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Military glossary - Letter A


(DOD) A twin-engine, subsonic, turbofan, tactical fighter/bomber. It is capable of employing a variety of air-to-surface-launched weapons in the close air support role. Short-field, unimproved surfaces are considered normal takeoff/landing operating areas. This aircraft is also capable of long endurance in the target area and is supplemented by air refueling. An internally mounted 30-mm cannon is capable of destroying a wide variety of armor-protected vehicles. Designated as A-10.

(DOD) A single-engine, turbojet attack aircraft designed to operate from aircraft carriers, and capable of delivering nuclear and/or nonnuclear weapons, providing troop support, or conducting reconnaissance missions. It can act as a tanker, and can itself be air refueled. It possesses a limited all-weather attack capability, and can operate from short, unprepared fields. Designated as A-4.

DOD, NATO) 1. To terminate a mission for any reason other than enemy action. It may occur at any point after the beginning of the mission and prior to its completion. 2. To discontinue aircraft takeoff or missile launch

Accidental attack
(DOD) An unintended attack which occurs without deliberate national design as a direct result of a random event, such as a mechanical failure, a simple human error, or an unauthorized action by a subordinate.

Accompanying supplies
(DOD) Unit supplies that deploy with forces.

(DOD, NATO) A message from the addressee informing the originator that his or her communication has been received and is understood.

Action deferred
(DOD) Tactical action on a specific track is being withheld for better tactical advantage. Weapons are available and commitment is pending.

Active Duty
(DOD) Full-time duty in the active military service of the United States. This includes members of the Reserve Components serving on active duty or full-time training duty, but does not include full-time National Guard duty. Also called AD. See also active duty for training; inactive duty training.

Active Guard And Reserve
(DOD) National Guard and Reserve members who are on voluntary active duty providing full-time support to National Guard, Reserve, and Active Component organizations for the purpose of organizing, administering, recruiting, instructing, or training the Reserve Components. Also Known As: AGR

Adjustment of fire
(DOD, NATO) Process used in artillery and naval gunfire to obtain correct bearing, range, and height of burst (if time fuzes are used) when engaging a target by observed fire. See also spot.

Administrative Escort
(DOD, NATO) A warship or merchant ship under naval control, carrying a convoy commodore and his staff, serving as a platform for simultaneous communication with an operational control authority and a coastal convoy.

Advanced Base
(DOD, NATO) A base located in or near a theater of operations whose primary mission is to support military operations.

Advanced Fleet Anchorage
(DOD) A secure anchorage for a large number of naval ships, mobile support units and auxiliaries located in or near a theater of operations. See also emergency anchorage.

Adverse Weather Aerial Delivery System
DOD) The precise delivery of personnel, equipment, and supplies during adverse weather, using a self-contained aircraft instrumentation system without artificial ground assistance, or the use of ground navigational aids.

Advisory Area
(DOD, NATO) A designated area within a flight information region where air traffic advisory service is available.

Aerodynamic Missile
(DOD, NATO) A missile which uses aerodynamic forces to maintain its flight path. See also ballistic missile; guided missile.

Aeromedical Evacuation Control Officer
(DOD) An officer of the air transport force or air command controlling the flow of patients by air.

Afloat Prepositioning Operations
DOD) Prepositioning of ships, preloaded with equipment and supplies (including ammunition and petroleum) that provides for an alternative to land based programs. This concept provides for ships and onboard force support equipment and supplies positioned near potential crisis areas that can be delivered rapidly to joint airlifted forces in the operational area. Afloat prepositioning in forward areas enhances a force's capability to respond to a crisis resulting in faster reaction time.

Airborne Battlefield Command And Control Center
(DOD) A United States Air Force aircraft equipped with communications, data link, and display equipment; it may be employed as an airborne command post or a communications and intelligence relay facility.

Air Carrier Initiative Program
(DOD) Mutual assistance program with signatory commercial air carriers to assist in illegal drug detection and detection of internal conspiracies.

Aircraft Vectoring
(DOD, NATO) The directional control of in-flight aircraft through transmission of azimuth headings.

Air Defense Suppression
(DOD) In air operations, actions taken to degrade fixed and mobile surface-based components of enemy air defense systems so that offensive air forces may effectively attack a target.

Air Employment/Allocation Plan
(DOD) The means by which subordinate commanders advise the joint force commander of planned employment/allocation of organic or assigned assets, of any expected excess sorties, or of any additional air support requirements.

Air Facility
(DOD) An installation from which air operations may be or are being conducted.

Air-Launched Ballistic Missile
(DOD) A ballistic missile launched from an airborne vehicle.

Air Movement Column
(DOD) In airborne operations, the lead formation and the serials following, proceeding over the same flight path at the same altitude.

Air Photographic Reconnaissance
(DOD, NATO) The obtaining of information by air photography, divided into three types:
a. Strategic photographic reconnaissance;
b. Tactical photographic reconnaissance; and
c. Survey/cartographic photography-air photography taken for survey/cartographical purposes and to survey/cartographic standards of accuracy. It may be strategic or tactical.

Air Reconnaissance Liaison Officer
(DOD) An Army officer especially trained in air reconnaissance and imagery interpretation matters who is attached to a tactical air reconnaissance unit. This officer assists and advises the air commander and staff on matters concerning ground operations and informs the supported ground commander on the status of air reconnaissance requests.

Air Target Materials Program
(DOD) A DOD program under the management control of the Defense Mapping Agency established for and limited to the production of medium- and large-scale map, chart, and geodetic products which support worldwide targeting requirements of the unified and specified commands, the Military Departments, and allied participants.

It encompasses the determination of production and coverage requirements, standardization of products, establishment of production priorities and schedules, and the production, distribution, storage, and release/exchange of products included under it.

Air Tasking Order/Confirmation
(DOD) A message used to task joint force components; to inform the requesting command and the tasking authority of the action being taken; and/or to provide additional information about the mission.

The message is used only for preplanned missions and is transmitted on a daily basis, normally 12 hours prior to the start of the air tasking day or in accordance with established operation plans for the theater of operations.

Air Transport Allocations Board
(DOD, NATO) The joint agency responsible within the theater for the establishment of airlift priorities and for space allocation of available aircraft capabilities allotted to the theater.

Air Transport Liaison Officer
DOD, NATO) An officer attached for air transport liaison duties to a headquarters or unit.

Air Weapons Controller
(DOD) An individual especially trained for and assigned to the duty of employing and controlling air weapon systems against airborne and surface objects.

Allocation (nuclear)
(DOD) The apportionment of specific numbers and types of nuclear weapons to a commander for a stated time period as a planning factor for use in the development of war plans.

Additional authority is required for the actual deployment of allocated weapons to locations desired by the commander to support the war plans. Expenditures of these weapons are not authorized until released by proper authority.

All-Purpose Hand-Held Weapon
(DOD) A lightweight, hand-held, small arms weapon capable of projecting munitions required to engage both area- and point-type targets.

All-Weather Air Defense Fighter
(DOD, NATO) A fighter aircraft with equipment and weapons which enable it to engage airborne targets in all weather conditions, day and night.

Alternate Headquarters
(DOD) An existing headquarters of a component or subordinate command which is predesignated to assume the responsibilities and functions of another headquarters under prescribed emergency conditions.

Altitude Acclimatization
(DOD, NATO) A slow physiological adaptation resulting from prolonged exposure to significantly reduced atmospheric pressure.

American National Standards Institute
(DOD) The United States standards organization that establishes procedures for the development and coordination of voluntary American National Standards.

Ammunition And Toxic Material Open Space
(DOD, NATO) An area especially prepared for storage of explosive ammunition and toxic material.

For reporting purposes, it does not include the surrounding area restricted for storage because of safety distance factors. It includes barricades and improvised coverings.

Ammunition Controlled Supply Rate
DOD) In Army usage, the amount of ammunition estimated to be available to sustain operations of a designated force for a specified time if expenditures are controlled at that rate.
It is expressed in terms of rounds per weapon per day for ammunition items fired by weapons, and in terms of units of measure per organization per day for bulk allotment ammunition items.
Tactical commanders use this rate to control expenditures of ammunition during tactical operations at planned intervals.
It is issued through command channels at each level. It is determined based on consideration of the required supply rates submitted by subordinate commanders and ammunition assets available.

Amphibious Reconnaissance Unit
(DOD) A unit organized, equipped, and trained to conduct and support amphibious reconnaissance missions.

Antideficiency Violations
(DOD) The incurring of obligations or the making of expenditure (outlays) in excess of amounts available in appropriations or funds.

Antipersonnel Mine (land mine warfare)
(DOD) A mine designed to cause casualties to personnel.

Antisubmarine Air Search AttackUnit
(DOD) The designation given to one or more aircraft separately organized as a tactical unit to search for and destroy submarines.

Antiterrorism Awareness
(DOD) Fundamental knowledge of the terrorist threat and measures to reduce personal vulnerability to terrorism.

(DOD) A subsidiary addition to a main paper.

Area Air Defense Commander
(DOD) Within a unified command, subordinate unified command, or joint task force, the commander will assign overall responsibility for air defense to a single commander.

Area Of militarily Significant Fallout
(DOD, NATO) Area in which radioactive fallout affects the ability of military units to carry out their normal mission.

Area Radar Prediction Analysis
(DOD) Radar target intelligence study designed to provide radar significant data for use in the preparation of radar target predictions.

Armed Forces Courier Service
(DOD) A joint service of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force, with the Chief of Staff, US Army, as Executive Agent.

Armed Services Medical Regulating Office
(DOD) A joint activity reporting directly to the Commander in Chief, US Transportation Command, the Department of Defense single manager for the regulation of movement of Uniformed Services patients.

The Armed Services Medical Regulating Office authorizes transfers to medical treatment facilities of the Military Departments or the Department of Veterans Affairs and coordinates inter-theater and inside continental United States patient movement requirements with the appropriate transportation component commands of US Transportation Command.

Armored Reconnaissance Airborne Assault Vehicle
(DOD) A lightly armored, mobile, full-tracked vehicle serving as the main reconnaissance vehicle in infantry and airborne operations, and as the principal assault weapon of airborne troops.

Artillery Survey Control Point
(DOD, NATO) A point at which the coordinates and the altitude are known and from which the bearings/azimuths to a number of reference objects are also known.

Assault Follow-on Echelon
(DOD) In amphibious operations, that echelon of the assault troops, vehicles, aircraft equipment, and supplies which, though not needed to initiate the assault, is required to support and sustain the assault.

In order to accomplish its purpose, it is normally required in the objective area no later than five days after commencement of the assault landing.

Asymmetrical Sweep
(DOD, NATO) A sweep whose swept path under conditions of no wind or cross-tide is not equally spaced either side of the sweeper's track.

Attached Airlift Service
(DOD) The airlift service provided to an organization or command by an airlift unit attached to that organization.

Azimuth Guidance
(DOD, NATO) Information which will enable the pilot or autopilot of an aircraft to follow the required track.