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Air Force Vocabulary J-P

Joint Force Air Component Commander: (n) the joint force air component commander derives authority to execute air operations from the joint force commander who has the authority to exercise operational control, assign missions, direct coordination among subordinate commanders, redirect and organize forces to ensure unity of effort in the accomplishment of the overall mission. Also known as the JFACC.

Objective: (n) 1. the clearly defined, decisive and attainable goals toward which every military operation should be directed. 2. the specific target of the action taken (for example, a definite terrain feature, the seizure or holding of which is essential to the commander's plan, or an enemy force or capability without regard to terrain features). A specific statement of a desired end. 

Offensive Counter Space: Operations to preclude an adversary from exploiting space to their advantage. 

OODA Loop: (n) a theory developed by Col. John Boyd (USAF, Ret.) contending that one can depict all rational human behavior, individual and organizational, as a continual cycling through four distinct tasks: observation, orientation, decision and action.

Operational Art: (n) the employment of military forces to attain strategic and/or operational objectives through the design, organization, integration and conduct of strategies, campaigns, major operations and battles. Operational art translates the joint force commander's strategy into operational design and, ultimately, tactical action, by integrating the key activities at all levels of war.

Operational Control: (n) command authority that may be exercised by commanders at any echelon at or below the level of combatant command. Operational control is inherent in combatant command (command authority) and may be delegated within the 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. Operational control is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational control includes authoritative direction over all aspects of military operations and joint training necessary to accomplish missions assigned to the command. Operational control should be exercised through the commanders of subordinate organizations. Normally, this authority is exercised through subordinate joint force commanders and Service and/or functional component commanders. Operational control normally provides full authority to organize commands and forces and to employ those forces as the commander in operational control considers necessary to accomplish assigned missions; it does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization or unit. JT Pub 1-02

Operations Security: (n) a process of identifying critical information and subsequently analyzing friendly actions attendant to military operations and other activities to: a. identify those actions that can be observed by adversary intelligence systems; b. determine indicators that hostile intelligence systems might obtain that could be interpreted or pieced together to derive critical information in time to be useful to adversaries; and c. select and execute measures that eliminate or reduce to an acceptable level the vulnerabilities of friendly actions to adversary exploitation. Also called OPSEC.

Order of Battle: (n) the identification, strength, command structure and disposition of the personnel, units and equipment of any military force. Also called OB or OOB.

Parallel Operations: (n) describes the idea that air and space operations are most effective when they create effects that help achieve different levels of objectives at the same time. The notion of simultaneous attack is imbedded in the idea of parallel operations.

Perigee: (n) the point of minimum altitude above Earth (or the moon, a planet, etc.) maintained by a body in elliptical orbit. 

Policy: (n) an official statement of intentions. It is, for the Air Force, directive in nature. Policy is the answer to the question, " What do we want to do?" Policy primarily outlines broad goals and may articulate certain procedures or objectives. Policy is not doctrine. 

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