Glossary

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).

FIDAE

Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio. A biennial international air show held in Santiago, Chile.

Flag Officer

A commissioned military officer who has attained the rank of general (land forces) or admiral (maritime forces), at the rank of O-7 or above.

Flak

See AAA.

Flare

A countermeasure deployed by aircraft to decoy infrared-seeking weapons systems and missiles.

FNAEB

Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board. A board of inquiry that is held following an aviation mishap to determine the disposition of the aircrew’s further service.

Fox-1/2/3

A communications brevity term used when launching semi-active radar / infrared seeking / and active radar missiles, respectively.

FRS

Fleet Replacement Squadron. aka RAG. A US Navy training squadron that prepares pilots for operational service in fleet-specific aircraft.

FTS

Full Time Support. A US Navy program that allows reservists to perform in positions as full-time active duty members, supporting the Navy Reserve Force.

G

Gravitational Force. The pull of earth’s gravity that people and objects experience as “one G” in an unaccelerated state or “zero G” when falling.

G-LOC

G-induced Loss of Consciousness. Passing out due to lack of blood in the brain as a result of pulling G’s.

GCE

Ground Combat Element. A MAGTF component usually comprised of infantry and supported by armor (tanks), and artillery. May also include special units such as scouts or Force Reconnaissance, snipers and JTACs.

GCI

Ground-Controlled Intercept. AIC provided by a ground controller.

Geedunk

Slang for either candy or other edible treats (normally sugary), or various trinkets such as stickers, t-shirts, shot glasses, etc. So named because of the gee-dunk sound a coin makes when dropping into a vending machine.

God

(See Fighter Pilot)

GPS

Global Positioning System. A constellation of satellites that afford precision location information and coordinate generation on earth.

GRG

Gridded Reference Graphic. Rectangular grids used in partitioning geographic areas of interest.

HARM

High-speed Anti-radiation Missile. A missile designed to home in on surface-to-air radar emitters, such as those affiliated with early warning detection and SAMs.

HEFOE

Hydraulic Electrical Fuel Oil Engine. A term used with associated numbers (1 for H, 2 for O, etc.) to convey aircraft malfunctions via hand signals between aircrew when radios are unavailable. Some uses replace the second E with a P for power plants. Other variations use a sixth figure for flight controls.

HEMC

High Explosive, Medium Capacity. A 1,000-lb bomb fielded by Great Britain.

HMLA

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron. A US Marine Corps squadron comprised of AH-1 Cobra / Viper and UH-1 Huey helicopters.

Hostile

A Bandit for which engagement is authorized.

HOTAS

Hands On Throttle-And-Stick.

HSI

Horizontal Situation Indicator.

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.

IADS

Integrated Air Defense System. A system of radar, weapons, command and control nodes, and communications networks that operate together to defend a geographic area or high value asset.

IDS

Interdictor / Strike. A variant of the Panavia Tornado intended for surface attack.

IFS

Introductory Flight Screening. A civilian, FAA-certified flight school experience that exposes prospective US Navy and Marine Corps flight students to the rigors of pilot training.

Immelman

An aerial maneuver where the aircraft pulls up vertically, performing half a loop, then rolls upright at the top of the loop.

INS

Inertial Navigation System. A navigation aid that uses a computer, and motion, rotation, and occasionally magnetic sensors to continuously calculate by dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references.

IOC

Initial Operational Capability. A date where a military aircraft is sufficiently fielded and units prepared for the aircraft to be declared operationally ready for combat.

ISAR

Inverse Synthetic Aperture Radar. A technique using radar imaging to generate a two-dimensional high resolution image of a target, such as a submarine periscope.

ISR

Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. Integrated and synchronized collection efforts designed to provide warfighters information on the surrounding battlespace.

ITAR

International Traffic in Arms Regulations. A US regulatory regime that restricts and controls the export of defense and military related technologies to safeguard national security and further US foreign policy objectives.

JASSM

Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. A low observable stand-off air-launched missile.

JBD

Jet Blast Deflector. A large shield that raises out of the flight deck of an aircraft carrier that protects other aircraft and equipment by deflecting the exhaust of an aircraft at high power settings just prior to launch.

JDAM

Joint Direct Attack Munition. A GPS-guided free-fall bomb available in the 500- / 1,000- / and 2,000-pound classes.

JFACC

Joint Forces Air Component Commander. A military commander tasked to plan, direct, and control joint air operations within a specific theater of operations. See also, CFACC.

JMEMs

Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manuals. A compilation of data and methodologies designed to allow selection of the best weapon to attack a given target based on certain constraints and damage / kill requirements.

Joke

(See God)

JSOW

Joint Stand Off Weapon. A GPS-guided glide bomb.

JTAC

Joint Terminal Attack Controller. A qualified service member, often an aviator, who directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support and other offensive air operations from a forward position.

JTAR

Joint Tactical Airstrike Request. A method for ground forces to request air support for planned offensives or operations.

Knot(s)

Nautical mile(s) per hour.

LA

Landing Area. The part of an aircraft carrier where aircraft land.

LAMPS

Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System. A US Navy program that developed manned helicopters that assist the surface fleet with ASW.

LANTIRN

Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night. A sensor pod adapted from the F-15 Eagle for use on the F-14 Tomcat, which afforded precision strike capability.

LAR

Launch Acceptability Region. A visual depiction of the intercept capability of a selected A/A missile based on both the ownship and target’s current altitude, airspeed, heading, and maneuvering.

LCAC

Landing Craft, Air Cushion. An amphibious vehicle used to transport, ship-to-shore and across the beach, personnel, weapons, equipment, and cargo of the assault elements of the MAGTF.

LCE

Logistics Combat Element. A MAGTF component comprised of all support units such as communications, combat engineers, motor transport, medical, supply units, and certain specialized groups such as air delivery and landing support teams.

LEX

Leading Edge Extension(s). The structural portion of an F/A-18 where the fuselage and wings meet which improves airflow at high AOA and low airspeeds, to improve handling and delay stall.

LGB

Laser-guided Bomb. An aerial free-fall weapon that homes on laser energy reflected off a designated target.

LGTR

Laser-guided Training Round. A low-cost, inert laser-guided training munition that allows aircrew to simulate employing LGBs.

LRIP

Low Rate Initial Production. Manufactured aircraft that are one step beyond prototypes but not yet full production models.

LSO

Landing Signal Officer. A pilot who has the collateral duty of assisting in the safe and expeditious recovery of aircraft, usually aboard an aircraft carrier but also as required at airfields ashore.

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.

MAGIC CARPET

Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies (*phew!*). A computer-software PLM integration system that works with an aircraft’s digital flight control system to reduce pilot workload and improve safety during aircraft carrier landings.

MAGTF

Marine Air Ground Task Force. A principal United States Marine Corps organization that combines air-, land-, and sea-borne forces to conduct a wide array of military operations and humanitarian responses anywhere in the world. Comprised of a CE, ACE, GCE, and LCE. May take the form of a MEB, MEF, or MEU.

Maverick

The AGM-65 Maverick is an air-to-ground missile (AGM) designed for close air support. It is the most widely produced precision-guided missile in the Western world, and is effective against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, ground transportation and fuel storage facilities.

MAW

Marine Air Wing. A USMC organization that provides combat ready expeditionary aviation forces capable of short notice world wide deployment to MAGTF, fleet, and unified commanders.

MAWTS-1

Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One. A US Marine Corps command that provides advanced tactical training and unit instructor certification in the support of Marine Aviation training and readiness.

MDS

Mission-Design Series. A U.S. DOD aircraft designating system introduced in 1962 incorporating one or more letters to identify the aircraft mission and a number to denote the design model.

Meatball

Slang term for the optical landing system employed to provide glideslope information to pilots landing on an aircraft carrier.

MEB

Marine Expeditionary Brigade. A MAGTF constructed around a reinforced infantry regiment, a composite Marine aircraft group, and a brigade service support group. Task-organized to meet the requirements of a specific situation. It can function alone, as part of a joint task force, or as the lead echelon of a MEF.

MECEP

Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program. A program that affords enlisted U.S. Marines an opportunity to finish a bachelor’s degree and receive a commission as a Marine officer.

Mech

A backup flight control mode of the F/A-18 where the pilot controls the aircraft through direct connection to horizontal stabilator hydraulic actuators. Usually considered an emergency situation.

MEDEVAC

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

MEF

Marine Expeditionary Force. A MAGTF comprised of a MEF Headquarters Group, Marine Division, MAW, and Marine Logistics Group.

Merge

The point in time and space where opposing aircraft meet in an A/A engagement, generally heading in opposite directions.

Merge Plot

A communication term indicating that a fighter aircraft has entered the visual arena with a target of interest.

MEU

Marine Expeditionary Unit. The smallest type of MAGTF with customizable composition based on the task at hand. Additional artillery, armor, or air units can be attached, including squadrons of MV-22B Osprey and AV-8B Harriers.

MIDS

Multifunctional Information Distribution System. An advanced C4I system incorporating high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital communication links for exchange of near real-time tactical information, including both data and voice, among air, ground, and sea elements.

Midshipman

A college student enrolled either at the US Naval Academy or in a Navy ROTC program.

MIGCAP

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

mIRC

Internet Relay Chat. A popular system used by individuals and organizations to communicate, share, and work with each other on worldwide networks.

MNPOPA

Mission number, Number of aircraft, Playtime, Ordnance, Particulars, Abort code. A standardized way for combat aircraft to check in with a JTAC.

MOAB

Massive Ordnance Air Blast (a.k.a. GBU-43). A high-yield air-dropped bomb said to be the most powerful non-nuclear weapon in the US military inventory.

MOS

Military Occupational Specialty. A code that identifies a particular military job or area of expertise.

MRCA

Multi-Role Combat Aircraft. An aircraft designed and/or intended to perform more than one mission in combat.

NAMI

Naval Aerospace Medical Institute. A US Navy organization that supports Navy and Marine Corps aviation units through aeromedical consultation, services development and application of aeromedical standards, and training of aeromedical personnel for operational assignments. Aspiring naval aviators often refer to medical rejection by this institution as the “NAMI whammy.”

NAPS

Naval Academy Preparatory School. An institution that enhances midshipman candidates’ moral, mental, and physical foundations to prepare them for success at the U.S. Naval Academy.

NATOPS

Naval Aviation and Training Operations Procedures Standardization (*phew*). Flight and operating instructions and procedures applicable to the operation of all US naval aircraft and related aviation activities.

Nautical Mile

A unit of measure based on the circumference of the earth, equal to one minute of latitude. Equivalent to approx. 6,072 feet or 115% of a statute mile.

NAVAIR

Naval Air Systems Command. A US Navy organization whose mission is to provide full life-cycle support of naval aviation aircraft, weapons and systems operated by Sailors and Marines. This support includes research, design, development and systems engineering; acquisition; test and evaluation; training facilities and equipment; repair and modification; and in-service engineering and logistics support.

NAVCAD

Naval Aviation Cadet. A program that facilitated an aviation student undergoing training prior to having achieved an undergraduate bachelor’s degree.

NAWDC

Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center. The Fallon, Nevada-based center of excellence for naval aviation training and tactics development. Parent command to TOPGUN.

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.

NFO

Naval Flight Officer. A US Navy commissioned officer assigned to non-pilot-in-control aerial duties such as weapons control, radar intercept, or electronic countermeasures.

NORAD

North American Aerospace Defense Command. A combined command between the US and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection of North America.

NOTAMS

Notices to Airmen. A written notification issued to aircrew before flight, advising of circumstances relating to the state of flying.

Nugget

A first-tour aviator.

OCA

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

OCS

Officer Candidate School. A program for college graduates who did not attend a service academy or participate in ROTC. Successful program completion results in commissioning as a military officer.

ODO

Operations Duty Officer. A squadron aviator responsible for executing the flight schedule. Manned by an instructor at a training squadron.

OFP

Operational Flight Program. A particular software used to control computer avionics.

OHO

Ordnance Handling Officer. A aircraft carrier-assigned officer in charge of the ship’s ordnance.

OLF

Outlying Field. An airfield used by military aircraft for landing practice.

OOMA

Optimized Organizational Maintenance Activity. A US Navy and Marine Corps software suite used to manage aircraft maintenance activities.

OS

Operations Specialist. A rating for enlisted US Navy personnel who specialize in providing AIC.

Paddles

Slang term for an LSO.

Pd

Probability of destruction. A derived probability that a target will receive the desired level of damage or destruction based on a variety of factors such as weapon selection and delivery type.

PDSTT

Pulse Doppler Single Target Track. A radar tracking mode where pulse doppler is used to track one target, to the exclusion of any other target.

PLAT

Pilot Landing Aid Television. A system of low-light TV cameras and displays positioned as a tool for, and to record, aircraft carrier landings and flight deck operations.

PLM

Precision Landing Modes. (See MAGIC CARPET)

Point Defense

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

POL

Petroleum Oil Lubricants. A class of supplies consisting of various fuel, hydraulic, and lubrication fluids.

Port

The left side of an aircraft or vessel when facing the front of the aircraft or vessel. Opposite of Starboard.

POTS

Plain Old Telephone System. A ship-based communication system that facilitates telephone-type calls via satellite from ship to shore. Notorious for the delay between spoken and heard transmissions, leading to awkward conversations.

POTUS

President of the United States.

PQS

Personnel Qualification Standard. A publication that guides the training of a Navy sailor in the attainment of increased qualifications and experience.

RAC

Replacement Aircrew. An FRS student. Subdivided into one of four categories:

  • Cat 1: initial training
    • e.g. A newly-winged pilot
  • Cat 2: conversion training
    • e.g. An F-14 converting to the F/A-18
  • Cat 3: refresher training following a long absence from flying
    • e.g. A pilot returning to duty after a non-flying tour of duty
  • Cat 4: miscellaneous
    • e.g. A current F/A-18A-D pilot undergoing initial F/A-18E/F training).

RAG

Replacement Air Group. An obsolete but sometimes-used name for the FRS.

RAT

Ram Air Turbine. A small, propeller-driven generator deployed in response to an aircraft malfunction to provide limited electrical power and/or hydraulic pressure.

RATS

Reduced Afterburner Thrust System. A protective feature of the F-14 Tomcat that prevented in the inadvertent selection of afterburner during aircraft carrier takeoffs and landings.

RCS

Radar Cross Section. The measure of a target’s ability to reflect radar signals in the direction of the radar receiver.

Ready Room

A common area where squadron aircrew congregate, socialize, and brief & debrief missions.

RIO

Radar Intercept Officer. An NFO who crewed the backseat of an F-4 Phantom or F-14 Tomcat.

RO

Radar Operator. One of the five crew members aboard an E-2 Hawkeye, and typically the most junior of the three NFOs manning the radar and communications equipment.