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Air National Guard



Hostile aircraft


Basic Allowance for Subsistance

base commander

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


U.S. and Friendly Forces

Blue Sword

Close air support operations for UN peace-keeping units in Bosnia, 1994.


Basic Military Training




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







Combat Air Command

call sign

Any combination of characters or pronounceable words, which identifies a communication facility, a command, an authority, an activity, or a unit; used primarily for establishing and maintaining communications. See also collective call sign; indefinite call sign; international call sign; net call sign; tactical call sign; visual call sign; voice call sign.


Civil Air Patrol


Combat Air Patrol


Camouflage, Cover, Concealment and Deception


Camouflage Concealment and Deception

cease engagement

In air defense, a fire control order used to direct units to stop the firing sequence against a designated target. Guided missiles already in flight will continue to intercept.

cease fire

A command given to air defense artillery units to refrain from firing on, but to continue to track, an airborne object. Missiles already in flight will be permitted to continue to intercept.

chain of command

The succession of commanding officers from a superior to a subordinate through which command is exercised. Also called command channel.


1. A predetermined point on the surface of the Earth used as a means of controlling movement, a registration target for fire adjustment, or reference for location. 2. Center of impact; a burst center. 3. Geographical location on land or water above which the position of an aircraft in flight may be determined by observation or by electrical means. 4. A place where military police check vehicular or pedestrian traffic in order to enforce circulation control measures and other laws, orders, and regulations.


Combat Intelligence Division


Commanding Officer


Coder - Decoder

combat forces

Those forces whose primary missions are to participate in combat.

Combat Talon

Versions of the C-130 for the Special Forces, equipped for low-altitude deep-penetration missions.

combat troops

Those units or organizations whose primary mission is destruction of enemy forces and/or installations.


Communications Center


The known or suspected exposure of clandestine personnel, installations, or other assets or of classified information or material, to an unauthorized person.


A large scale offensive undertaken by a defending force to seize the initiative from the attacking force.

covert operation

An operation that is so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor. A covert operation differs from a clandestine operation in that emphasis is placed on concealment of identity of sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.


Command Post


The science which deals with hidden, disguised, or encrypted communications. It includes communications security and communications intelligence.


defense readiness conditions

A uniform system of progressive alert postures for use between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of unified and specified commands and for use by the Services. Defense readiness conditions are graduated to match situations of varying military severity (status of alert). Defense readiness conditions are identified by the short title DEFCON (5), (4), (3), (2), and (1), as appropriate. Also called DEFCON.

demilitarized zone

A defined area in which the stationing, or concentrating of military forces, or the retention or establishment of military installations of any description, is prohibited. Also called DMZ.


1. A tactical unit/formation as follows: a. A major administrative and tactical unit/formation which combines in itself the necessary arms and services required for sustained combat, larger than a regiment/brigade and smaller than a corps. b. A number of naval vessels of similar type grouped together for operational and administrative command, or a tactical unit of a naval aircraft squadron, consisting of two or more sections. c. An air division is an air combat organization normally consisting of two or more wings with appropriate service units. The combat wings of an air division will normally contain similar type units. 2. An organizational part of a headquarters that handles military matters of a particular nature, such as personnel, intelligence, plans, and training, or supply and evacuation. 3. A number of personnel of a ship's complement grouped together for operational and administrative command.


joint air operations

Air operations performed with air capabilities/forces made available by components in support of the joint force commander's operation or campaign objectives, or in support of other components of the joint force.



killed in action



Military Police



Non-commissioned officer

North Atlantic Treaty Organization

An organization of post World War II military powers, aligned by mutual interests and dedicated to mutual defense. NATO is the countering power to the communist alignment of military powers called the Warsaw Pact.


occupied territory

Territory under the authority and effective control of a belligerent armed force. The term is not applicable to territory being administered pursuant to peace terms, treaty, or other agreement, express or implied, with the civil authority of the territory. See also civil affairs agreement.


A military action or the carrying out of a strategic, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission; the process of carrying on combat, including movement, supply, attack, defense and maneuvers needed to gain the objectives of any battle or campaign.


paramilitary forces

Forces or groups which are distinct from the regular armed forces of any country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission.

pararescue team

Specially trained personnel qualified to penetrate to the site of an incident by land or parachute, render medical aid, accomplish survival methods, and rescue survivors.


A detachment of ground, sea, or air forces sent out for the purpose of gathering information or carrying out a destructive, harassing, mopping-up, or security mission. See also combat air patrol; combat patrol; reconnaissance patrol; standing patrol.

Permanent Change of Station

A permanent reassignment to another unit, usually involving relocation. Also called PCS

phonetic alphabet

A list of standard words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio or telephone. The following are the authorized words, listed in order, for each letter in the alphabet: ALFA, BRAVO, CHARLIE, DELTA, ECHO, FOXTROT, GOLF, HOTEL, INDIA, JULIETT, KILO, LIMA, MIKE, NOVEMBER, OSCAR, PAPA, QUEBEC, ROMEO, SIERRA, TANGO, UNIFORM, VICTOR, WHISKEY, X-RAY, YANKEE, and ZULU.


radar camouflage

The use of radar absorbent or reflecting materials to change the radar echoing properties of a surface of an object.

Ready Reserve Force

A force composed of ships acquired by the Maritime Administration (MARAD) with Navy funding and newer ships acquired by the MARAD for the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). Although part of the NDRF, ships of the Ready Reserve Force are maintained in a higher state of readiness and can be made available without mobilization or congressionally declared state of emergency. Also called RRF.

rear guard

Security detachment that protects the rear of a column from hostile forces. During a withdrawal, it delays the enemy by armed resistance, destroying bridges, and blocking roads.


A mission undertaken to obtain, by visual observation or other detection methods, information about the activities and resources of an enemy or potential enemy, or to secure data concerning the meteorological, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area.



Situtation normal, all f***** up.


Standard Operating Procedure.


Security Police


1. An organization consisting of two or more divisions of ships, or two or more divisions (Navy) or flights of aircraft. It is normally, but not necessarily, composed of ships or aircraft of the same type. 2. The basic administrative aviation unit of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force.

standard operating procedure

A set of instructions covering those features of operations which lend themselves to a definite or standardized procedure without loss of effectiveness. The procedure is applicable unless ordered otherwise. Also called SOP.


task force

A temporary grouping of units, under one commander, formed for the purpose of carrying out a specific operation or mission. 2. Semi-permanent organization of units, under one commander, formed for the purpose of carrying out a continuing specific task. 3. A component of a fleet organized by the commander of a task fleet or higher authority for the accomplishment of a specific task or tasks.


Temporary Duty

Temporary Duty

Duty of a temporary nature, often involving travel from assigned station to another location. Also called TDY.

terrorist threat conditions

A Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-approved program standardizing the Military Services' identification of and recommended responses to terrorist threats against US personnel and facilities. This program facilitates inter-Service coordination and support for antiterrorism activities. Also called THREATCONS. There are four THREATCONS above normal: a. THREATCON ALPHA--This condition applies when there is a general threat of possible terrorist activity against personnel and facilities, the nature and extent of which are unpredictable, and circumstances do not justify full implementation of THREATCON BRAVO measures. However, it may be necessary to implement certain measures from higher THREATCONS resulting from intelligence received or as a deterrent. The measures in this THREATCON must be capable of being maintained indefinitely. b. THREATCON BRAVO--This condition applies when an increased and more predictable threat of terrorist activity exists. The measures in this THREATCON must be capable of being maintained for weeks without causing undue hardship, affecting operational capability, and aggravating relations with local authorities. c. THREATCON CHARLIE--This condition applies when an incident occurs or intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action against personnel and facilities is imminent. Implementation of measures in this THREATCON for more than a short period probably will create hardship and affect the peacetime activities of the unit and its personnel. d. THREATCON DELTA--This condition applies in the immediate area where a terrorist attack has occurred or when intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific location or person is likely. Normally, this THREATCON is declared as a localized condition.


The geographical area outside the continental United States for which a commander of a combatant command has been assigned responsibility.



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

Universal Time

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