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U N C L A S S I F I E D
"OPERATIONAL BREVITY WORDS AND TERMINOLOGY"
The following are two lists of operational brevity words and
terms to provide common understanding and minimize radio transmissions while executing
tactics described in this manual. This common understanding, however, is dependent on the
following rules of engagement:
- These lists are not all inclusive.
- Use plain English when required.
- Words listed below should be used in lieu of words or phrases with similar definitions.
- When a flight lead makes directive calls, the wingman must respond with the directed
action to the best of his ability.
- If the wingman uses a "directive" term/word, it is a request and the flight
lead reserves the right to approve/deny the wingman's requested action.
Allied nations may have different meanings for some of the terms/words listed here
(reference ACP 165). They are indicated by an asterisk (*) behind the term/word.
SECTION A: OPERATIONAL BREVITY
SECTION B: TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
SECTION A: OPERATIONAL BREVITY WORDS
A B C
D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Directive to cease action/attack/event/mission.
Directive to initiate a briefed attack sequence or maneuver.
There are three axis which are mutually perpendicular and have a common point of
intersection. The aircraft longitudinal axis is parallel to the fuselage reference line.
Aircraft rotation around this axis is roll or bank. The aircraft vertical axis is
perpendicular to the longitudinal axis through the center of the aircraft. Rotation around
this axis is yaw. The aircraft lateral axis is perpendicular to both the longitudinal and
vertical axes at the point of intersection. Rotation around this axis is pitch.
Request for bearing and range to described point.
Orbit about a specific point; ground track flown by tanker. Information call indicates a
turning engagement about a specific location.
ANGLE OF ATTACK (AOA)
The angle between the cord line of the wing and the relative wind.
The angular difference between the longitudinal axis of the attacker and the logitudinal
axis of the defender.
Height of aircraft in thousands of feet.
Training term used to denote simulated launch of enemy, all-aspect radar missile.
Training term used to denote simulated launch of enemy, rear hemisphere heat seeking
Cutoff in plane of target motion to decrease range to targetdefender allows attacker to
Select armament (safe/hot), or armament is safe/hot.
Fighter, FAC, mission package, or agency will be performing exactly as stated by the air
Request/comment regarding target aspect information.
The angle between the longitudinal axis of the target (projected rearward) and the
line-of-sight to the fighter, measured from the tail of the target. The attackers heading
is not a consideration. (Whenever the attacker is pointed at the bogey, angle-off and
aspect are the same.)
Indicates air-to-surface attack on a specific ground target.
Rear hemisphere heat-seeking missile.
An orientation direction usually thought of as an imaginary line passing through the
target on some particular headingexample, the range run-in heading.
To request or provide a response for a coded challenge.
Aircrew is operating without benefit of GCI/AWACS control.
Intercepts initiated by aircrew when no target information is being received from
command and control sources.
Known enemy aircraft and type ordnance capability, if known.
A term used synonymously used with System Altitude. (See System Altitude)
BARREL ROLL MANEUVER
A vertical rolling maneuver used to reduce aspect angle while keeping sight of the bogey
and maintaining nose-tail separation.
Reference number used to indicate such information as headings, altitudes, fuels, etc.
Aircraft maneuvering stabilized within 700 to 1100 aspect; generally given with cardinal
directions: east, west, north, south.
A momentary unloaded bank to check the blind side of a turning aircraft.
Identified system inoperative.
BFM ( Basic Fighter Maneuver )
Training designed to apply aircraft handling skills to gain proficiency in recognizing
and solving range, closure, aspect, angle off, and turning room problems in relation to
another aircraft to either attain a position from which weapons may be employed or deny
the adversary a position from which weapons may be launched or defeat weapons employed by
an adversary. Examples are the high speed yo-yo, quarter plane maneuver, Immelmann turn,
barrel roll. BFM training builds appreciation of pursuit geometry, cutoff, radial G,
rolling maneuvers and energy management.
The command or use of maneuvering airspace usually OUT OF PLANE OF A BANDIT`S TURN TO
ALLOW the attacker to gain or maintain an offensive advantage or close to a gun solution.
Requires positional and/or energy advantage.
Prebriefed fuel state which is needed for recovery using prebriefed parameters.
No visual contact with friendly aircraft; opposite of term "VISUAL."
Directive/informational call that indicates aircraft will continue straight ahead at the
merge and not turn with target/targets.
A radar/visual contact whose identity is unknown.
A request for bearing and range to bogey and as available, heading, speed, and altitude.
BOMB RANGE (BR)
The horizontal distance a bomb will travel from release to impact.
The distance that represents bomb drag in weapon ballistic computation.
Term used to indicate the formation will remain in a Racetrack-type holding pattern
(with all wingmen's tums into lead); exit formation must be specified by lead.
Groups/contacts/formations in a square or offset square.
Indicates geometry where aircraft will maneuver to a position on opposing sides either
laterally or vertically from the target.
Directive to perform an immediate maximum performance turn in the indicated direction.
Assumes a defensive situation.
Term used to denote radio frequency is becoming saturated/degraded and briefer
transmissions must follow.
Request/directive to switch to Broadcast Control.
Loss of radar/IR lock-on (advisory).
BUDDY SPIKE (Position/Azimuth/Altitude)
Receiving friendly AIRWR.
Combat separation for low fuel, loss of tactical advantages or accomplishments of
mission objectives; intent is to permanently separate from that particular
An established reference point from which the position of an aircraft can be determined.
An established reference point from which the position of an aircraft can be
transmitted. Sometimes referred to as "broadcast control" if more than one
bullseye is used, designate by Alpha, Bravo etc.
A fly-up to acquire line of sight to the target or laser designation.
A pushover maneuver.
Directive to select/deselect afterburner (generally to fly at maximum speed).
Electronic communications jamming.
An orbit at a specified location. Establish a combat air patrol at (location).
Collision Antenna Trail Angle. The azimuth of your radar antenna when tracking (locked
on) a target that is on a collision course with your aircraft.
Directive to deploy CHAFF and / or FLARES and deselect AB (Situation permitting). Often
added immediately after directing a flight member to do a defensive maneuver. Also
informative by one using CHAFF/FLARE(S) as a reminder to his partner to use them when
An attack of three distinct groups with two in front and one behind. The leading two
groups are attempting to bracket with the trailing third group flying up the middle.
A near vertical turn up, used to attack a high bandit from a medium to front quarter
aspect. Does not require as much altitude separation as the Immelmann turn. Should
terminate in a rear hemisphere weapons envelope with overtake.
Begin using briefed radio procedures to counter comm jamming.
A qualifying statement to indicate the shot had low probability of success.
CHECK ( )
A directive statement made to momentarily monitor (specified items/systems).No response
is required if status is normal.
By GCI: Alter course ( ) degrees left or right momentarily for airborne search
positioning, then resume original heading.
By Flight Lead: Alter course to new heading, 30 degrees if not specified.
CHECK ANGELS /FUEL
An information statement made by GCI to aircrew ng ACBT. No aircrew response required.
Friendly fighter aircraft.
Directive to briefly turn on exterior lights to enable visual acquisition.
Flight-lead-directed defensive maneuver in which the flight establishes a circular
holding pattern for mutual support.
No radar contacts; used to confirm a good battle damage check (i.e., no air-to-surface
ordnance remaining on the wingman's aircraft).
No enemy aircraft are a threat to your rear quadrantthat is, your six is clear. Also
used when flight lead is authorizing change of command or role swap for wingman from
supporting to engaged.
Requested action is authorized (no engaged/support roles are assumed).
Ordnance release not authorized.
Ordnance release is authorized.
The maximum degree of control that GCI can provide.
Bandit/bogey/target is getting closer in range.
In context; attack geometry will result in a pass or roll out behind the target; or, on
a leg of the CAP pointed away from the anticipated threats. Air-to-surface, dry or
The side of the RED opposite that where collision antenna train angle occurs.
COMEBACK HIGH/ LOW/LEFT/RIGHT
Informative call requesting the addressed fighter to reposition accordingly.
A directive to maneuver as indicated to either regain mutual support or to deconflict
flight paths for an exchange of engaged and supporting roles. Implies both
"visual" and "tally."
Fighter intent to engage/intercept; weapons director (WD) continues to provide
Leaving contrails or otherwise marking aircraft position.
Radar/IR contact at the stated position; should be in bearing, range, altitude (BRA),
Bullseye, or geographic position format.
Radar and/or IP pick-up at the stated position. Position usually stated in magnetic
bearing, range, altitude (BRA), Bullseye, or geographic position format if locked on.
Friend or foe unknown.
Continue present maneuver; does not imply clearance to engage or expend ordnance.
Minimum speed at which maximum allowable aircraft G can be attained. Minimum turn radius
and maximum rate are achieved by most aircraft types at corner velocity. The F-16”s
unique flight control character are such that it doesn't have a corner velocity in this
Maneuvers which are performed by an aircraft under attack and which are designed to
negate the present threat and proceed to an offensive position as the attacker.
Directive to assume briefed support position and responsibilities.
F-Pole maneuver; implies illuminating target at radar gimbal limits.
A 180 heading reversal by a flight where aircraft turn into each other.
Request for, or directive to, intercept using cutoff geometry.
Numerous fighters in-trail maneuvering for shots on one another.
Informative call by an airborne laser designator indicating the laser is inoperative.
Aircraft is in a defensive position and maneuvering with reference to the stated
condition. If no condition stated maneuvering is with respect to A/A threat.
A planned turn designed to prevent an attacker from entering/ remaining in the
defender's vulnerable cone. This maneuver has limitations since it may allow arcing;
however, done early enough and properly executed, allows defender to keep sight, makes
attacker's BFM problem more difficult, and may cause attacker to overshoot.
Directive for the flight to maneuver to briefed positioning.
Discontinue the current attack.
Proceed to alternate mission/base.
Data link equipment
Directive to "delay the engagement."
Bogey/Bandit maneuvering to 60 degress or less aspect.
DUKE IT OUT
Meet the enemy head on to engage.
Groups/contacts/formation with wingman displaced approximately 45 deg behind leader's
Formation of two aircraft.
Maneuvering with the intent of achieving a kill. If no additional information is
provided (bearing, range, etc.), ENGAGED implies visual/radar acquisition of target
Indicates the fighter or element is maneuvering to attain or deny weapons release
parameters or is in the visual arena maneuvering in relation to the targetWC stops
providing specific target information and continues with situation awareness information.
Gain energy and distance using proper energy profile with the possible objective of
reentering the fight.
A straight-line unloaded (slightly less than 1 G) acceleration maneuver. This maneuver
may be interrupted by a series of checkturns so that the extending fighter can maintain
sight of the attacking aircraft.
Using information available to provide data required, implies degradation.
Directive to gain energy and distance with the possible intent of reengaging.
Fighter with primary visual identification (VID) responsibility.
Previous radar contact is lost
Target speed is estimated to be 600 knots ground mach 1 or greater.
Forward edge of the battle area as set during the scenario briefing.
Flying over water/land.
Boundary separating hostile and friendly area.
Set cockpit switches as appropriate.
Request for bearing and range to friendly aircraft.
Target with a stable aspect of 120 deg. to 150 deg.
Flares have been detected or directive to deploy flares.
Temporary activation of IFF transponder on desired mode/code.
Directive/informative to expand the formation laterally within visual limits to maintain
a radar contact or prepare for a defensive response.
Follow data-link commands.
Air-to-air weapons employment.
Simulated/actual launch of radar-guided missile.
Simulated/actual launch of infrared-guided missile.
Simulated/actual launch of AMRAAM/Phoenix missile.
Bomber gunner has simulated firing on a target.
A turning fight involving multiple aircraft.
FUSELAGE REFERENCE LINE (FRL)
A basic reference line extending through the fuselage, parallel to the longitudinal axis
of the aircraft.
Fire control radar / Emitter of radar equipment.
Airborne FCS/ ground equipment is degraded.
Airborne FCS/ ground equipment is inoperative.
Airborne FCS/ ground equipment is working.
Radar target is approaching azimuth or elevation limits.
Go to briefed Have Quick net.
Activate secure voice communications.
Large force of indeterminable numbers and formation.
Direction determined to be clearest of enemy air-to-air activity.
Radar target(s) within approximately 3 NM of each other.
Visual acquisition of gunfire, AAA site, or AAA fire.
An air-to-air or air-to-surface gunshot.
Indicates a simulated guns shot.
Directive call to perform a break out of the plane.
GUNS JINK or JINK (DIRECTION)
Directive call to perform gun defensive maneuvers.
High-G, energy sustaining turn.
Maximum G turn sustaining energy. Whether to use AB or not is a briefing item.
The adjustment of a gun and sight of an aircraft so that when within effective range,
the tracking index will indicate the impact point of the bullets.
Two or more aircraft involved in an air combat maneuver.
Staying above the flight.
Target with an aspect of 160 deg. to 180 deg.
Call to infom aircrew that leader/wingman is head-down in the cockpit and wingman/leader
is responsible for clearing.
HEADS UP (Direction/Altitude)
Enemy/bogey got through; no kill.
Target above 30,000 feet MSL.
HIGH DEFLECTION GUNSHOT
Gun attack during which the fighter is firing as the bandit passes through the pipper at
high angle-off. Tracking is impossible due to excessive line-of-sight rate of the bandit.
High deflection gun shots normally terminate in close-in overshoots of the target's flight
path by the attacker.
An out of plane offensive BFM performed to control overtake while closing from a low
aspect. Also used to reduce aspect angle.
Radar return in search (A/A). Weapons impact within lethal distance (air-to-ground
Directive to key transmitter for DF steer.
Aircraft are joined in formation, implies visual contact by all flight members.
HOOK (LEFT OR RIGHT)
Directive to perform an in-place 180 deg. turn.
HOOKING (LEFT OR RIGHT)
Directive/information call to approach target from a single/indicated side.
In context; attack geometry will result in rollout in front of the target; or on a leg
of the CAP pointing toward the anticipated threats (A/A). Ordnance employment authorized,
expected, or completed (A/G).
The side of the REO where the collision antenna train angle is located.
Call made by supporting fighter or a wingman indicating he has visual, tally, and a
clear path to the bandit and is in an advantageous position to engage. Clock position and
distance are normally added to indicate bandit position relative to the flight, or wingman
position relative to the leader.
Directive to intercept and identify the target; also aircrew ID accomplished, followed
by type aircraft.
A vertical turn up designed to solve a high angle-off and high aspect angle attack
situation. Optimally performed, the Immelmann turn should terminate in the defender's 6
o'clock, within heat missile range and a relatively high energy state. Normally performed
from head-on aspect with large altitude separation.
IN PLACE (Left, Right)
Perform indicated maneuver simultaneously.
Perform suggested maneuver maintaining relative position in formation.
Unpredictable maneuvers to negate a gun tracking solution. A series of changes in roll,
pitch, and G performed to prevent an attacker from achieving a gun tracking solution. This
maneuver will not be effective against missiles.
Prebriefed fuel state above Bingo at which separation/bugout/event termination should
Aircrew has radar/visual contact on the correct target, has taken control of the
intercept and only requires situation awareness information; weapons director (WD) will
minimize radio transmissions.
Call made by the fighter stating the fighter will position himself in azimuth and GCI
will provide range info to the target from the fighter.
Directive to commit on target with clearance to fire in visual or beyond visual range;
implies hostile and ROE compliance; in training, fighter call to indicate KILL ROE has
Terminate any intercept/ engagement in progress.
Three or more groups/contacts/formations in trail.
A maneuver, executed from an offensive position, where excess energy is used to drive to
defender's blind cone, then a high G turn is used to solve angle off. This maneuver is
only effective if the attacker has an obvious turn performance advantage.
LAG PURSUIT ATTACK
An attack geometry that will cause the attacker to fly behind the target. The nose of
the attacking aircraft remains pointed behind the defender. (At some point a successful
attack will usually have to transition to pure / lead pursuit.)
A rolling maneuver, executed from an offensive position, performed opposite the
direction of target turn in an attempt to reduce aspect angle and/ or control closure.
Used to achieve rear aspect heat missile parameters.
LEAD PURSUIT ATTACK
An attack geometry that will cause the attacker to fly in front of the target. The nose
of the attacker's aircraft remains pointed ahead of the defender's aircraft.
A turn which is initiated prior to passing the opponents 3/9 line.
Two groups/contacts/formations/aircraft side-by-side.
An imaginary straight line from an observer's eye to a target.
Final radar lock-on; sort is not assumed
Target altitude below 10,000 feet AGL
A maneuver, executed from an offensive position, used to close on the target aircraft by
the effective use of cutoff and acceleration.
A circular stagnated fight with no participant having an advantage.
launch of AGM-88 HARM.
leaving contrails or otherwise marking aircraft position.
MAXIMUM TURNING PERFORMANCE
Turn performance during which the maximum obtainable turn rate is achieved.
Performance near the limits of the maneuvering envelope, includes minimum speed, maximum
speed, low G, and placard G.
Target altitude between 10,000 feet AGL and 30,000 feet MSL.
Informative that friendlies and targets have arrived in the same visual arena.Call
indicating radar returns have come together.
Have Quick time-of-day (TOD) signal.
Informative call advising that command and control functions (GCI/AWACS) are no longer
MIL ( Milliradian )
An angular measurement which subtends one foot at 1.000” (17.45 mils equal 1 degree ).
Also, military power.
MINIMUM ATTACK PERIMETER (MAP)
An imaginary circle centered on the target which depicts the distance from the target at
which rollout occurs and tracking begins. The radius of this circle varies with planned
MISS DISTANCE (MD)
The distance and direction of bomb impact from the target due to imperfect release
Directive to select military power.
Simulated kill on a friendly aircraft in ACBT.
Indicates unknown RWR ground threat displayed; followed normally by clock position.
Electronic radar jamming. On AI radar, electronic deceptive jamming.
The coordinated maneuvering of two or more aircraft to provide combined firepower and
survivability. This coordination can be achieved via position, radio, fire control system
or a combination of these factors.
No RWR indications. Opposite of term "spike".
Lack of radar and/ or SIF contact.
Aircrew does not have visual contact with the target/bandit; opposite of term
All-aspect missile defensive maneuver to place threat radar/missile near the beam.
Informative call indicating attack is terminated and maneuvering to the indicated
Informative call indicating maneuver in a specified direction with reference to the
A turn during which energy remains constant and turn rate is maximized.
OVERSHOOT ( Flight path overshoot )
Attacking aircraft is forced to the outside of his intended victim's flight path while
attempting to achieve a shot. In a severe overshoot, the attacker's flight path carries
him forward of the defender's 3-9 line and roles can be reversed.
Geographically isolated collection of groups/contacts/formations.
Informative call indicating aircrew hqs "tally" and cannot take eyes off an
aircraft/ground target without risk of losing tally/visual.
Friendly AAI/APX interrogation retum.
A military IFF transponder.
Position from which an attack can be launched.
Situation briefing which includes real-time information pertinent to a specific mission.
Magnetic bearing and range to a specified point.
A tactic designed to maneuver an enemy into a defensive position by simultaneous attack
from both sides of bogey.
A HUD symbol representing an aiming line of sight. The pipper is in the center of the
Rolling an aircraft about its longitudinal axis while pointed up or down at low G thus
effecting a rapid change in heading when higher G is again applied.
Directive call for fighter/flight to execute a nose-high heading reversal.
PLACARD G LIMIT
The limiting cockpit G for the particular configuration.
PLANE OF TURN
Plane defined by the flight path of an aircraft and its turn radius.
Amount of time aircraft can remain on station.
Directive for an element to turn towards each other either as a defensive response or to
reestablish a mutually supportive formation.
Starting climb for air-to-surface attack.
Flying in clouds or area of reduced visibility.
Request for position; response normally in terms of a geographic landmark, or off a
common reference point.
POST ATTACK (Direction)
WD transmission to indicate desired direction after completion of intercept/engagement.
Cardinal direction weapons controller assigns a fighter for the purpose of leaving the
Specific heading passed by the weapons controller after aircrew has completed the
Rapid descending spiral.
Reminder to set the throttles appropriately considering the IR threat and desired energy
Directive / informative call to continue the attack. Normally given by supporting
fighter in response to engaged fighter's statement of intentions and means he is in a
position to attack should the engaged fighter's position deteriorate.
Term describing a delay resulting in releasing ordnance closer and/or lower to a target
Descriptive of the situation where the bandit is behind the one stating "I'm
A briefed maneuver to stop closure on the threat or geographical boundry while
maintaining situation awareness.
Call indicating pure pursuit is being used or directive call to go pure pursuit.
PURE PURSUIT ATTACK
An attack geometry that will cause the attacker to fly directly at the target. The nose
of the attacker's aircraft remains pointed at the defender's aircraft.
Go to designated frequency.
Descriptive of the situation where the bandit is in front of the one stating "I'm
QUARTER PLANE MANEUVER
A maneuver, executed from an offensive position, used to preserve nose-tail separation
and a positional advantage for future maneuvering when presented with an impending flight
path overshoot or to counter a reversal attempt by the defender. An aggressive,
exaggerated rolling pull out of the bandit's plane of motion at close range to reposition
the attacker's lift vector at least 90 degrees away from the bandit's plane of motion.
This maneuver is often performed instead of a high yo-yo when the attacker realizes too
late how quickly the aspect is increasing.
The vectored sum of cockpit G and gravity.
RANCH HOUSE (Altitude)
Directive or informative indicating subject fighters will return to CAP.
That component of a wind that is parallel to the attack axisi.e., headwind or tailwind.
Radar lock-on to unknown aircraft. Request Buddy Spike/Naked reply.
Directive to assume stated heading.
Heading to fly as directed by the flight lead. Reference 270.
Indicates that more than one radar contact is observed and aircrew is able to
distinguish the assigned target from chicks. Does not imply sorted.
A counter-offensive rolling maneuver designed to reverse roles on an attacker after he
Indicates aircrew understands the radio transmission; does not indicate compliance or
A series of rolling maneuvers in which each of two opposing aircraft is attempting to
roll to his opponent's 6 o'clock. An energy depleting, maximum performance situation which
frequently ends up in a slow speed, high AOA descent.
Ownship maneuvering and ranging (OMAR), F-15 angle on ranging (AOR), F-16.
Perform a defensive maneuver to place the threat radar/missile on the tail.
Visual acquisition of a SAM or SAM launch. Should include position.
A situation where an aircraft / element finds themselves in between opposing aircraft /
A situation where an aircraft/element finds themselves between opposing
Fly at best endurance. Loiter.
A series of turn reversals designed to cause an attacking aircraft to overshoot and lose
SEARCH LEFT / RIGHT / HIGH / LOW
Search area indicated as briefed and report all contacts.
Leave the fight/engagement due to loss of advantage, change of odds or situation.
Similar to bugout, except bugout is usually permanent separation. May or may not reenter.
Swapping of roles of engaged and supportive fighters as one or the other comes into a
more favorable position to achieve a kill.
One weave; a single crossing of flight paths; maneuver to adjust/ regain formation
Follow indicated target.
Directive to illuminate second target with laser designator.
Aircraft designated to employ ordnance.
Launch of antiradiation (SHRIKE) missile by Wild Weasel.
Described equipment is degraded.
Term used to describe the position of the pipper at release.
Landing area is clear; commence approach. (NAVY air operations in control of airborne
Landing area is foul (not clear); commence standard holding pattern. (NAVY air
operations in control of airborne jets)
Use maximum speed (burner for those so equipped). (NAVY air operations in control of
"GO SILENT" directive to initiate briefed EMCON procedures.
Veto of fighter commit call; used by radar facility when higher priority target is
present, usually followed with further directions.
An informative call for fighter to execute a nose-low heading reversal to reposition as
stated . Often used to obtain a change in flight path direction while maximizing radial G
and sustaining airspeed or accelerating.
Directive to perform a high-G descending turn in the stated direction; usually 180 deg.
Target with ground speed of less than 300 kts.
High angle off Attack or passing gun shot. Attacker's turn rate does not equal
defender's LOS rate, whether intentional or unintentional.
SNAP ( )
An immediate vector (bearing and range) to the group described.
A quick vector to the requested position.
Criteria have been met which ensure individual flight members have separate contacts;
criteria can be met visually, electronically (radar) or both. Final radar lock taken.
Target marking by a gunship or FAC using incendiary rounds.
RWR indication of AT threat is displayed. Add clock position, and type threat
(radar/heat) if able.
An aircraft that has departed from the engagement.
Missile time of flight is expired or missile destroyed; target or bomb impact.
Request to engage a threat; visual may not be maintained, requires flight lead
acknowledgement (air-to-air). Also, directive to begin briefed maneuver/attack.
SPLIT PLANE MANEUVERING
Two or more aircraft maneuvering in different planes of motion.
Informative that voice deception is being employed.
Informative that laser target designation is being received.
SQUAWK ( )
Operate IFF as indicated or IFF is operating as indicated.
Two or more groups/contacts/formations with a high/low altitude separation in relation
to each other.
Request for an individual's tactical situation; response is normally
"offensive," "defensive," or "neutral" with number of
targets. May be suffixed by position and heading.
Request for, or directive to, intercept using stern geometry.
Intercept will be completed using stern geometry. A conversion to a "CUTOFF"
will not be attempted.
Formation of two or more aircraft with a single in trail.
Unidentified traffic that is not a participant in the mission.
STRANGLE ( )
Turn off equipment indicated.
AI radar indications of noise radar jamming.
Informative call that command and control functions are available from GCI/AWACS
(opposite of MIDNIGHT).
The act of assisting the engaged fighter in killing the bandit while maintaining overall
battle situation awareness.
Indicates an attacker is changing from one aircraft to another.
Sighting of a target/bandit; opposite of "NO JOY".
Specification of sort responsibility.
(GCI/AWACS) Informative that an untargeted bandit/bogey is within 10 NM of a friendly.
Positive radar contact with element/aircraft.
A series of related contacts indicating direction of travel.
Stabilized gun solution.
Tactical formation of two or more aircraft following one another.
The last aircraft in a formation.
Informative call; missile in flight has been defeated.
Describes one who is "NO JOY, " ”BLIND” and rapidly losing situation
awareness, in a request for directive commentary and orientation. Colloquially NO TALLY;
NO VISUAL, NO CLUE!
UPWIND AIM POINT (UAP)
A point on the ground whose distance and direction from a target represents an adjusted
aim point, usually for wind compensation in manual bombing.
Aircrew request / WC directive for a cutoff heading to the entity described.
Three groups/contacts/formations with the single closest in range and an element in
Visual contact with friendly aircraft. Opposite of "BLIND".
Three or more groups/contacts/formations line abreast/side-side.
The area around a target aircraft from which the attacker can launch one of his weapons
and expect a high probability of achieving a kill.
Continuous crossing of flight paths by members of a formation.
Tactical formation of two or more aircraft with the single in front and the other
aircraft laterally displaced on either side behind the leader's wing line.
Indicates that aircraft are operating close to the surface.
Described equipment is functioning properly.
Request for results of mission/tasks.
Report amount of fuel and/or armament remaining as requested; for training, repeat
ordnance as follows:
# Radar = number of radar missiles shots remaining.
# Heat = number of IR missiles shots remaining.
# Gun = Gun on-board and bullets remaining.
# Fuel = pounds of fuel or time remaining.
Will comply with received instructions.
Term used to report expenditure of all ordnance of a particular type.
Wild Weasel is gathering EOB on a designated emitter.
Acknowledge radio transmissions with two clicks of the mike button.
SECTION B: TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
C D E F G I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center.
ACA (Airspace Coordination Area)
A three-dimensional box in the sky defined by grid and/or land references and an
altitude block (AGL). The intent of an ACA is to allow simultaneous attack of targets near
each other by multiple fire support means, one of which is air. (See Army Field Manual
Air Combat Training; a general term which includes (D)BFM, (D)ACM, and (D)ACT.
Air Component Commander.
An offensive or defensive maneuver, flown in the vertical plane, if possible, designed
to increase or reduce distance from an object. A low Yo-Yo is an acceleration maneuver.
Airborne Command Element (AWACS/ABCCC).
Air Combat Maneuvering; training designed to achieve proficiency in element formation
maneuvering and the coordinated application of BFM to achieve a simulated kill or
effectively defend against one or more aircraft from a planned starting position.
Airspace Control Order. Document that details all approved airspace requests. The ACO
will complement the ATO cycle and serve as the single planning document for airspace
Air Combat Tactics; training in the application of BFM and ACM skills to achieve a
tactical air-to-air objective.
Air Defense Artillery.
Air Defense Identification Zone.
The tendency of an aircraft to yaw away from the applied aileron while at high angles of
A mode of control in which the controlling agency has communications but no radar
A point on the wing chord through which aircraft lift is directed. The aerodynamic
center is usually defined as the point on the longitudinal axis of the airplane where the
lift vector is centered. The distance between the aerodynamic center and the center of
gravity is static margin, and is the major factor affecting the longitudinal static
stability of the aircraft.
Airborne Forward Air Controller.
Above Ground Level.
Advanced or Aircraft Handling Characteristics; training designed to gain proficiency in
and to exploit the flight envelope of the aircraft, consistent with operational and safety
Air Interdiction/Air Intercept.
A command authorization for tactical flight (departure time will be specified).
Air Refueling Time
Planned lapsed time from ARCT to drop off.
Air Refueling Track
A flight path designated for air refueling.
Aircraft launcher interface computer.A
Air liaison officer.
Angle of Attack (AOA)
The angle between the mean chord line and the relative wind.
The angle formed by the extension of the longitudinal axes of two aircraft. Angle is
measured from defender's 6 o'clock. Also called track crossing angle.
Air Order of Battle.
The distance from the launching aircraft to the target when the missile begins active
Flying a circular flight path which allows another aircraft the use of cutoff to gain
Air Refueling Control Point; the planned geographic point over which the receiver(s)
arrive in the observation/precontact position with respect to the assigned tanker.
Air Refueling Control Time; the planned time that the receiver and tanker will arrive
over the ARCP-
Air Refueling Initial Point; the planned point to enter the refueling track.
Armament Safety Check
Action taken by an aircrew to review armament selection switches to preclude the
inadvertent -launch/release of armament (Switches Safe).
Air Rescue Service.
Air Support Operations Center.
Angle between defender's longitudinal axis and the line of sight to the attacker.The
angle is measured from defendees 6 o'clock. Attacker heading is irrelavent.
Air Tasking Order (Frag)-Assigns air-to-air and air-to-surface targets, TOTS, and
mission support information.
Allied Tactical Operations Center (NATO).
Ingress, ordnance delivery, or egress restrictions depending on situation, i.e.,
threats, weather, terrain, ROE, etc.
Airborne Warning and Control System.
Battlefield Air Interdiction.
Battlefield Coordination Element.
Bomb Damage Assessment. Summary of enemy surface targets destroyed or damaged.
Base Defense Zone (NATO).
Basic fighter maneuvers- Training designed to apply aircraft handling skills to gain
proficiency in recognizing and solving range, closure, aspect, angle off, and turning room
problems in relation to another aircraft to either attain a position from which weapons
may be employed, deny the adversary a position from which weapons may be launched, or
defeat weapons employed by an adversary.
Bearing, range, and altitude of target
Tanker/receiver call indicating immediate vertical and nose/tail separation between
tanker and receiver is required.
A mode of control that passes target information by referencing a designated location,
series of locations, or grid system.
Buffer Zone (BZ)
Airspace of defined dimension and adjacent to or near borders which may have special
Beyond Visual Range. CAG
Carrier Air Group.
Combat Air Patrol
Refers to either a specific phase of an air-to-air mission or the geographic location of
the fighter's surveillance orbit during an air-to-air mission or to committing against a
Close Air Support.
Cluster Bomb Unit.
Command and Control Agency.
Command and Control.
Command, Control, and Communications.
Command, Control, and Communications Countermeasures.
Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence.
Combat Control Team.
Two or more tankers/bombers flying in formation.
Center of Gravity (CG)
That point along the horizontal axis, fore and aft of which airplane weight is equal.
Composite force training or con formal fuel tank.
Chaff is a passive form of electronic countermeasure used to deceive airborne or
Maximum Coefficient of Lift
Occurs at that angle of attack at which lift is maximum, thereby creating the maximum
turn rate and maximum G loading for any condition of flight.
Description of position using the aircraft as a reference: the nose is 12 o'clock; the
tail is 6 o'clock.
A mode of control varying from providing vectors to providing complete assistance
including altitude, speed, and heading.
Relative velocity of one aircraft in relation to another.
A flight path along which an aircraft is directed towards a point at which it will
collide with another aircraft.
Combined Air Operations. Combat Separation (AWACS) See classified description para
4-2(b)5. Combined Multinational. Comm Jamming Attempt to interrupt communications.
A chart comparing turn rate, radius, and excess power for two different aircraft. Also
called energy/maneuvering (E/M) diagrams.
A C^3CM platform.
Composite Force Training
Scenarios employing multiple flights of aircraft, each under the direction of its own
flight leader. Requires a minimum of three different types of aircraft in three different
Condition of Vulnerability
A condition with the defender in the lethal envelope of the attacker's weapon system. It
is possible for combatants to arrive at a mutual condition of vulnerability, particularly
during a head-on pass.
The minimum airspeed at which the maximum allowable aircraft G can be generated.
Control and Reporting.
Control and Reporting Center.
Control and Reporting Post.
Antipersonnel chemical incapacitating agent (tear gas).
Combat Search and Rescue.
Defensive counter air.
Maneuvers designed to negate the attack/ordnance of a threat.
A descending, accelerating dive using high G and continuous roll to negate an attack and
gain lateral separation.
Dynamic launch zone. A
Desired mean point of impact-.
Dead reckoning; navigation technique estimating position based on last known position,
heading, speed, and time. EC
Actions taken to prevent or reduce the effective use of the electro-magnetic spectrum,
primarily through jamming and deception.
A flight of two aircraft.
Emission control. A
Maneuvers by opposing aircraft attempting to achieve/prevent weapons firing positions.
Electronic Order of Battle.
AMRAAM Engagement Order Number.
Evasive Plan of Action.
The range from a threat aircraft that a drag must be accomplished to kinematically
defeat any missile the bandit could have launched or is launching.
Estimated Time of arrival.
Enlisted Terminal Attack Controller.
Electronic Warfare/Early Warning.
Forward Air Controller.
Forward Air Control Post (radar station).
Fire Control System.
Forward Edge of the Battle Area.
Forward Line of Own Troops.
The distance from the launching aircraft to the target at missile impact.
Fragmentary Order (ATO).
Fire Support Coordination Line.
Guided Bomb Unit.
Ground Controlled Intercept.
Ground Launched Cruise Missile.
Ground Order of Battle.
Global positioning system.
High Speed Antiradiation Missile, AGM 88.
A UHF jam-resistant radio.
Heading Crossing Angle; the angle formed by the intersection of the fighter's present
heading, and the target's present heading.
HARM interface adaptor computer.
High Density Airspace Control Zone.
High Angle (Snap) Shot
A gun shot made with a high track-crossing angle, normally attempted because a tracking
shot was not possible or desired.
High- and Medium-Altitude Air Defense.
High Missile Engagement Zone (NATO).
A contact positively identified as enemy in accordance with (IAW) operational command
Flight mix of F-4C; Wild Weasel and other aircraft employed in SEAD operations. IADS
Integrated Air Defense System.
Identification Friend or Foe/Selective Identification Feature.
Instrument Meteorological Conditions.
A phase of an air-to-air mission between the commit and engagement.
Joint Air Attack Team. Coordinated employment of attack helicopters and fightersA
employed against enemy ground vehicles and personnel.
Joint Force Air Component Commander.
Joint Force Commander.
Aircraft maneuvers designed to change the flight path of the aircraft in all planes at
random intervals (usually to negate a gun attack).
Joint Maritime Operations (AIR).
An attack geometry that will cause the attacker to fly behind the target.
Low-altitude navigation and targeting, infrared for night.
Lateral (Pitch) Axis
A reference line running left and right through thecenter of gravity of an airplane.
Land Component Commander.
An attack geometry that will cause the attacker to fly in front of the target.
The envelope within which the parameters can be met for successful employment of a
munition by a particular weapons system.
A line from the pilot's eye to the object (usually target) being viewed.
Line of Sight Rate
An image's rate of movement across the canopy.
Fighter briefing to FAC.
Low-Level Transit Route (NATO).
Line of Communication.
Low Missile Engagement Zone (NATO).
Longitudinal (Roll) Axis
A reference line running fore and aft through the center of gravity of an airplane.
A circular, stagnated fight with no participant having an advantage.
The ability to change direction and/or magnitude of the velocity vector.
AGM-65. Terminally guided air-to-ground missile.
Maximum Coefficient of Lift
The best possible performance without exceeding aircraft limitation is achieved.
Fighter aircraft designed and produced by the Mikoyan Gurevich Aircraft Bureau of the
A position along a ridge or hill two-thirds the distance from the base to the summit.
The employment of a single flight of different types of aircraft, performing the same
tactical role, under the direction of a single flight leader.
Mission Ready/Mission Support.
Military Radar Unit.
Minimum Safe Altitude as defined in the FLIP General Planning Document.
Mean Sea Level.
The coordinated efforts of two or more aircraft to provide combined firepower and
National Command Authority.
Naval Component Authority.
NATO Airborne Early Warning.
Naval Order of Battle.
No operative radio.
Maneuvers against an opponent to achieve weapons parameters.
Not in position.
In position, ready for mission employment.
Periodic check of aircraft systems performed by the aircrew (including fuel) for safety
Probability of damage.
Probability of hit
Pilot-reported weather conditions.
A nose-high heading reversal to reposition as stated.
Probability of kill.
Flying in and out of clouds or area of reduced visibility.
The flight(s) that are being protected/escorted.
Specific excess power; Probability of survival.
An attack geometry that will cause the attacker to fly directly at the target.
Maximum aerodynamic missile range.
Effective "turning" G.
Rate of Turn
Rate of change of heading, normally measured in degrees per second.
Rescue Coordination Center.
RED (Risk Estimate Distances)
Reference MCM 3-1, Volume VIII. These distances are reasonable figures for employing
weapons near friendly forces in combat and are not minimum safe distances for peacetime
The oncoming, instantaneous wind. For practical purposes, the direction of the relative
wind is exactly opposite the flight path of the airplane.
Maximum weapons range.
Minimum weapons range.
Regional Operations Control Center.
Rockeye (MK 20)
CBU with armor-piercing capability.
Rules of Engagement.
Restricted Operating Zone (NATO). Temporary area restricted from fighter aircraft due to
Radar Warning Receiver.
Situation Awareness/Surface Attack.
Selected Area For Evasion.
Surface action group.
A situation where the defending aircraft/element finds itself in between the attacking
Area clear of threats.
A maneuver in which a series of hard turn reversals are executed in an attempt to
achieve the offensive after an overshoot by an attacker.
Takeoff as quickly as possible.
Command authorization for tactical flight establishing an immediate departure time.
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses.
A system wherein the receiver uses radiations or reflections from the target which has
been illuminated by an outside source.
Distance between an attacker and defender; can be lateral, longitudinal, or vertical.
Short Range Air Defense.
AGM-45 antiradiation missile.
Sea Launched Cruise Missile.
Maximum performance, nose-low turn.Usually performed at or near maneuver speed (corner
velocity) with nose lowered sufficiently to maintain airspeed. This maneuver falls between
a horizontal turn and a Split-S.
Sea lines of Communication.
Sector Operations Center.
Using any available information such as radar presentation, GCI information, etc., to
determine which bandit to attack.
Total mechanical energy per pound. Can be loosely described as an airplane's total
energy resulting from airspeed and altitude.
Specific Excess Power
A measure of an airplane's ability to gain or lose energy in terms of altitude,
airspeed, or combination there of also called energy rate and expressed in feet per second
or knots per second.
Aircraft or elements maneuvering in relation to one another, but in different planes
Strategic Orbit Point.
SAC advisors to Tactical Air Forces (formerly SAC ADVON).
An attack which is intended to inflict damage, seize, or destroy an objective (nuclear
operations in NATO).
Aircraft designated to employ ordnance against defenses.
TAC-A (Tactical Air Coordinator-Airborne)
An airborne agency located far enough away from threats and jamming to provide a
communications relay between fighters, FACS, and ground agencies. Typically aboard a FAC
aircraft, ABCCC, or AWACS.
TacticalAir Control Center.
Tactical Air Control Party.
Tactical Air Control System.
A mode of control similar to Close Control with regard to type information provided
except vectors are not provided to the aircrew by the WC.
See classified description para 4-2d(l)(b)5.
See classified description para 4-2d(l)(b)5.
Tactical Air Forces.
Object being attacked.
Transit Corridor (NATO). Air lanes established for transit in the rear area of the
Terrain-following radar or reference to low altitudes pertaining to terrain-following
Troops in Contact..
Transit Level (NATO). Altitude blocks for deconfliction and identification of
inbound/outbound air traffic.
Time of flight or actual time of flight. The time from weapon release to weapon impact
Time Over Target.
AMRAAM time to active.
AMRAAM time to intercept.
Track Crossing Angle
See Angle Off.
Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. Vc
Closure between fighter and target expressed in knots, relative velocity.
A line representing the current direction and magnitude of the path of travel.
Vertical (Yaw) Axis
A reference line running up and down through the center of gravity of an airplane.
Vertical Rolling Scissors
A defensive descending rolling maneuver in the vertical plane executed in an attempt to
achieve an offensive position on the attacker.
Maximum possible speed for that altitude.
Maximum sustainable speed for a given altitude.
Visual Meteorological Conditions.
Vmc -Practical maneuvering cruise speed.
Slowest practical speed.
Warning, Command, Control, and Communications.
In regard to an-airplane, weapons system refers to the combination of
airplane/aircrew/ordnance/ground crew/avionics, etc.
Dedicated radar defense suppression aircraft.
A white phosphorus smoke, rocket, grenade, or artillery round used to provide a ground
reference. Can be employed as a bomb to provide a smokescreen.
Wing Operations Center.
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