Glossary

Area Defense

A DCA mission where fighters defend a large area, such as a geographic area or carrier strike group.

BARCAP

Barrier CAP. A defensive A/A mission designed to protect an asset, such as an aircraft carrier, from enemy aircraft.

Box

A formation of four aircraft where two aircraft abeam each other are followed by two other aircraft abeam each other. When viewed from above or below the four aircraft appear to be in the corners of a quadrilateral.

CAP

Combat Air Patrol. A general name for A/A missions.

CE

Command Element. The headquarters element of a MAGTF that directs the other elements.

CE

(See Close Escort.)

Close Escort

An OCA mission where fighters operate as part of a strike package in close proximity to the A/S strike aircraft.

Combat Spread

An aerial formation where two aircraft fly 1 to 1.5 miles abeam each other, headed in the same direction, and from level up to several thousand feet off each other’s altitude.

CSAR

Combat search and rescue.

DACT

Dissimilar Air Combat Training. A/A training between differing aircraft, such as F-15s and F/A-18s.

DCA

Defensive Counter Air. An A/A mission where fighters reactively engage an adversary, typically over neutral or friendly territory, in the defense of some protected asset(s).

Division

aka Four-ship. A coordinated flight of four aircraft operating in close proximity to one another.

Echelon

A formation of two or more aircraft all lined out to one side and slightly behind the preceding aircraft.

FCLP

Field Carrier Landing Practice. A flight where the purpose is to perform repeated aircraft carrier-style landings ashore in preparation for later carrier qualifying afloat.

FEBO

Fighter Even, Bogey Odd. An obsolete deconfliction strategy intended to prevent mid-air collisions. Requires fighters to arrive at the merge on even, whole thousand altitudes (e.g. 22,000 ft, 30,000 ft, etc.) and the adversaries at odd (e.g. 25,000 ft).

Fence Checks

The act of preparing an aircraft for possible combat prior to entering into a designated area (fence in) and then ensuring the aircraft is safely ready to RTB when egressing combat areas (fence out).

HVAAP

High Value Airborne Asset Protection. An A/A mission where fighters actively defend an aircraft that is unable to defend itself. Could be a standalone mission or in conjunction with OCA or DCA missions.

LVC

Live, Virtual, Constructive. A cost- and asset-conserving strategy that includes manned aircraft, manned aircraft simulators, and computer-generated aircraft for the training and testing of various missions.

MEDEVAC

Medical Evacuation. The immediate removal of wounded service members from the battlefield.

MIGCAP

An offensive A/A mission flown in an effort to stir up and shoot down enemy aircraft.

NEO

Noncombatant Evacuation Operation. The ordered (mandatory) or authorized (voluntary) departure of civilian noncombatants and nonessential military personnel from danger in an overseas country to a designated safe haven.

OCA

Offensive Counter Air. An A/A mission where fighters preemptively seek aerial engagements with an adversary, typically over their territory.

Point Defense

A DCA mission where fighters defend a very small asset, such as a downed aircrew.

SAMBUSH

SAM Ambush. A tactic where aircraft attempt to draw opposing aircraft into a particular geographic area so that they can be engaged by SAMs.

SAR

Search and Rescue. The process of locating and recovering distressed personnel.

Screen

An OCA mission where fighters operate in conjunction with a strike package some coordinated time / distance behind.

SEAD

Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses

Section

aka Two-ship. A coordinated flight of two aircraft operating in close proximity to one another.

Self-Escort Strike

A combination OCA/strike mission where aircraft fight their way into a target, strike it with A/S ordnance, then fight their way out again.

SES

(See Self-Escort Strike.)

Sweep

An OCA mission where fighters act autonomously without being tied to any other fighter elements or strike package.

Wall

A formation of four aircraft abeam each other in a relatively-straight line, albeit possibly at different altitudes.