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Military glossary - Letter P


Packaged petroleum product
(DOD) A petroleum product (generally a lubricant, oil, grease, or specialty item) normally packaged by a manufacturer and procured, stored, transported, and issued in containers having a fill capacity of 55 United States gallons (or 45 Imperial gallons, or 205 liters) or less.

Parachute deployment height
(DOD, NATO) The height above the intented impact point at which the parachute or parachutes are fully deployed.

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

Partial storage monitoring
(DOD) A periodic inspection of major assemblies or components for nuclear weapons, consisting mainly of external observation of humidity, temperatures, and visual damage or deterioration during storage. This type of inspection is also conducted prior to and upon completion of a movement.

Passive homing guidance
(DOD, NATO) A system of homing guidance wherein the receiver in the missile utilizes radiation from the target.

Payload build-up (missile and space)
(DOD) The process by which the scientific instrumentation (sensors, detectors, etc.) and necessary mechanical and electronic subassemblies are assembled into a complete operational package capable of achieving the scientific objectives of the mission.

Pecuniary liability
(DOD) A personal, joint, or corporate monetary obligation to make good any lost, damaged, or destroyed property resulting from fault or neglect. It may also result under conditions stipulated in a contract or bond.

Periodic intelligence summary
(DOD) A report of the intelligence situation in a tactical operation, normally produced at corps level or its equivalent, and higher, usually at intervals of 24 hours, or as directed by the commander.

Permissive environment
See operational environment.

Person Authorized to Direct Disposition of Remains
(DOD) A person, usually primary next of kin, who is authorized to direct disposition of remains.

Petroleum, oils, and lubricants
(DOD, NATO) A broad term which includes all petroleum and associated products used by the Armed Forces.

See photographic intelligence.

Photo interpretation key
See imagery interpretation key.

Pierson-Moskowitz scale
(DOD) A scale that categorizes the force of progressively higher wind speeds.

Pitch angle
(DOD, NATO) The angle between the aircraft's longitudinal axis and the horizontal plane.

See peacekeeping.

Plan position indicator
(DOD, NATO) A cathode ray tube on which radar returns are so displayed as to bear the same relationship to the transmitter as the objects giving rise to them.
Point designation grid
(DOD, NATO) A system of lines, having no relation to the actual scale, or orientation, drawn on a map, chart, or air photograph dividing it into squares so that points can be more readily located.

Politico-military gaming
(DOD) Simulation of situations involving the interaction of political, military, sociological, psychological, economic, scientific, and other appropriate factors.
See primary operating stocks.

Posse Comitatus Act
(DOD) Prohibits search, seizure, or arrest powers to US military personnel. Amended in 1981 under Public Law 97-86 to permit increased Department of Defense support of drug interdiction and other law enforcement activities. (Title 18, "Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus" - United States Code, Section 1385)

Precise frequency
(DOD) A frequency requirement accurate to within one part in 1,000,000,000.

Predominant height
(DOD, NATO) In air reconnaissance, the height of 51 percent or more of the structures within an area of similar surface material.

Preliminary movement schedule
(DOD) A projection of the routing of movement requirements reflected in the time-phased force and deployment data, from origin to destination, including identification of origins, ports of embarkation, ports of debarkation, and en route stops; associated time frames for arrival and departure at each location; type of lift assets required to accomplish the move; and cargo details by carrier. Schedules are sufficiently detailed to support comparative analysis of requirements against capabilities and to develop location workloads for reception and onward movement.

Prepositioned war reserve materiel requirement, protectable
(DOD) That portion of the pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement which is protected for purposes of procurement, funding and inventory management.

Prescribed nuclear stockage
(DOD, NATO) A specified quantity of nuclear weapons, components of nuclear weapons, and warhead test equipment to be stocked in special ammunition supply points or other logistical installations. The establishment and replenishment of this stockage is a command decision and is dependent upon the tactical situation, the allocation, the capability of the logistical support unit to store and maintain the nuclear weapons, and the nuclear logistical situation. The prescribed stockage may vary from time to time and among similar logistical support units.

Prevention of stripping equipment
See antirecovery device.

Primary review authority
(DOD) The organization assigned by the lead agent to perform the actions and coordination necessary to develop and maintain the assigned joint publication under cognizance of the lead agent.

Printing size of a map or chart
(DOD, NATO) The dimensions of the smallest rectangle which will contain a map or chart, including all the printed material in its margin.

Prisoner of war branch camp
(DOD, NATO) A subsidiary camp under the supervision and administration of a prisoner of war camp.

Probability of detection
(DOD) The probability that the search object will be detected under given conditions if it is in the area searched.

Proficiency training aircraft
(DOD) Aircraft required to maintain the proficiency of pilots and other aircrew members who are assigned to nonflying duties.

Program of nuclear cooperation
(DOD, NATO) Presidentially approved bilateral proposals for the United States to provide nuclear weapons, and specified support to user nations who desire to commit delivery units to NATO in nuclear only or dual capable roles. After presidential approval in principle, negotiations will be initiated with the user nation to develop detailed support arrangements.

Poliferation (nuclear weapons)
(DOD) The process by which one nation after another comes into possession of, or into the right to determine the use of nuclear weapons, each potentially able to launch a nuclear attack upon another nation.

Proportional navigation
(DOD) A method of homing navigation in which the missile turn rate is directly proportional to the turn rate in space of the line of sight.

See Presidential Selected Reserve Callup Authority.

Public affairs assessment
(DOD) An analysis of the news media and public environments to evaluate the degree of understanding about strategic and operational objectives and military activities and to identify levels of public support. Includes judgments about the public affairs impact of pending decisions and recommendations about the structure of public affairs support for the assigned mission.

Pulse repetition frequency
(DOD) In lasers, the number of pulses that occur each second. (PRF should not to be confused with transmission frequency, which is determined by the rate at which cycles are repeated within the transmitted pulse.)

Pyrotechnic delay
(DOD, NATO) A pyrotechnic device added to a firing system which transmits the ignition flame after a predetermined delay.