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Military glossary - Letter C


Calibrated focal length
(DOD, NATO) An adjusted value of the equivalent focal length, so computed as to equalize the positive and negative values of distortion over the entire field used in a camera.

Camera axis direction
(DOD, NATO) Direction on the horizontal plane of the optical axis of the camera at the time of exposure. This direction is defined by its azimuth expressed in degrees in relation to true/magnetic north.

Cancel check firing
(DOD) The order to rescind check firing.

Cantilever lifting frame
(DOD) Used to move Navy lighterage causeway systems on to and off of lighter aboard ship (LASH) vessels. This device is suspended from the Morgan LASH barge crane and can lift one causeway section at a time. It is designed to allow the long sections to clear the rear of the ship as they are lowered into the water.

Capacity load (Navy)
(DOD) The maximum quantity of all supplies (ammunition; petroleum, oils, and lubricants; rations; general stores; maintenance stores; etc.) which each vessel can carry in proportions prescribed by proper authority.

Cargo classification (combat loading)
(DOD) The division of military cargo into categories for combat loading aboard ships.

Cartridge actuated device
(DOD) Small explosive devices used to eject stores from launched devices, actuate other explosive systems, or provide initiation for aircrew escape devices.

Casualty receiving and treatment ship
(DOD) In amphibious operations, a ship designated to receive, provide treatment for, and transfer casualties.

Central air data computer
(DOD, NATO) A device which computes altitude, vertical speed, air speed and mach number from inputs of pitot and static pressure and temperature.

Centralized receiving and shipping point
(DOD) Actual location where containers with cargo must be sorted before transshipment to the appropriate supply support activity or owning unit. Single consignee cargo and ammunition will not pass through the centralized receiving and shipping point. Cargo will be shipped directly to the owner with the movement organization maintaining visibility and ammunition will go directly to the appropriate ammunition storage facility.

Chalk commander
(DOD, NATO) The commander of all troops embarked under one chalk number.

Characteristic detection probability
(DOD, NATO) The ratio of the number of mines detected on a single run to the number of mines which could have been detected within the characteristic detection width.

Check port/starboard
(DOD) In air intercept, a term meaning, "Alter heading ____ degrees to port/starboard momentarily for airborne radar search and then resume heading."

CINC's Strategic Concept
(DOD) Final document produced in Step 5 of the concept development phase of the deliberate planning process. The CINC's strategic concept is used as the vehicle to distribute the CINC's decision and planning guidance for accomplishing joint strategic capabilities plan or other Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) taskings. CJCS approval of the strategic concept becomes the basis of the plan for development into an operation plan or operation plan in concept format.

(DOD) Communications instructions for reporting vital intelligence sightings.

Civil censorship
(DOD) Censorship of civilian communications, such as messages, printed matter, and films, entering, leaving, or circulating within areas or territories occupied or controlled by armed forces.

Civil engineering support plan
(DOD) An appendix to the Logistics annex or separate annex of an operation plan that identifies the minimum essential engineering services and construction requirements required to support the commitment of military forces.

Clear weather air defense fighter
(DOD, NATO) A fighter aircraft with equipment and weapons which enable it to engage airborne targets by day and by night, but in clear weather conditions only.

Close-controlled air interception
(DOD, NATO) An interception in which the interceptor is continuously controlled to a position from which the target is within visual range or radar contact.

Cluster bomb unit
(DOD, NATO) An aircraft store composed of a dispenser and submunitions.

Coastal convoy
(DOD, NATO) A convoy whose voyage lies in general on the continental shelf and in coastal waters.

Coastal frontier defense
(DOD) The organization of the forces and materiel of the armed forces assigned to provide security for the coastal frontiers of the continental United States and its overseas possessions.

Collection management
(DOD) The process of converting intelligence requirements into collection requirements, establishing priorities, tasking or coordinating with appropriate collection sources or agencies, monitoring results and retasking, as required. See also collection; collection agency; collection requirement; collection requirements management.

Collision course interception
(DOD) An interception which is accomplished by the constant heading of both aircraft.

Combat area
(DOD) A restricted area (air, land, or sea) which is established to prevent or minimize mutual interference between friendly forces engaged in combat operations.

Combat engineer vehicle, full-tracked 165mm gun
(DOD) An armored, tracked vehicle that provides engineer support to other combat elements. Vehicle is equipped with a heavy-duty boom and winch, dozer blade, and 165mm demolition gun. It is also armed with a 7.62mm machine gun and a 50-caliber machine gun.

Combat search and rescue mission coordinator
(DOD) The designated person or organization selected to direct and coordinate support for a specific combat search and rescue mission.

Combat surveillance radar
(DOD) Radar with the normal function of maintaining continuous watch over a combat area.

Combat Visual Information Support Center
(DOD) A visual information support facility established at a base of operations during wartime or contingency to provide limited visual information support to the base and its supported elements.

Combined joint special operations task force
(DOD) A task force composed of special operations units from one or more foreign countries and more than one US Military Department formed to carry out a specific special operation or prosecute special operations in support of a theater campaign or other operations. The combined joint special operations task force may have conventional nonspecial operations units assigned or attached to support the conduct of specific missions.

Command chaplain of the combatant command
(DOD) The senior chaplain assigned to the staff of, or designated by, the combtant commander to provide advice on religion, ethics, and morale of assigned personnel and to coordinate religious ministries within the commander's area of responsibility. The command chaplain of the combatant command may be supported by a staff of chaplains and enlisted religious support personnel.

Commanding officer of troops
(DOD) On a ship that has embarked units, a designated officer, usually the senior embarking unit commander, who is responsible for the administration, discipline, and training of all embarked units.

Command-sponsored dependent
(DOD) A dependent entitled to travel to overseas commands at Government expense and endorsed by the appropriate military commander to be present in a dependent's status.

Commodity loading
(DOD, NATO) A method of loading in which various types of cargoes are loaded together, such as ammunition, rations, or boxed vehicles, in order that each commodity can be discharged without disturbing the others.

Common operating environment
(DOD) The common operating environment provides a familiar look, touch, sound, and feel to the commander, no matter where the commander is deployed. Information presentation and command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence system interfaces are maintained consistently from platform to platform, enabling the commander to focus attention on the crisis at hand.

Common-user sealift
(DOD) The sealift services provided on a common basis for all Department of Defense agencies and, as authorized, for other agencies of the US Government. The Military Sealift Command, a transportation component command of the US Transportation Command, provides common-user sealift for which users reimburse the transportation accounts of the Transportation Working Capital Fund.

Communications security material
(DOD) All documents, devices, equipment, or apparatus, including cryptomaterial, used in establishing or maintaining secure communications.

Compass direction
(DOD, NATO) The horizontal direction expressed as an angular distance measured clockwise from compass north.

Computer network attack
(DOD) Operations to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information resident in computers and computer networks, or the computers and networks themselves.

Concept of logistic support
(DOD) A verbal or graphic statement, in a broad outline, of how a commander intends to support and integrate with a concept of operations in an operation or campaign.

Confirmation of information (intelligence)
(DOD) An information item is said to be confirmed when it is reported for the second time, preferably by another independent source whose reliability is considered when confirming information.

Consolidation psychological operations
(DOD) Psychological operations conducted in foreign areas inhabited by an enemy or potentially hostile populace and occupied by United States forces, or in which United States forces are based, designed to produce behaviors by the foreign populace that support United States objectives in the area.

Container Fleet Division
(DOD) Subordinate element of Military Traffic Management Command responsible for administration of all Army containerized ammunition distribution system and United States Transportation Command common-use containers.

Contaminated remains
(DOD) Remains of personnel which have absorbed or upon which have been deposited radioactive material, or biological or chemical agents.

Contingency ZIP Code
(DOD) A ZIP Code assigned by Military Postal Service Agency to a contingency post office for the tactical use of the Armed Forces on a temporary basis. The number consists of a five digit base with a four digit add-on to assist in routing and sorting.

Controlled dangerous air cargo
(DOD, NATO) Cargo which is regarded as highly dangerous and which may only be carried by cargo aircraft operating within specific safety regulations.

Controlled effects nuclear weapons
(DOD) Nuclear weapons designed to achieve variation in the intensity of specific effects other than normal blast effect.

Control of electromagnetic radiation
(DOD) A national operational plan to minimize the use of electromagnetic radiation in the United States and its possessions and the Panama Canal Zone in the event of attack or imminent threat thereof, as an aid to the navigation of hostile aircraft, guided missiles, or other devices.

Convoy dispersal point
(DOD, NATO) The position at sea where a convoy breaks up, each ship proceeding independently thereafter.

Cooperative logistics
(DOD) The logistic support provided a foreign government/agency through its participation in the US Department of Defense logistic system with reimbursement to the United States for support provided.

Coordinating review authority
(DOD) An agency appointed by a Service or combatant command to coordinate with and assist the primary review authority in doctrine development, evaluation, and maintenance efforts. Each Service or combatant command must assign a coordinating review authority. If so authorized by the appointing Service or combatant command, coordinating review authority comments provided to designated primary review authorities should represent the position of the appointing Service or combatant command with regard to the publication under development. See also joint doctrine; joint publication; joint tactics, techniques, and procedures; lead agent; joint test publication; primary review authority.

Cost sharing contract
(DOD) A cost reimbursement type contract under which the contractor receives no fee but is reimbursed only for an agreed portion of its allowable costs.

Countermine operation
(DOD, NATO) In land mine warfare, an operation to reduce or eliminate the effects of mines or minefields. See also countermine; countermining; mine warfare.

Country cover diagram
(DOD, NATO) A small scale index, by country, depicting the existence of air photography for planning purposes only.

Cover (military)
(DOD) Actions to conceal actual friendly intentions, capabilities, operations, and other activities by providing a plausible, yet erroneous, explanation of the observable.

Crash rescue and fire suppression
(DOD) Extraction of aircrew members from crashed or burning aircraft and the control and extinguishing of aircraft and structural fires.

Critical joint duty assignment billet
(DOD) A joint duty assignment position for which, considering the duties and responsibilities of the position, it is highly important that the assigned officer be particularly trained in, and oriented toward, joint matters. Critical billets are selected by heads of joint organizations, approved by the Secretary of Defense and documented in the Joint Duty Assignment List.

Critical supplies and materiel
(DOD, NATO) Those supplies vital to the support of operations, which owing to various causes are in short supply or are expected to be in short supply.

Cryptographic information
(DOD) All information significantly descriptive of cryptographic techniques and processes or of cryptographic systems and equipment, or their functions and capabilities, and all cryptomaterial.

Curb weight
(DOD) Weight of a ground vehicle including fuel, lubricants, coolant and on-vehicle materiel, excluding cargo and operating personnel.

Cutoff attack
(DOD) An attack that provides a direct vector from the interceptor's position to an intercept point with the target track.