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AIR FORCE VOCABULARY A-C

Posted 3/22/2007 Printable Fact Sheet

Abort: (v) to discontinue or abandon a takeoff, mission or action; (n) an abandoned take-off (i.e. ground abort) or mission.

Administrative Control: (n) direction or exercise of authority over subordinate or other organizations in respect to administration and support, including organization of Service forces, control of resources and equipment, personnel management, unit logistics, individual and unit training, readiness, mobilization, demobilization, discipline, and other matters not included in the operational missions of the subordinate or other organizations. Also called ADCON. JT Pub 1-02

Agile Combat Support (ACS): (n) an Air Force distinctive capability that provides a base support system that is highly mobile, flexible, and fully integrated with air and space operations. Contingency Response Groups (CRG) and Expeditionary Medical System (EMEDS) are examples of ACS capability. 

Air and Space Expeditionary Force (AEF) [formerly used and obsolete: Aerospace Expeditionary Force]: (n) an organizational structure composed of force packages of capabilities that provides warfighting commanders with rapid and responsive air and space power. These force packages are tailored to meet specific needs across the spectrum of response options and will deploy within an Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force as air expeditionary wings (AEWs), groups (AEGs) or squadrons (AESs).

Air and Space Power: (n) the use of lethal and non-lethal means by air and space forces to achieve strategic, operational and tactical objectives.

Air and Space Superiority: (n) that degree of dominance in the air and space battle of one force over another which permits the conducts of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air and space forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force. 

Air Campaign: (n) a connected series of operations conducted by air forces to achieve joint force objectives within a given time and area. 

Aircraft Commander: (n) the aircrew member designated by competent authority as being in command of an aircraft and responsible for its safe operation and accomplishment of the assigned mission. Also called AC.

Air Interdiction: (n) air operations conducted to destroy, neutralize or delay the enemy's military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces at such distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of friendly forces is not required. [Includes both lethal and non-lethal systems, is employed to destroy, disrupt, divert or delay the enemy's surface military potential before it can effectively engage friendly forces, or otherwise achieve its objectives.]

Airman: (n) [always capital A] any person who understands and appreciates the full range of air and space power capabilities and can employ or support some aspect of air and space power capabilities. As one Airman put it, an Airman is "one who exercises and believes in the fundamental truths regarding aerospace power. Not all who wear the blue suit are Airmen; not all Airmen wear the blue suit."

Airpower: (n) [always one word] the fundamental ability to use aircraft to create military and political effects through the air and space. 

Airspeed: (n) the speed of an aircraft relative to its surrounding air mass. The unqualified term "airspeed" can mean any one of the following: a. calibrated airspeed - indicated airspeed corrected for instrument installation error; b. equivalent airspeed - calibrated airspeed corrected for compressibility error; c. indicated airspeed - the airspeed shown by an airspeed indicator d. true airspeed - equivalent airspeed corrected for error due to air density (altitude and temperature).

Air Superiority: (n) that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another that permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force. 

Air Supremacy: (n) that degree of air superiority wherein the opposing air force is incapable of effective interference. 

Air Tasking Order: (n) a method used to task and disseminate to components, subordinate units and command and control agencies projected sorties, capabilities and/or forces to targets and specific missions. Normally provides specific instructions to include call signs, targets, controlling agencies, etc., as well as general instructions. Also called ATO.

Airway: (n) a control area or portion thereof established in the form of a corridor marked with radio navigational aids.

Altitude: (n) the vertical distance of a level, a point or an object considered as a point, measured from mean sea level. 

AOC: (n) air and space operations center.

Apogee: (n) the point of greatest distance from Earth (or the moon, a planet, etc.) achieved by a body in elliptical orbit. Usually expressed as distance from Earth's surface. 

Area of Operations: (n) an operational area defined by the joint force commander for land and naval forces. Areas of operation do not typically encompass the entire operational area of the joint force commander, but should be large enough for component commanders to accomplish their missions and protect their forces. Also called AO.

Area of Responsibility: (n) the geographical area associated with a combatant command within which a combatant commander has authority to plan and conduct operations. Also called AOR. 

ASBC: (n) the Air and Space Basis Course

Bandit: (n) an aircraft identified as an enemy in accordance with theater identification criteria. 

Bare Base: (n) a base having minimum essential facilities to house, sustain and support operations to include, if required, a stabilized runway, taxiways and aircraft parking areas. A bare base must have a source of water that can be made potable. Other requirements to operate under bare base conditions form a necessary part of the force package deployed to the bare base. 

Battle Damage Assessment: (n) the timely and accurate estimate of damage resulting from the application of military force, either lethal or nonlethal, against a predetermined objective.

Battlespace: (n) the environment, factors and conditions that must be understood to successfully apply combat power, protect the force or complete the mission. This includes the air, land, sea, space and the included enemy and friendly forces; facilities; weather; terrain; the electromagnetic spectrum; and the information environment within the operational areas and areas of interest. 

Bogey: (n) an unidentified flying object or radar target. 

Brat: (n) a son or daughter of a military family.

Break: (v or n) steep (usually aggressive) turn either from a formation or in a traffic pattern. 

Brevity Code: (n) a code which provides no security but which has as its sole purpose the shortening of messages rather than the concealment of their content. 

Call Sign: (n) any combination of characters or pronounceable words, which identifies a communication facility, a command, an authority, an activity or a unit; used primarily for establishing and maintaining communications. Informal: an individual's nickname given by their unit and approved by the unit commander. Also called CS.

Cannibalize: (n) to remove serviceable parts from one item of equipment in order to install them on another item of equipment. 

CAOC: (n) combined air and space operations center. 

Centers of Gravity: (n) those characteristics, capabilities or sources of power from which a military force derives its freedom of action, physical strength or will to fight. Also called COG. 

CFACC: (n) the combined force air and space component commander. 

Cleared Hot: (n) authorization to engage a target. Also permission to complete an action or mission. 

COMAFFOR: (n) Commander, Air Force Forces. The senior Air Force warfighter in command of Air Force forces presented to a Joint Force Commander, either as a permanently assigned force or attached as an AETF. The COMAFFOR is the senior Air Force officer directly subordinate to the Joint Force Commander. As the COMAFFOR, he/she exercises Operation Control (OPCON) over assigned and attached Air Force forces (if so delegated by the JFC) and Administrative Control (ADCON) over assigned Air Force forces and specified elements of ADCON over attached Air Force forces.

Contrails: (n) condensation trails, a visible trail of water droplets or ice crystals forced in the wake of an aircraft flying in high altitude. 

Core Values: (n) the Air Force core values are values for service, values for life and must be reflected in everything we do. The core values are integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. 

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