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Air Force Vocabulary Q-Z

Sortie: (n) an operational flight by one aircraft. 

Strategic Attack: (n) offensive action conducted by command authorities aimed at generating effects that most directly achieve our national security objectives by affecting an adversary's leadership, conflict sustaining resources and/or strategy.

Supported Commander: (n) 1. the commander having primary responsibility for all aspects of a task assigned by the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan or other joint operation planning authority. In the context of joint operation planning, this term refers to the commander who prepares operation plans or operation orders in response to requirements of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 2. in the context of a support command relationship, the commander who receives assistance from another commander's force or capabilities, and who is responsible for ensuring that the supporting commander understands the assistance required. JT Pub 1-02

Supporting Commander: (n) 1. a commander who provides augmentation forces or other support to a supported commander or who develops a supporting plan. Includes the designated combatant commands and Defense agencies as appropriate. 2. in the context of a support command relationship, the commander who aids, protects, complements or sustains another commander's force, and who is responsible for providing assistance required by the supported commander. JT Pub 1-02

Synergy: (n) the principle that different capabilities in combination create more powerful effects -- exponential, not linear growth -- than when used by themselves. Synergy from air and space power capabilities have the potential to create secondary, tertiary and succeeding effects -- often described as "cascading" effects. Each one of our core competencies results from the synergistic nature of air and space power.

Tactical Control: (n) command authority over assigned or attached forces or commands, or military capability or forces made available for tasking, that is limited to the detailed direction and control of movements or maneuvers within the operational area necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned. Tactical control is inherent in operational control. Tactical control may be delegated to and exercised at any level at or below the level of combatant command. When forces are transferred between combatant commands, the command relationship the gaining commander will exercise (and the losing commander will relinquish) over these forces must be specified by the Secretary of Defense. Tactical control provides sufficient authority for controlling and directing the application of force or tactical use of combat support assets within the assigned mission or task. Also called TACON. JT PUB 1-02

Target: (n) 1. an area, complex, installation, force, equipment, capability, function or behavior identified for possible action to support the commander's objectives, guidance and intent. Targets fall into two general categories: planned and immediate. 2. in intelligence usage, a country, area, installation, agency or person against which intelligence operations are directed. 3. an area designated and numbered for future firing. 4. in gunfire support usage, an impact burst that hits the target. Also called TGT.

Task: (n or v) a discrete event or action, not specific to a single unit, weapon system or individual, that enables a mission or function to be accomplished by individuals or organizations. The act of assigning responsibility to accomplish a task to an individual or unit.

Two-Person Concept: (n) prohibition of access by an individual to nuclear weapons and certain designated components without the presence at all times of at least two authorized persons, each capable of detecting an incorrect act or unauthorized procedure with respect to the task to be performed.

Unity of Command: (n) the principle and Practice of making a single person legally and morally responsible for a particular military activity or organization. In practice, unity of command helps ensure coherent, orchestrated purpose and action. The principle of unity of command, which puts all aerospace forces under a single airman, is the principle that allows aerospace forces to mass effects at the strategic and operational levels. 

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Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.

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