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The glossary lists acronyms and terms with Army or joint definitions, and other selected terms. Where Army and joint definitions are different, (Army) follows the term. Terms for which FM 3-52 is the proponent manual (the authority) are marked with an asterisk (*). The proponent manual for other terms is listed in parentheses after the definition.


Army airspace command and control


area air defense commander


Army Air-Ground System


Army air and missile defense command


antiair warfare


airborne battlefield command and control center


Army Battle Command System


airspace control authority


aviation combat element Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF)


airspace control measure


airspace control order


airspace control plan; air control point (graphics only)


air defense


air defense artillery


air defense commander (graphics only)


air defense identification zone


air defense liaison section


ARC digitized raster graphics


Air Defense System Integrator


Air Force air request net


Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System


Air Force forces


Air Force Liaison Element


Air Force special operations commander (graphics only)


airspace information center

*air control point

(Army) an easily identifiable point on the terrain or an electronic navigational aid used to provide necessary control during air movement. Air control points are generally designated at each point where the flight route or air corridor makes a definite change in any direction and at any other point deemed necessary for timing or control of the operation.

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)

air defense identification

zone airspace of defined dimensions within which the ready identification, location, and control of airborne vehicles are required (JP 3-52)

air defense warning conditions

a degree of air raid probability according to the following code. The term air defense division/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 division/sector, or unknown aircraft and/or missiles suspected to be hostile are en route toward or are within an air defense division/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 division/sector or are in the immediate vicinity of an air defense division/sector with high probability of entering the division/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. (JP 1-02)

air defense

all defensive measures designed to destroy attacking enemy aircraft or missiles in the Earth's envelope of atmosphere, or to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of such attack (JP 3-56.1)

air liaison officer

an officer (aviator/pilot or naval flight officer) attached to a ground unit who functions as the primary advisor to the ground commander on air operation matters (JP 1-02)

air operations center

the principal air operations installation from which aircraft and air warning functions of combat air operations are directed, controlled, and executed. It is the senior agency of the Air Force Component Commander from which command and control of air operations are coordinated with other components and Services. (JP 3-56.1)

airspace control

asee airspace control in the combat zone

airspace control area

airspace which is laterally defined by the boundaries of the area of operations. The airspace control area may be subdivided into airspace control sectors. (JP 3-52)

airspace control authority

the commander designated to assume overall responsibility for the operation of the airspace control system in the airspace control area (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 prevent fratricide, 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. (JP 3-52
airspace control measures

rules, mechanisms, and directions governed by joint doctrine and defined by the airspace control plan which control the use of airspace of specified dimensions (FM 1-02)

airspace control order

an order implementing the airspace control plan that provides the details of the approved requests for airspace control measures. It is published either as part of the air tasking order or as a separate document. (JP 3-56.1)

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 area of responsibility and/or joint operations area (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. (JP 1-02)

airspace management

the coordination, integration, and regulation of the use of airspace of defined dimensions (JP 3-52)

air support operations center an agency of a tactical air control system collocated with a corps headquarters or an appropriate land force headquarters, which coordinates and directs close air support and other tactical air support (JP 1-02
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 (JP 3-56.1)


air liaison officer


air and missile defense


Air and Missile Defense Planning and Control System


air mobility element


airspace management liaison section

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. (JP 3-02)


Aviation Mission Planning System


air and naval gunfire liaison company


air naval gunfire platoon


area of operations


amphibious objective area


air operations center (USAF)


area of responsibility


equal Arc second raster Chart/map

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. (JP 3-52
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. (JP 3-0)

area of operations

an operational area defined by the joint force commander for land and naval 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. (JP 3-0)

area of responsibility

the geographical area associated with a combatant command within which a combatant commander has authority to plan and conduct operations (JP 3-0)


air resource element coordinator


the senior Army headquarters and all Army forces assigned or attached to a combatant command, subordinate joint force command, joint functional command, or multinational command.

*Army airspace command and control

(Army) the Army's application of airspace control to coordinate airspace users for concurrent employment in the accomplishment of assigned missions 

Army special operations commander (graphics only)


All Source Analysis System


assault support coordinator (airborne)


air support operations center


Army Tactical Missile System


(Army) Amphibious Tactical Air Control System


air traffic control


Army Tactical Command and Control System


Army tactical data link


attacking (graphics only)


air tasking order


air traffic service

avenue of approach

(Army) the air or ground route leading to an objective (or key terrain in its path) that an attacking force can use (FM 3-90)


Airborne Warning and Control System

axis of advance

(Army) the general area through which the bulk of a unit's combat power must move (FM 3-90)


battlefield automated systems

base defense zone

an air defense zone established around an air base and limited to the engagement envelope of short-range air defense weapons systems defending that base. Base defense zones have specific entry, exit, and identification, friend or foe procedures established. (JP 3-52)

battle position

(Army) a defensive location oriented on a likely enemy avenue of approach (FM 3-90)

battlefield coordination detachment an Army liaison provided by the Army component or force commander to the air operations center (AOC) and/or to the component designated by the joint force commander to plan, coordinate, and deconflict air operations. The battlefield coordination detachment processes Army requests for air support, monitors and interprets the land battle situation for the AOC, and provides the necessary interface for exchange of current intelligence and operational data. (JP 1-02

battlefield coordination detachment (formerly battlefield coordination element)


brigade (graphics only)


base defense zone (graphics only)


battalion (graphics only)


battlefield operating systems


brigade support area (graphics only)


command and control


Command and Control Initiatives Program


command and control warfare commander


command, control, communications, and intelligence


command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance


Combined Arms Center


combat air patrol


close air support


commander, amphibious task force


communications check point (graphics only)


coordinated fire line


(Army) a predetermined point on the ground used to control movement, tactical maneuver, and orientation (FM 3-90)


Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Manual


commander, landing force

close air support

air action by fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft against hostile targets which are in close proximity to friendly forces and that require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces (JP 3-56.1)


central launch and recovery section


company (graphics only)

combat air patrol

an aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, the force protected, the critical area of a combat zone, or in an air defense area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile aircraft before they reach their targets (JP 1-02)

combat service support

the essential capabilities, functions, activities, and tasks necessary to sustain all elements of operating forces in theater at all levels of war. Within the national and theater logistic systems, it includes but is not limited to that support rendered by service forces in ensuring the aspects of supply, maintenance, transportation, health services, and other services required by aviation and ground combat troops to permit those units to accomplish their missions in combat. Combat service support encompasses those activities at all levels of war that produce sustainment to all operating forces on the battlefield. (JP 4-0)

combat support

(Army) critical combat functions provided by units and soldiers in conjunction with combat arms units and soldiers to secure victory (FM 3-90)

combat zone

1. that area required by combat forces for the conduct of operations. 2. The territory forward of the Army rear area boundary. (JP 3-52)


commander, joint task force

command and control

the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission. (JP 0-2)

commander, amphibious task force the Navy officer designated in the order initiating the amphibious operation as the commander of the amphibious taskforce (JP 3-02
commander's critical information requirements (Army) elements of information required by commanders that directly affect decision making and dictate the successful execution of military operations (FM 3-0
commander's intent

(Army) a clear, concise statement of what the force must do and the conditions the force must meet to succeed with respect to the enemy, terrain, and the desired end state (FM 3-0)

command post

(Army) a unit's headquarters where the commander and staff perform their activities during operations. It is often divided into echelons. The command post is the principal facility employed by the commander to control combat operations. (FM 6-0)

common operational picture (Army) an operational picture tailored to the user's requirements, based on common data and information shared by more than one command (FM 3-0
common reference system

common reference systems provide a universal, joint perspective with which to define specific areas of the battlespace, enabling the commanders to efficiently coordinate, deconflict, integrate, and synchronize attacks (JP 3-60)

communications checkpoint

(Army) an air control point that requires serial leaders to report either to the aviation mission commander or the terminal control facility (FM 1-02)


communications zone

composite warfare commander

the officer in tactical command is normally the composite warfare commander. However the composite warfare commander concept allows an officer in tactical command to delegate tactical command to the composite warfare commander. The composite warfare commander wages combat operations to counter threats to the force and to maintain tactical sea control with assets assigned; while the officer in tactical command retains close control of power projection and strategic sea control operations. (JP 1-02)

concept of operations

(Army) describes how commanders see the actions of subordinate units fitting together to accomplish the mission. As a minimum, the description includes the scheme of maneuver and concept of fires. The concept of operations expands the commander's selected course of action and expresses how each element of the force will cooperate to accomplish the mission. (FM 3-0)

control and reporting center

a center directly subordinate to the JAOC and is the senior TACS radar element responsible for decentralized execution of air defense and airspace control. The CRC provides battle management, weapons control, surveillance, identification, and link management. The CRC provides positive and procedural airspace control. The CRC is assigned a geographic sector by the JAOC, within which it manages all defensive air, offensive air and airspace management activities. The CRC is responsible for recommending changes in air defense (AD) warning conditions based on the air situation. (JP 1-02)

controlled airspace

an airspace of defined dimensions within which air traffic control service is provided to controlled flights (JP 1-02) (this manual does not use the Army definition of this term)

control measures

directives given graphically or orally by a commander to subordinate commands to assign responsibilities, coordinate fires and maneuver, and control combat operations. Each control measure can be portrayed graphically. In general, all control measures should be easily identifiable on the ground. Examples of control measures include boundaries, objectives, coordinating points, contact point, and direction of attack. (JP 1-02)

coordinated fire line

the coordinated fire line (CFL) is a line beyond which conventional, direct, and indirect surface fire support means may fire at any time within the boundaries of the establishing headquarters without additional coordination. The purpose of the CFL is to expedite the surface-to-surface attack of targets beyond the CFL without coordination with the ground commander in whose area the targets are located. (JP 3-09)

coordinating altitude

a procedural airspace control method to separate fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft by determining an altitude below which fixed-wing aircraft will normally not fly and above which rotary-wing aircraft normally will not fly. The coordinating altitude is normally specified in the airspace control plan and may include a buffer zone for small altitude deviations (JP 3-52)


common operational picture


a mission which integrates offensive and defensive operations to attain and maintain a desired degree of air superiority. Counterair missions are designed to destroy or negate enemy aircraft and missiles, both before and after launch. (JP 3-01)

counterair operations

see counterair


command post


control reporting center


control and reporting element


Combat Service Support Control System


aircraft carrier (graphics only)


composite warfare commander


direct air support center


direct air support center (airborne)


detachment (graphics only)


division (graphics only)


deep operations coordination cell


Department of Defense


division support area (graphics only)


digital terrain elevation data


Digital Topographic Support System


Hawkeye—airborne early warning aircraft


electronic attack


echelons above corps


effective (graphics only)

electronic warfare

any military action involving the use of electromagnetic and directed energy to control the electromagnetic spectrum or to attack the enemy (JP 3-51)

engagement area

(Army) where the commander intends to contain and destroy an enemy force with the massed effects of all available weapons and supporting systems (FM 3-90)


electronic warfare


early warning/control


field artillery


forward area air defense


forward air controller


forward air controller (airborne)


forward arming and refueling point


Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below


fire direction center


free-fire area


force fires coordination center (graphics only)

fighter engagement zone

in air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with fighter aircraft (JP 3-52)

fire support

fires that directly support land, maritime, amphibious, and special operation forces to engage enemy forces, combat formations, and facilities in pursuit of tactical and operational objectives (JP 1-02)

fire support coordinating measure

a measure employed by land or amphibious commanders to facilitate the rapid engagement of targets and simultaneously provide safeguards for friendly forces (JP 1-02)

fire support coordination

the planning and executing of fire so that targets are adequately covered by a suitable weapon or group of weapons (JP 3-09)

fire support coordination line a fire support coordinating measure that is established and adjusted by appropriate land or amphibious force commanders within their boundaries in consultation with superior, subordinate, supporting, and affected commanders. Fire support coordination lines (FSCLs) facilitate the expeditious attack of surface targets of opportunity beyond the coordinating measure. An FSCL does not divide an area of operations by defining a boundary between close and deep operations or a zone for close air support. The FSCL applies to all fires of air, land, and sea-based weapons systems using any type of ammunition. Forces attacking targets beyond an FSCL must inform all affected commanders in sufficient time to allow necessary reaction to avoid fratricide. Supporting elements attacking targets beyond the FSCL must ensure that the attack will not produce adverse attacks on, or to the rear of, the line. Short of an FSCL, all air-to-ground and surface-to-surface attack operations are controlled by the appropriate land or amphibious force commander. The FSCL should follow well-defined terrain features. Coordination of attacks beyond the FSCL is especially critical to commanders of air, land, and special operations forces. In exceptional circumstances, the inability to conduct this coordination will not preclude the attack of targets beyond the FSCL. However, failure to do so may increase the risk of fratricide and could waste limited resources. (JP 3-09
flight corridor

see air corridor

flight following

the task of maintaining contact with specified aircraft for the purpose of determining en route progress and/or flight termination (JP 1-02)


forward line of own troops


field manual


flight operations center (graphics only)

force projection

the ability to project the military element of national power from the continental United States (CONUS) or another theater, in response to requirements for military operations. Force projection operations extend from mobilization and deployment of forces to redeployment to CONUS or home theater. (JP 3-0)

forward air controller (airborne) a specifically trained and qualified aviation officer who exercises control from the air of aircraft engaged in close air support of ground troops. The forward air controller (airborne) is normally an airborne extension of the tactical air control party. (JP 1-02
forward arming and refueling point a temporary facility—organized, equipped, and deployed by an aviation commander, and normally located in the main battle area closer to the area where operations are being conducted than the aviation unit's combat service area—to provide fuel and ammunition necessary for the employment of aviation maneuver units in combat. The forward arming and refueling point permits combat aircraft to rapidly refuel and rearm simultaneously. (JP 1-02
forward line of own troops

a line that indicates the most forward positions of friendly forces in any kind of military operation at a specific time. The forward line of own troops (FLOT) normally identifies the forward location of covering and screening forces. The FLOT may be at, beyond, or short of the forward edge of the battle area. An enemy FLOT indicates the forward-most position of hostile forces. (JP 1-02) This manual does not use the Army definition of this term.


fragmentary order


(Army) the unintentional killing or wounding of friendly personnel by friendly firepower (FM 3-0)

free-fire area

a specific area into which any weapon system may fire into without additional coordination with the establishing headquarters (JP 3-09)


fire support


fire support coordination center


fire support coordination line


fire support coordinating measure


fire support element


fire support officer


fighter (graphics only)


assistant chief of staff, intelligence


assistant chief of staff, operations


assistant chief of staff, logistics


Global Command and Control System


ground combat element (graphics only)


ground liaison officer

Global Command and Control System highly mobile, deployable command and control system supporting forces for joint and multinational operations across the range of military operations, any time and anywhere in the world with compatible, interoperable, and integrated command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence systems (JP 1-02
ground liaison officer

an officer trained in offensive air support activities. Ground liaison officers are normally organized into parties under the control of the appropriate Army commander to provide liaison to Air Force and naval units engaged in training and combat operations (JP 1-02)




helicopter (graphics only)


high frequency


high-density airspace control zone

high-altitude missile engagement zone

in air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with high-altitude surface-to-air missiles (JP 3-52)

high-density airspace control zone

airspace designated in an airspace control plan or airspace control order, in which there is a concentrated employment of numerous and varied weapons and airspace users. A high-density airspace control zone has defined dimensions which usually coincide with geographical features or navigational aids. Access to a high-density airspace control zone is normally controlled by the maneuver commander. The maneuver commander can also direct a more restrictive weapons status within the high-density airspace control zone. (JP 3-52)


high-to-medium-altitude air defense


high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle

hostile acts

basic rules established by higher authority for defining and recognizing hostile acts by aircraft, submarines, surface units, and ground forces that will be promulgated by the commanders of unified or specified commands, and by other appropriate commanders when so authorized (JP 1-02)

hostile criteria

description of conditions under which an aircraft or a vehicle may be identified as hostile for engagement purposes (see also hostile acts and rules of engagement) (JP 1-02)




helicopter radio net (graphics only)


interim brigade combat team



identification, friend or foe

a system using electromagnetic transmissions to which equipment carried by friendly forces automatically responds, for example, by emitting pulses, thereby distinguishing themselves from enemy forces (JP 3-52)


intelligence and electronic warfare


identification, friend or foe


interim JTIDS message specification


Integrated Meteorological System

information operations

actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems while defending one's own information and information systems (JP 3-13)


information systems


intelligence (graphics only)


1. the product resulting from the collection, processing, integration, analysis, evaluation, and interpretation of available information concerning foreign countries or areas; 2. information and knowledge about an adversary obtained through observation, investigation, analysis, or understanding (JP 1-02)

intelligence preparation of the battlefield

(Army) an analytical methodology employed as part of intelligence planning to reduce uncertainties concerning the enemy, environment, and terrain for all types of operations. Intelligence preparation of the battlefield is conducted during mission planning to support the commander's decisionmaking and to form the basis for the direction of intelligence operations in support of current and future missions. It utilizes existing databases and identifies gaps in intelligence needed to determine the impact of the enemy, environment, and terrain on operations and presents this in an appropriate form to facilitate operational planning. It forms the basis for situation development. (FM 1-02)


information operations


Internet Protocol


intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance


Integrated Weather Effects Decision Aid (graphics only)


joint air operations center


joint force air component commander


joint force commander


joint force land component commander


joint force special operations commander (graphics only)


joint force special operations component commander


joint operations area


joint operations center

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 (JP 3-56.1)

joint air operations center

a jointly staffed facility established for planning, directing, and executing joint air operations in support of the joint force commander's operation or campaign objectives (JP 3-56.1)

joint engagement zone

in air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which multiple air defense systems (surface-to-air missiles and aircraft) are simultaneously employed to engage air threats (JP 3-52)

joint force air component commander

the commander within a unified command, subordinate unified command, or joint task force responsible to the establishing commander for making recommendations on the proper employment of assigned, attached, and/or made available for tasking air forces; planning and coordinating air operations; or accomplishing such operational missions as may be assigned. The joint force air component commander is given the authority necessary to accomplish missions and tasks assigned by the establishing commander. (JP 1-02)

joint force commander

a general term applied to a combatant commander, subunified commander, or joint task force commander authorized to exercise combatant command (command authority) or operational control over a joint force (JP 0-2)

joint force land component commander

the commander within a unified command, subordinate unified command, or joint task force responsible to the establishing commander for making recommendations on the proper employment of assigned, attached, and/or made available for tasking land forces; planning and coordinating land operations; or accomplishing such operational missions as may be assigned. The joint force land component commander is given the authority necessary to accomplish missions and tasks assigned by the establishing commander. (JP 3-0)

joint force special operations component commander

the commander within a unified command, subordinate unified command, or joint task force responsible to the establishing commander for making recommendations on the proper employment of assigned, attached, and/or made available for tasking special operations forces and assets; planning and coordinating special operations; or accomplishing such operational missions as may be assigned. The joint force special operations component commander is given the authority necessary to accomplish missions and tasks assigned by the establishing commander. (JP 3-0)


joint publication


joint restricted frequency list


Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System


Joint Tactical Information Distribution System


joint theater missile defense


Joint User Handbook-Message Text Formats


Joint Warning and Reporting Network


low-altitude air defense


local area network

land forces

personnel, weapon systems, vehicles, and support elements operating on land to accomplish assigned missions and tasks (JP 1-02)


line of contact (graphics only)


line of departure (graphics only)


that contact or intercommunication maintained between elements of military forces or other agencies to ensure mutual understanding and unity of purpose and action (JP 3-08)


low-level transit route


liaison officer

low-altitude missile engagement zone

in air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with low- to medium-altitude surface-to-air missiles (JP 3-52)

low-level transit route

a temporary corridor of defined dimensions established in the forward area to minimize the risk to friendly aircraft from friendly air defenses or surface forces (JP 3-52)


landing zone (graphics only)


Marine Air Command and Control System


Marine air-ground task force


Marine forces (graphics only)

Marine air command and control system

a system that provides the aviation combat element commander with the means to command, coordinate, and control all air operations within an assigned sector and to coordinate air operations with other Services. It is composed of command and control agencies with communications-electronics equipment that incorporates a capability from manual through semiautomatic control. (JP 1-02)

Marine air-ground task force

a task organization of Marine forces (division, aircraft wing, and service support groups) under a single command and structured to accomplish a specific mission. The Marine air-ground task force (MAGTF) components will normally include command, aviation combat, ground combat, and combat service support elements (including Navy Support Elements). Two types of Marine air-ground task forces which can be task organized are the Marine expeditionary unit and Marine expeditionary force. (JP 1-02)


Marine liaison officer


Marine air traffic control


Marine air wing


modified combined obstacle overlay (graphics only)


Maneuver Control System


mechanized (graphics only)


Marine expeditionary force (graphics only)


mission, enemy, terrain and weather, troops and support available, time available, civil considerations


military intelligence


meaconing, interference, jamming, and intrusion


military standard

minimum attack altitude

the lowest altitude determined by the tactical use of weapons, terrain consideration, and weapons effects that permits the safe conduct of an air attack and/or minimizes effective enemy counteraction (JP 1-02)

minimum crossing altitude

the lowest altitude at certain radio fixes at which an aircraft must cross when proceeding in the direction of a higher minimum en route instrument flight rules altitude (JP 1-02)

minimum-risk route

a temporary corridor of defined dimensions recommended for use by high-speed, fixed-wing aircraft that presents the minimum known hazards to low-flying aircraft transiting the combat zone (JP 3-52)


Multiple Launch Rocket System


minimum-risk route


message text format

multinational operations

a collective term to describe military actions conducted by forces of two or more nations, usually undertaken within the structure of a coalition or alliance (JP 0-2)


named area of interest


naval and amphibious liaison element


North Atlantic Treaty Organization


navigational aid


Navy forces (graphics only)


Navy special operations commander (graphics only)


nuclear, biological, and chemical


no-fire area


naval flight officer


National Guard (graphics only)


naval gunfire officer


National Imagery and Mapping Agency


numbered (graphics only)

no-fire area

a land area designated by the appropriate commander into which fires or their effects are prohibited (JP 3-09)


naval surface fire support net (graphics only)


Navy Tactical Air Control System


objective (graphics only)

observation post

a position from which military observations are made, or fire directed and adjusted, and which possesses appropriate communications; may be airborne (JP 1-02)



offensive counterair attack operations

offensive action in support of the offensive counterair mission against surface targets which contribute to the enemy's air power capabilities. The objective of attack operations is to prevent the hostile use of aircraft and missile forces by attacking targets such as missile launch sites, airfields, naval vessels, command and control nodes, munitions stockpiles, and supporting infrastructure. Attack operations may be performed by fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft, surface-to-surface weapons, special operations forces, or ground forces. (JP 3-01)

officer in tactical command

in maritime usage, the senior officer present eligible to assume command, or the officer to whom the senior officer has delegated tactical command (JP 1-02)

operational control

command authority that may be exercised by commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command. Operational control is inherent in combatant command (command authority) and may be delegated within the command. When forces are transferred between combatant commands, the command relationship the gaining commander will exercise (and the losing commander will relinquish) over these forces must be specified by the Secretary of Defense. Operational control is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational control includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations and joint training necessary to accomplish missions assigned to the command. Operational control should be exercised through the commanders of subordinate organizations. Normally this authority is exercised through subordinate joint force commanders and Service and/or functional component commanders. Operational control normally provides full authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions; it does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization, or unit training. (JP 0-2)


operation plan


operation order


operations (graphics only)


officer in tactical command


Patriot digital information link


phase line (graphics only)

positive control

a method of airspace control that relies on positive identification, tracking, and direction of aircraft within an airspace, conducted with electronic means by an agency having the authority and responsibility therein (JP 3-52)

procedural control

a method of airspace control which relies on a combination of previously agreed and promulgated orders and procedures (JP 3-52)


pickup zone (graphics only)

RAH 66

Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter

real time

pertaining to the timeliness of data or information which has been delayed only by the time required for electronic communication. This implies that there are no noticeable delays. (JP 1-02)


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 (JP 1-02)


representative (graphics only)

restricted operations area

airspace of defined dimensions, designated by the airspace control authority, in response to specific operational situations/ requirements within which the operation of one or more airspace users is restricted (JP 3-52)

restrictive fire line

a line established between converging friendly surface forces that prohibits fires or their effects across that line (JP 3-09)


restrictive fire area


restrictive fire line


regiment (graphics only)


restricted operations area


rules of engagement


restricted operations zone

rules of engagement

directives issued by competent military authority which delineate the circumstances and limitations under which United States forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered (JP 1-02)


battalion or brigade intelligence staff officer


battalion or brigade operations staff officer


battalion or brigade logistics staff officer


standard use Army aircraft flight route


supporting arms coordination center


sector air defense commander


supporting arms liaison team


search and rescue


sector air warfare coordinator


sea combat commander (graphics only)

scheme of maneuver

description of how arrayed forces will accomplish the commander's intent. It is the central expression of the commander's concept for operations and governs the design of supporting plans or annexes (FM 5-0)

selective identification feature

a capability that, when added to the basic identification friend or foe system, provides the means to transmit, receive, and display selected coded replies (JP 1-02)


special electronic mission aircraft


shore fire control party

short-range air defense engagement zone

in air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with short-range air defense weapons. It may be established within a low- or high-altitude missile engagement zone. (JP 3-52)


selective identification feature


space liaison officer


special operations command


special operations command and control element


special operations coordination element


special operations forces


special operations liaison element


standing operating procedure


special instructions


support (graphics only)

standard use Army aircraft flight route

routes established below the coordinating altitude to facilitate the movement of Army aviation assets. Routes are normally located in the corps through brigade rear areas of operation and do not require approval by the airspace control authority. (JP 3-52)


strategic liaison team (graphics only)


strike warfare commander


the systematic observation of aerospace, surface or subsurface areas, places, persons, or things, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic or other means (JP 1-02)


surface warfare commander


theater Army air and missile defense coordinator


tactical or terminal air controller or tactical command post, or terminal access controller


tactical air coordinator (airborne)


tactical air command center (USMC)


tactical operational data


tactical air control party


Theater Air Control System (USAF)

tactical air command center

the Marine Corps' tactical air command center (TACC) is the senior agency of the Marine air command and control system (MACCS) (JP 1-02)

tactical air control center

the principal air operations installation (ship-based) from which all aircraft and air warning functions of tactical air operations are controlled (JP 1-02)

tactical air control party

a subordinate operational component of a tactical air control system designed to provide air liaison to land forces and for the control of aircraft (JP 1-02)

tactical air direction center

an air operations installation under the overall control of the tactical air control center (afloat) or tactical air command center, from which aircraft and air warning service functions of tactical air operations in an area of concern are directed (JP 1-02)

tactical air operations center

the principal air control agency of the US Marine air command and control system responsible for airspace control and management. It provides real-time surveillance, direction, positive control, and navigational assistance for friendly aircraft. It performs real-time direction and control of all antiair warfare operations, to include manned interceptors and surface-to-air weapons. It is subordinate to the tactical air command center. (JP 1-02)

tactical control

command authority over assigned or attached forces or commands, or military capability or forces made available for tasking, that is limited to the detailed direction and control of movements or maneuvers within the operational area necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned. Tactical control is inherent in operational control. Tactical control may be delegated to, and exercised at any level at or below the level of combatant command. When forces are transferred between combatant commands, the command relationship the gaining commander will exercise (and the losing commander will relinquish) over these forces must be specified by the Secretary of Defense. Tactical control provides sufficient authority for controlling and directing the application of force or tactical use of combat support assets within the assigned mission or task. (JP 0-2)


tactical air direction center


tactical digital information link


Theater Air-Ground System


Tactical Airspace Integration System


tactical airlift control element (graphics only)


theater airlift liaison officer


theater air and missile defense


tactical air operations center (USMC)


tactical air radio (graphics only)


tactical ballistic missile


Theater Battle Management Core System


to be published


Transmission Control Protocol

terrain flight

flight close to the Earth's surface during which airspeed, height, and/or altitude are adapted to the contours and cover of the ground in order to avoid enemy detection and fire (JP 1-02)


task force (graphics only)

theater airlift

that airlift assigned or attached to a combatant command (command authority) of a combatant commander other than Commander in Chief, US Transportation Command, which provides air movement and delivery of personnel and equipment directly into objective areas through air landing, airdrop, extraction, or other delivery techniques; and the air logistic support of all theater forces, including those engaged in combat operations, to meet specific theater objectives and requirements. (JP 3-17) This manual does not use the Army definition of this term.

theater airlift liaison officer

an officer specially trained to implement the theater air control system and to control tactical airlift assets. Theater airlift liaison officers are highly qualified, rated airlift officers with tactical (airdrop) airlift experience and assigned duties, supporting US Army units. (JP 3-17)

theater of operations

a subarea within a theater of war defined by the geographic combatant commander required to conduct or support specific combat operations. Different theaters of operations within the same theater of war will normally be geographically separate and focused on different enemy forces. Theaters of operations are usually of significant size, allowing for operations over extended periods of time. (JP 3-0)


tactical Internet


Tomahawk land-attack missile


tactical operations center


table of organization and equipment


Training and Doctrine Command (Army)


tactics, techniques, and procedures


unit airspace plan


unmanned aerial vehicle


ultrahigh frequency

United States message text format

a program designed to enhance joint and combined combat effectiveness through standardization of message formats, data elements, and information exchange procedures. Standard message formats with standard information content provides all tactical commanders at the joint interface with a common playing field and a common language. (MIL-STD-6040)

unmanned aerial vehicle

a powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or nonlethal payload. Ballistic or semiballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles. (JP 3-55.1)


United States


United States Air Force


United States Marine Corps


United States message text format


undersea warfare commander


very high frequency


variable message format

weapon control status

weapons control of surface-to-air units is expressed as a status declared for a particular area and time (JP 3-01)

weapon engagement zone

in air defense, airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with a particular weapon system. See also fighter engagement zone, high-altitude missile engagement zone, low-altitude missile engagement zone, short-range air defense engagement zone, and joint engagement zone. (JP 3-52)

weapons free

in air defense, a weapon control order imposing a status whereby weapons systems may be fired at any target not positively recognized as friendly. (See also weapons hold, weapons tight, and air defense weapon control status.) (JP 1-02)

weapons free zone

an air defense zone established for the protection of key assets or facilities, other than air bases, where weapon systems may be fired at any target not positively recognized as friendly (JP 3-52)

weapons hold

in air defense, a weapon control order imposing a status whereby weapons systems may only be fired in self-defense or in response to a formal order. (See also weapons free, weapons tight, and air defense weapon control status.) (JP 1-02)

weapons tight

in air defense, a weapon control order imposing a status whereby weapons systems may be fired only at targets recognized as hostile. (JP 1-02)


weapon engagement zone


weapons free zone (graphics only)


wing operations center (USAF)

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias