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Military glossary - Letter Z



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Zero-length launching
(DOD, NATO) A technique in which the first motion of the missile or aircraft removes it from the launcher.

Z marker beacon
(DOD, NATO) A type of radio beacon, the emissions of which radiate in a vertical cone shaped pattern.

Zone III (nuclear)
(DOD) A circular area (less zones I and II), determined by using minimum safe distance III as the radius and the desired ground zero as the center, in which all personnel require minimum protection. Minimum protection denotes that armed forces personnel are prone on open ground with all skin areas covered and with an overall thermal protection at least equal to that provided by a two-layer uniform.

Zone II (nuclear)
(DOD) A circular area (less zone I), determined by using minimum safe distance II as the radius and the desired ground zero as the center, in which all personnel require maximum protection. Maximum protection denotes that armed forces personnel are in "buttoned up" tanks or crouched in foxholes with improvised overhead shielding.

Zone I (nuclear)
(DOD) A circular area, determined by using minimum safe distance I as the radius and the desired ground zero as the center, from which all armed forces are evacuated. If evacuation is not possible or if a commander elects a higher degree of risk, maximum protective measures will be required.

Zone of action
(DOD, NATO) A tactical subdivision of a larger area, the responsibility for which is assigned to a tactical unit; generally applied to offensive action. See also sector.

Zone of fire
(DOD) An area into which a designated ground unit or fire support ship delivers, or is prepared to deliver, fire support. Fire may or may not be observed.

Z-scale
(DOD, NATO) On an oblique photograph, the scale used in calculating the height of an object.

ZULU time
See Universal Time.