpose of replacing the
anticipated losses of aircraft because of peacetime and/or wartime attrition.
attrition sweeping — (*) The continuous sweeping of minefields to keep the risk of mines
to all ships as low as possible.
augmentation forces — Forces to be transferred from a supporting combatant commander
to the combatant command (command authority) or operational control of a supported
combatant commander during the execution of an operation order approved by the
President and Secretary of Defense. (JP 5-0)
authenticate — A challenge given by voice or electrical means to attest to the authenticity
of a message or transmission.
authentication — 1. A security measure designed to protect a communications system
against acceptance of a fraudulent transmission or simulation by establishing the
validity of a transmission, message, or originator. 2. A means of identifying individuals
and verifying their eligibility to receive specific categories of information. 3. Evidence
by proper signature or seal that a document is genuine and official. 4. In personnel
recovery missions, the process whereby the identity of an isolated person is confirmed.
See also evader; evasion; recovery operations; security. (JP 3-50)
authenticator — A symbol or group of symbols, or a series of bits, selected or derived in a
prearranged manner and usually inserted at a predetermined point within a message or
transmission for the purpose of attesting to the validity of the message or transmission.
authorized departure — A procedure, short of ordered departure, by which mission
employees or dependents or both, are permitted to leave post in advance of normal
rotation when the national interests or imminent threat to life require it. (JP 3-68)
autocode format — An abbreviated and formatted message header used in conjunction
with the mobile cryptologic support facility (MCSF) to energize the automatic
communications relay functions of the MCSF, providing rapid exchange of data
through the system.
automated data handling — See automatic data handling.
automated identification technology — A suite of tools for facilitating total asset visibility
source data capture and transfer. Automated identification technology includes a
variety of devices, such as bar codes, magnetic strips, optical memory cards, and radio
frequency tags for marking or “tagging” individual items, multi-packs, equipment, air
pallets, or containers, along with the hardware and software required to create the
devices, read the information on them, and integrate that information with other logistic
information. Also called AIT. (JP 3-35)
Automated Repatriation Reporting System — The Defense Manpower Data Center uses
this system to track the status of noncombatant evacuees after they have arrived in an
initial safe haven in the US. (JP 3-68)
automatic approach and landing — A control mode in which the aircraft’s speed and
flight path are automatically controlled for approach, flare-out, and landing. See also
ground-controlled approach procedure.
automatic data handling — (*) A generalization of automatic data processing to include
the aspect of data transfer.
automatic data processing — 1. Data processing largely performed by automatic means.
2. That branch of science and technology concerned with methods and techniques
relating to data processing largely performed by automatic means.
automatic flight control system — (*) A system which includes all equipment to control
automatically the flight of an aircraft or missile to a path or attitude described by
references internal or external to the aircraft or missile. Also called AFCS.
automatic message processing system — Any organized assembly of resources and
methods used to collect, process, and distribute messages largely by automatic means.
automatic resupply — A resupply mission fully planned before insertion of a special
operations team into the operations area that occurs at a prearranged time and location,
unless changed by the operating team after insertion. See also emergency resupply;
on-call resupply. (JP 3-50.3)
automatic search jammer — (*) An intercept receiver and jamming transmitter system
which searches for and jams signals automatically which have specific radiation
automatic supply — A system by which certain supply requirements are automatically
shipped or issued for a predetermined period of time without requisition by the using
unit. It is based upon estimated or experience-usage factors.
automation network — The automation network combines all of the information
collection devices, automatic identification technologies, and the automated
information systems that either support or facilitate the joint reception, staging, onward
movement, and integration process. See also automated identification technology;
joint reception, staging, onward movement, and integration. (JP 3-35)
autonomous operation — In air defense, the mode of operation assumed by a unit after it
has lost all communications with higher echelons. The unit commander assumes full
responsibility for control of weapons and engagement of hostile targets.
availability date — The date after notification of mobilization by which forces will be
marshalled at their home station or mobilization station and available for deployment.
See also home station; mobilization; mobilization station. (JP 4-05)
available payload — The passenger and/or cargo capacity expressed in weight and/or space
available to the user.
available-to-load date — A date specified for each unit in a time-phased force and
deployment data indicating when that unit will be ready to load at the point of
embarkation. Also called ALD.
avenue of approach — An air or ground route of an attacking force of a given size leading
to its objective or to key terrain in its path. Also called AA.
average speed — (*) The average distance traveled per hour, calculated over the whole
journey, excluding specifically ordered halts.
aviation combat element — The core element of a Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF)
that is task-organized to conduct aviation operations. The aviation combat element
(ACE) provides all or a portion of the six functions of Marine aviation necessary to
accomplish the MAGTF’s mission. These functions are antiair warfare, offensive air
support, assault support, electronic warfare, air reconnaissance, and control of aircraft
and missiles. The ACE is usually composed of an aviation unit headquarters and
various other aviation units or their detachments. It can vary in size from a small
aviation detachment of specifically required aircraft to one or more Marine aircraft
wings. The ACE itself is not a formal command. Also called ACE. See also combat
service support element; command element; ground combat element; Marine airground
task force; Marine expeditionary force; Marine expeditionary force
(forward); Marine expeditionary unit; special purpose Marine air-ground task
force; task force.
aviation life support equipment — See life support equipment.

aviation medicine — (*) The special field of medicine which is related to the biological
and psychological problems of flight.
aviation ship — An aircraft carrier. See also air-capable ship; aircraft; amphibious
aviation assault ship. (JP 3-04)
axial route — A route running through the rear area and into the forward area. See also
axis of advance — A line of advance assigned for purposes of control; often a road or a
group of roads, or a designated series of locations, extending in the direction of the
azimuth — Quantities may be expressed in positive quantities increasing in a clockwise
direction, or in X, Y coordinates where south and west are negative. They may be
referenced to true north or magnetic north depending on the particular weapon system
azimuth angle — (*) An angle measured clockwise in the horizontal plane between a
reference direction and any other line.
azimuth guidance — (*) Information which will enable the pilot or autopilot of an aircraft
to follow the required track.
azimuth resolution — (*) The ability of radar equipment to separate two reflectors at
similar ranges but different bearings from a reference point. Normally the minimum
separation distance between the reflectors is quoted and expressed as the angle
subtended by the reflectors at the reference point.