This site proudly sponsored by Rubicon Planning, LLC
Military Terms and Definitions

fabricator — An individual or group who, usually without genuine resources, invents or
inflates information for personal or political gain or political purposes. (JP 2-01.2)

facility — A real property entity consisting of one or more of the following: a building, a
structure, a utility system, pavement, and underlying land. See also air facility.

facility substitutes — Items such as tents and prepackaged structures requisitioned through
the supply system that may be used to substitute for constructed facilities. (JP 3-34)

fairway — A channel either from offshore, in a river, or in a harbor that has enough depth
to accommodate the draft of large vessels. See also draft; watercraft. (JP 4-01.6)

fallout contours — (*) Lines joining points which have the same radiation intensity that
define a fallout pattern, represented in terms of roentgens per hour.

fallout pattern — (*) The distribution of fallout as portrayed by fallout contours.

fallout prediction — An estimate, made before and immediately after a nuclear detonation,
of the location and intensity of militarily significant quantities of radioactive fallout.

fallout safe height of burst — The height of burst at or above which no militarily
significant fallout will be reproduced as a result of a nuclear weapon detonation. See
also types of burst.

fallout wind vector plot — (*) A wind vector diagram based on the wind structure from
the surface of the Earth to the highest altitude of interest.

false origin — (*) A fixed point to the south and west of a grid zone from which grid
distances are measured eastward and northward.

fan camera photography — (*) Photography taken simultaneously by an assembly of
three or more cameras systematically installed at fixed angles relative to each other so
as to provide wide lateral coverage with overlapping images. See also tri-camera

fan cameras — (*) An assembly of three or more cameras systematically disposed at fixed
angles relative to each other so as to provide wide lateral coverage with overlapping
images. See also split cameras.

fan marker beacon — (*) A type of radio beacon, the emissions of which radiate in a
vertical, fan-shaped pattern. The signal can be keyed for identification purposes. See
also radio beacon.

farm gate type operations — Operational assistance and specialized tactical training
provided to a friendly foreign air force by the Armed Forces of the United States to
include, under certain specified conditions, the flying of operational missions in combat
by combined United States and foreign aircrews as a part of the training being given
when such missions are beyond the capability of the foreign air force.

feasibility — The joint operation plan review criterion for assessing whether the assigned
mission can be accomplished using available resources within the time contemplated
by the plan. See also acceptability; adequacy. (JP 5-0)

feasibility assessment — A basic target analysis that provides an initial determination of
the viability of a proposed target for special operations forces employment. Also called
FA. (JP 3-05.1)

feasibility test — An operation plan review criteria to determine whether or not a plan is
within the capacity of the resources that can be made available. See also logistic
implications test.

federal coordinating officer — The federal officer who is appointed to manage Federal
resource support activities related to Stafford Act disasters and emergencies. The
federal coordinating officer is responsible for coordinating the timely delivery of
federal disaster assistance resources and programs to the affected state and local
governments, individual victims, and the private sector. Also called FCO. (JP 3-41)

federal modal agencies — See transportation operating agencies.

federal service — A term applied to National Guard members and units when called to
active duty to serve the Federal Government under Article I, Section 8 and Article II,
Section 2 of the Constitution and the US Code, title 10 (Department of Defense),
sections 12401 to 12408. See also active duty; Reserve Components. (JP 4-05)

federal supply class management — Those functions of materiel management that can
best be accomplished by federal supply classification, such as cataloging, characteristic
screening, standardization, interchangeability and substitution grouping, multi-item
specification management, and engineering support of the foregoing.

federal transport agencies — See transportation operating agencies.

feint — In military deception, an offensive action involving contact with the adversary
conducted for the purpose of deceiving the adversary as to the location and/or time of
the actual main offensive action. (JP 3-13.4)

fender — An object, usually made of rope or rubber, hung over the side of a vessel to
protect the sides from damage caused by impact with wharves or other craft.
(JP 4-01.6)

ferret — An aircraft, ship, or vehicle especially equipped for the detection, location,
recording, and analyzing of electromagnetic radiation.

F-hour — See times.

field army — Administrative and tactical organization composed of a headquarters, certain
organic Army troops, service support troops, a variable number of corps, and a variable
number of divisions. See also Army corps.

field artillery — Equipment, supplies, ammunition, and personnel involved in the use of
cannon, rocket, or surface-to-surface missile launchers. Field artillery cannons are
classified according to caliber as follows.
Light — 120mm and less.
Medium — 121-160mm.
Heavy — 161-210mm.
Very heavy — greater than 210mm.
Also called FA. See also direct support artillery; general support artillery.

field artillery observer — A person who watches the effects of artillery fire, adjusts the
center of impact of that fire onto a target, and reports the results to the firing agency.
See also naval gunfire spotting team; spotter.

field exercise — (*) An exercise conducted in the field under simulated war conditions in
which troops and armament of one side are actually present, while those of the other
side may be imaginary or in outline. See also command post exercise.

field fortifications — (*) An emplacement or shelter of a temporary nature which can be
constructed with reasonable facility by units requiring no more than minor engineer
supervisory and equipment participation.

field headquarters — See command post.

field of fire — (*) The area which a weapon or a group of weapons may cover effectively
with fire from a given position.

field of view — (*) 1. In photography, the angle between two rays passing through the
perspective center (rear nodal point) of a camera lens to the two opposite sides of the
format. Not to be confused with “angle of view.” 2. The total solid angle available to
the gunner when looking through the gunsight. Also called FOV.

field of vision — (*) The total solid angle available to the gunner from his or her normal
position. See also field of view.

field ordering officer — A Service member or Department of Defense civilian, who is
appointed in writing and trained by a contracting officer and authorized to execute
micropurchases in support of forces and/or designated civil-military operations. Also
called FOO. (JP 4-10)

field press censorship — The security review of news material subject to the jurisdiction of
the Armed Forces of the United States, including all information or material intended
for dissemination to the public. Also called FPC. See also censorship.

field training exercise — An exercise in which actual forces are used to train commanders,
staffs, and individual units in basic, intermediate, and advanced-level warfare skills.
Also called FTX. See also exercise; maneuver.

fighter cover — (*) The maintenance of a number of fighter aircraft over a specified area
or force for the purpose of repelling hostile air activities. See also airborne alert;

fighter engagement zone — See weapon engagement zone.

fighter escort — An offensive counterair operation providing protection sorties by air-to-air
capable fighters in support of other offensive air and air support missions over enemy
territory, or in a defensive counterair role to protect high value airborne assets.
(JP 3-01)

fighter sweep — An offensive mission by fighter aircraft to seek out and destroy enemy
aircraft or targets of opportunity in a designated area. (JP 3-01)

fighting load — Consists of items of individual clothing, equipment, weapons, and
ammunition that are carried by and are essential to the effectiveness of the combat
soldier and the accomplishment of the immediate mission of the unit when the soldier
is on foot. See also existence load.

filler — A substance carried in an ammunition container such as a projectile, mine, bomb,
or grenade. A filler may be an explosive, chemical, or inert substance.
filler personnel — Individuals of suitable grade and skill initially required to bring a unit or
organization to its authorized strength.

film badge — (*) A photographic film packet to be carried by personnel, in the form of a
badge, for measuring and permanently recording (usually) gamma-ray dosage.

filter — (*) In electronics, a device which transmits only part of the incident energy and
may thereby change the spectral distribution of energy: a. High pass filters transmit
energy above a certain frequency; b. Low pass filters transmit energy below a certain
frequency; c. Band pass filters transmit energy of a certain bandwidth; d. Band stop
filters transmit energy outside a specific frequency band.

final approach — (*) That part of an instrument approach procedure in which alignment
and descent for landing are accomplished. a. In a non-precision approach it normally
begins at the final approach fix or point and ends at the missed approach point or fix. b.
In a precision approach the final approach commences at the glide path intercept point
and ends at the decision height/altitude.

final destination — (*) In naval control of shipping, the final destination of a convoy or of
an individual ship (whether in convoy or independent) irrespective of whether or not
routing instructions have been issued.

final disposal procedures — See explosive ordnance disposal procedures.

final governing standards — A comprehensive set of country-specific substantive
environmental provisions, typically technical limitations on effluent, discharges, etc., or
a specific management practice. (JP 3-34)

final plan — (*) A plan for which drafts have been coordinated and approved and which
has been signed by or on behalf of a competent authority. See also operation plan.

final protective fire — (*) An immediately available prearranged barrier of fire designed
to impede enemy movement across defensive lines or areas.

finance support — A financial management function to provide financial advice and
recommendations, pay support, disbursing support, establishment of local depository
accounts, essential accounting support, and support of the procurement process. See
also financial management. (JP 1-06)

financial management — Financial management encompasses the two core functions of
resource management and finance support. Also called FM. See also finance
support; resource management. (JP 1-06)

fire — (*) 1. The command given to discharge a weapon(s). 2. To detonate the main
explosive charge by means of a firing system. See also barrage fire; call fire;
counterfire; counterpreparation fire; covering fire; destruction fire; direct fire;
direct supporting fire; distributed fire; grazing fire; harassing fire; indirect fire;
neutralization fire; observed fire; preparation fire; radar fire; registration fire;
scheduled fire; searching fire; supporting fire; suppressive fire.

fireball — (*) The luminous sphere of hot gases which forms a few millionths of a second
after detonation of a nuclear weapon and immediately starts expanding and cooling.

fire barrage (specify) — An order to deliver a prearranged barrier of fire. Specification of
the particular barrage may be by code name, numbering system, unit assignment, or
other designated means.

fire capabilities chart — (*) A chart, usually in the form of an overlay, showing the areas
which can be reached by the fire of the bulk of the weapons of a unit.

fire control — (*) The control of all operations in connection with the application of fire on
a target.

fire control radar — (*) Radar used to provide target information inputs to a weapon fire
control system.

fire control system — (*) A group of interrelated fire control equipments and/or
instruments designed for use with a weapon or group of weapons.

fire coordination — See fire support coordination.

fire direction center — That element of a command post, consisting of gunnery and
communications personnel and equipment, by means of which the commander
exercises fire direction and/or fire control. The fire direction center receives target
intelligence and requests for fire, and translates them into appropriate fire direction.
The fire direction center provides timely and effective tactical and technical fire control
in support of current operations. Also called FDC.

fire for effect — That volume of fires delivered on a target to achieve the desired effect.
Also called FFE. See also final protective fire; fire mission; neutralize;

fire message — See call for fire.

fire mission — (*) 1. Specific assignment given to a fire unit as part of a definite plan. 2.
Order used to alert the weapon/battery area and indicate that the message following is a
call for fire.

fire plan — (*) A tactical plan for using the weapons of a unit or formation so that their fire
will be coordinated.

firepower — (*) 1. The amount of fire which may be delivered by a position, unit, or
weapon system. 2. Ability to deliver fire.

fires — The use of weapon systems to create a specific lethal or nonlethal effect on a target.
(JP 3-0)

fire storm — (*) Stationary mass fire, generally in built-up urban areas, generating strong,
inrushing winds from all sides; the winds keep the fires from spreading while adding
fresh oxygen to increase their intensity.

fire support — Fires that directly support land, maritime, amphibious, and special
operations forces to engage enemy forces, combat formations, and facilities in pursuit
of tactical and operational objectives. See also fires. (JP 3-09.3)

fire support area — An appropriate maneuver area assigned to fire support ships by the
naval force commander from which they can deliver gunfire support to an amphibious
operation. Also called FSA. See also amphibious operation; fire support; naval
support area. (JP 3-09)

fire support coordination — (*) The planning and executing of fire so that targets are
adequately covered by a suitable weapon or group of weapons. (JP 3-09)

fire support coordination center — A single location in which are centralized
communications facilities and personnel incident to the coordination of all forms of fire
support. Also called FSCC. See also fire; fire support; fire support coordination;
support; supporting arms coordination center. (JP 3-09.1)

fire support coordination line — A fire support coordination measure that is established
and adjusted by appropriate land or amphibious force commanders within their
boundaries in consultation with superior, subordinate, supporting, and affected
commanders. Fire support coordination lines facilitate the expeditious attack of surface
targets of opportunity beyond the coordinating measure. A fire support coordination
line does not divide an area of operations by defining a boundary between close and
deep operations or a zone for close air support. The fire support coordination line
applies to all fires of air, land, and sea-based weapon systems using any type of
ammunition. Forces attacking targets beyond a fire support coordination line must
inform all affected commanders in sufficient time to allow necessary reaction to avoid
fratricide. Supporting elements attacking targets beyond the fire support coordination
line must ensure that the attack will not produce adverse effects on, or to the rear of, the
line. Short of a fire support coordination line, all air-to-ground and surface-to-surface
attack operations are controlled by the appropriate land or amphibious force
commander. The fire support coordination line should follow well-defined terrain
features. Coordination of attacks beyond the fire support coordination line is especially
critical to commanders of air, land, and special operations forces. In exceptional
circumstances, the inability to conduct this coordination will not preclude the attack of
targets beyond the fire support coordination line. However, failure to do so may
increase the risk of fratricide and could waste limited resources. Also called FSCL.
See also fires; fire support. (JP 3-09)

fire support coordination measure — A measure employed by land or amphibious
commanders to facilitate the rapid engagement of targets and simultaneously provide
safeguards for friendly forces. Also called FSCM. See also fire support
coordination. (JP 3-0)

fire support element — That portion of the force tactical operations center at every echelon
above company or troop (to corps) that is responsible for targeting coordination and for
integrating fires delivered on surface targets by fire-support means under the control, or
in support, of the force. Also called FSE. See also fire; fire support; force; support.
(JP 3-09.1)

fire support group — (*) A temporary grouping of ships under a single commander
charged with supporting troop operations ashore by naval gunfire. A fire support group
may be further subdivided into fire support units and fire support elements.

fire support officer — Senior field artillery officer assigned to Army maneuver battalions
and brigades. Advises commander on fire-support matters. Also called FSO. See also
field artillery; fire; fire support; support. (JP 3-09.1)

fire support station — An exact location at sea within a fire support area from which a fire
support ship delivers fire.

fire support team — A team provided by the field artillery component to each maneuver
company and troop to plan and coordinate all supporting fires available to the unit,
including mortars, field artillery, naval surface fire support, and close air support
integration. Also called FIST. See also close air support; field artillery; fire; fire
support; support. (JP 3-09.3)

firing area — (*) In a sweeper-sweep combination it is the horizontal area at the depth of a
particular mine in which the mine will detonate. The firing area has exactly the same
dimensions as the interception area but will lie astern of it unless the mine detonates
immediately when actuated.

firing chart — Map, photo map, or grid sheet showing the relative horizontal and vertical
positions of batteries, base points, base point lines, check points, targets, and other
details needed in preparing firing data.

firing circuit — (*) 1. In land operations, an electrical circuit and/or pyrotechnic loop
designed to detonate connected charges from a firing point. 2. In naval mine warfare,
that part of a mine circuit which either completes the detonator circuit or operates a ship

firing mechanism — See firing circuit.

firing point — (*) That point in the firing circuit where the device employed to initiate the
detonation of the charges is located. Also called FP.

firing system — In demolition, a system composed of elements designed to fire the main
charge or charges.

first light — The beginning of morning nautical twilight; i.e., when the center of the
morning sun is 12 degrees below the horizon.

first responder care — The health care capability that provides immediate clinical care and
stabilization to the patient in preparation for evacuation to the next health service
support capability in the continuum of care. (JP 4-02)

first responders — The primary health care providers whose responsibility is the provision
of immediate clinical care and stabilization in preparation for evacuation to the next
health service support capability in the continuum of care. In addition to treating
injuries, they treat Service members for common acute minor illnesses. See also
essential care; evacuation; patient. (JP 4-02)

first strike — The first offensive move of a war. (Generally associated with nuclear

fission products — (*) A general term for the complex mixture of substances produced as
a result of nuclear fission.

fission to yield ratio — (*) The ratio of the yield derived from nuclear fission to the total
yield; it is frequently expressed in percent.

fitted mine — (*) In naval mine warfare, a mine containing an explosive charge, a primer,
detonator, and firing system. See also exercise filled mine; explosive filled mine.

fix — (*) A position determined from terrestrial, electronic, or astronomical data.

fixed ammunition — (*) Ammunition in which the cartridge case is permanently attached
to the projectile. See also munition.

fixed capital property — 1. Assets of a permanent character having continuing value. 2.
As used in military establishments, includes real estate and equipment installed or in
use, either in productive plants or in field operations. Synonymous with fixed assets.

fixed medical treatment facility — (*) A medical treatment facility which is designed to
operate for an extended period of time at a specific site.

fixed port — Water terminals with an improved network of cargo-handling facilities
designed for the transfer of oceangoing freight. See also water terminal. (JP 4-01.5)

fixed price type contract — A type of contract that generally provides for a firm price or,
under appropriate circumstances, may provide for an adjustable price for the supplies or
services being procured. Fixed price contracts are of several types so designed as to
facilitate proper pricing under varying circumstances. (JP 4-10)

fixed station patrol — (*) One in which each scout maintains station relative to an
assigned point on a barrier line while searching the surrounding area. Scouts are not
stationary but remain underway and patrol near the center of their assigned stations. A
scout is a surface ship, submarine, or aircraft.

fixer system — See fixer network.

flag days (red or green) — Red flag days are those during which movement requirements
cannot be met; green flag days are those during which the requisite amount or a surplus
of transportation capability exists.

flag officer — A term applied to an officer holding the rank of general, lieutenant general,
major general, or brigadier general in the US Army, Air Force or Marine Corps or
admiral, vice admiral, or rear admiral in the US Navy or Coast Guard.

flame field expedients — Simple, handmade devices used to produce flame or illumination.
Also called FFE. (JP 3-15)

flame thrower — (*) A weapon that projects incendiary fuel and has provision for ignition
of this fuel.

flammable cargo — See inflammable cargo.

flank guard — (*) A security element operating to the flank of a moving or stationary
force to protect it from enemy ground observation, direct fire, and surprise attack.

flanking attack — (*) An offensive maneuver directed at the flank of an enemy. See also
frontal attack.

flare — (*) The change in the flight path of an aircraft so as to reduce the rate of descent
for touchdown.

flare dud — A nuclear weapon that, when launched at a target, detonates with anticipated
yield but at an altitude appreciably greater than intended. This is not a dud insofar as
yield is concerned, but it is a dud with respect to the effects on the target and the normal
operation of the weapon.

flash blindness — (*) Impairment of vision resulting from an intense flash of light. It
includes temporary or permanent loss of visual functions and may be associated with
retinal burns. See also dazzle.

flash burn — (*) A burn caused by excessive exposure (of bare skin) to thermal radiation.

flash message — A category of precedence reserved for initial enemy contact messages or
operational combat messages of extreme urgency. Brevity is mandatory. See also

flash ranging — Finding the position of the burst of a projectile or of an enemy gun by
observing its flash.

flash report — Not to be used. See inflight report.

flash suppressor — (*) Device attached to the muzzle of the weapon which reduces the
amount of visible light or flash created by burning propellant gases.

flash-to-bang time — (*) The time from light being first observed until the sound of the
nuclear detonation is heard.

flatrack — Portable, open-topped, open-sided units that fit into existing below-deck
container cell guides and provide a capability for container ships to carry oversized
cargo and wheeled and tracked vehicles. (JP 4-01.7)

flatted cargo — Cargo placed in the bottom of the holds, covered with planks and dunnage,
and held for future use. Flatted cargo usually has room left above it for the loading of
vehicles that may be moved without interfering with the flatted cargo. Frequently,
flatted cargo serves in lieu of ballast. Sometimes called understowed cargo.

fleet — An organization of ships, aircraft, Marine forces, and shore-based fleet activities all
under the command of a commander or commander in chief who may exercise
operational as well as administrative control. See also major fleet; numbered fleet.

fleet ballistic missile submarine — A nuclear-powered submarine designed to deliver
ballistic missile attacks against assigned targets from either a submerged or surfaced
condition. Designated as SSBN.

fleet in being — A fleet (force) that avoids decisive action, but, because of its strength and
location, causes or necessitates counter-concentrations and so reduces the number of
opposing units available for operations elsewhere.

Fleet Marine Force — A balanced force of combined arms comprising land, air, and
service elements of the US Marine Corps. A Fleet Marine Force is an integral part of a
US fleet and has the status of a type command. Also called FMF.

flexible deterrent option — A planning construct intended to facilitate early decision
making by developing a wide range of interrelated responses that begin with deterrentoriented
actions carefully tailored to produce a desired effect. The flexible deterrent
option is the means by which the various diplomatic, information, military, and
economic deterrent measures available to the President are included in the joint
operation planning process. Also called FDO. See also deterrent options. (JP 3-0)

flexible response — The capability of military forces for effective reaction to any enemy
threat or attack with actions appropriate and adaptable to the circumstances existing.

flight — 1. In Navy and Marine Corps usage, a specified group of aircraft usually engaged
in a common mission. 2. The basic tactical unit in the Air Force, consisting of four or
more aircraft in two or more elements. 3. A single aircraft airborne on a
nonoperational mission.

flight advisory — A message dispatched to aircraft in flight or to interested stations to
advise of any deviation or irregularity.

flight deck — 1. In certain airplanes, an elevated compartment occupied by the crew for
operating the airplane in flight. 2. The upper deck of an aircraft carrier that serves as a
runway. The deck of an air-capable ship, amphibious aviation assault ship, or aviation
ship used to launch and recover aircraft. (JP 3-04)

flight deck officer — Officer responsible for the safe movement of aircraft on or about the
flight deck of an aviation-capable ship. Also called FDO. (JP 3-04)

flight following — (*) The task of maintaining contact with specified aircraft for the
purpose of determining en route progress and/or flight termination.

flight information center — (*) A unit established to provide flight information service
and alerting service.

flight information region — (*) An airspace of defined dimensions within which flight
information service and alerting service are provided. Also called FIR. See also air
traffic control center; area control center.

flight information service — (*) A service provided for the purpose of giving advice and
information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights. Also called FIS.

flight levels — (*) Surfaces of constant atmospheric pressure which are related to a specific
pressure datum, 1013.2 mb (29.92 in), and are separated by specific pressure intervals.
(Flight levels are expressed in three digits that represent hundreds of feet; e.g., flight
level 250 represents a barometric altimeter indication of 25,000 feet and flight level 255
is an indication of 25,500 feet.)

flight path — (*) The line connecting the successive positions occupied, or to be occupied,
by an aircraft, missile, or space vehicle as it moves through air or space.

flight plan — (*) Specified information provided to air traffic services units relative to an
intended flight or portion of a flight of an aircraft.

flight plan correlation — A means of identifying aircraft by association with known flight

flight profile — Trajectory, or its graphic representation, followed by its altitude, speed,
distance flown, and maneuver.

flight quarters — A ship configuration that assigns and stations personnel at critical
positions to conduct safe flight operations. (JP 3-04)

flight readiness firing — A missile system test of short duration conducted with the
propulsion system operating while the missile is secured to the launcher. Such a test is
performed to determine the readiness of the missile system and launch facilities prior to
flight test.

flight surgeon — (*) A physician specially trained in aviator medical practice whose
primary duty is the medical examination and medical care of aircrew.

flight test — (*) Test of an aircraft, rocket, missile, or other vehicle by actual flight or
launching. Flight tests are planned to achieve specific test objectives and gain
operational information.

flight visibility — The average forward horizontal distance from the cockpit of an aircraft in
flight at which prominent unlighted objects may be seen and identified by day and
prominent lighted objects may be seen and identified by night.

floating base support — (*) A form of logistic support in which supplies, repairs,
maintenance, and other services are provided in harbor or at an anchorage for operating
forces from ships.

floating craft company — A company-sized unit made up of various watercraft teams such
as tugs, barges, and barge cranes. See also watercraft. (JP 4-01.6)

floating dump — Emergency supplies preloaded in landing craft, amphibious vehicles, or
in landing ships. Floating dumps are located in the vicinity of the appropriate control
officer, who directs their landing as requested by the troop commander concerned.
(JP 3-02)

floating mine — (*) In naval mine warfare, a mine visible on the surface. See also free
mine; mine; watching mine.

floating reserve — (*) In an amphibious operation, reserve troops which remain embarked
until needed. See also general reserve.

flooder — (*) In naval mine warfare, a device fitted to a buoyant mine which, on operation
after a preset time, floods the mine case and causes it to sink to the bottom.

flotation — (*) The capability of a vehicle to float in water.

fly-in echelon — Includes the balance of the initial assault force, not included in the assault
echelon, and some aviation support equipment. Also called FIE. (JP 4-01.2)

foam path — A path of fire extinguisher foam laid on a runway to assist aircraft in an
emergency landing.

follow-up — In amphibious operations, the reinforcements and stores carried on transport
ships and aircraft (not originally part of the amphibious force) that are offloaded after
the assault and assault follow-on echelons have been landed. See also amphibious
operation; assault; assault follow-on echelon. (JP 3-02)

follow-up echelon — (*) In air transport operations, elements moved into the objective
area after the assault echelon.

follow-up shipping — Ships not originally a part of the amphibious task force but which
deliver troops and supplies to the objective area after the assault phase has begun.
(JP 3-02.2)

follow-up supplies — Supplies delivered after the initial landings or airdrop to resupply
units until routine supply procedures can be instituted. These supplies may be
delivered either automatically or on an on-call basis and are prepared for delivery by
supporting supply units. See also resupply; routine supplies; supplies. (JP 3-17)

footprint — 1. The area on the surface of the earth within a satellite’s transmitter or sensor
field of view. 2. The amount of personnel, spares, resources, and capabilities
physically present and occupying space at a deployed location.

force — 1. An aggregation of military personnel, weapon systems, equipment, and
necessary support, or combination thereof. 2. A major subdivision of a fleet. (JP 1)

force activity designators — Numbers used in conjunction with urgency of need
designators to establish a matrix of priorities used for supply requisitions. Defines the
relative importance of the unit to accomplish the objectives of the Department of
Defense. Also called FADs. See also force. (JP 4-09)

force beddown — The provision of expedient facilities for troop support to provide a
platform for the projection of force. These facilities may include modular or kit-type
facility substitutes. See also facility substitutes. (JP 3-34)

force closure — The point in time when a supported joint force commander determines that
sufficient personnel and equipment resources are in the assigned operational area to
carry out assigned tasks. See also closure; force. (JP 3-35)

force enablement — Air refueling and other actions that increase an aircraft’s range,
payload, loiter time, and flexibility, to allow it to accomplish a wider range of missions.
See also air refueling. (JP 3-17)

force extension — Tankers escorting fighters are force extended when they are refueled by
other tankers en route to their destination. Force extension is normally required when
tankers are acting in a dual-role capacity because their cargo will likely preclude
carrying enough fuel for the tanker and receivers to reach the final destination. On
global attack missions, force extension can also be used to extend the effective range,
payload, and loiter time of combat aircraft due to the increased offload capacity of the
force extended tanker. See also air refueling; dual-role tanker. (JP 3-17)

force health protection — Measures to promote, improve, or conserve the mental and
physical well-being of Service members. These measures enable a healthy and fit
force, prevent injury and illness, and protect the force from health hazards. Also called
FHP. See also force; protection. (JP 4-02)

force list — A total list of forces required by an operation plan, including assigned forces,
augmentation forces, and other forces to be employed in support of the plan.

force module — A grouping of combat, combat support, and combat service support forces,
with their accompanying supplies and the required nonunit resupply and personnel
necessary to sustain forces for a minimum of 30 days. The elements of force modules
are linked together or are uniquely identified so that they may be extracted from or
adjusted as an entity in the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System databases to
enhance flexibility and usefulness of the operation plan during a crisis. Also called
FM. See also force module package.

force module package — A force module with a specific functional orientation (e.g. air
superiority, close air support, reconnaissance, ground defense) that include combat,
associated combat support, and combat service support forces. Additionally, force
module packages will contain sustainment in accordance with logistic policy contained
in Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan Annex B. Also called FMP. See also force

force multiplier — A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force,
significantly increases the combat potential of that force and thus enhances the
probability of successful mission accomplishment. (JP 3-05.1)

force planning — 1. Planning associated with the creation and maintenance of military
capabilities. It is primarily the responsibility of the Military Departments, Services, and
US Special Operations Command and is conducted under the administrative control
that runs from the Secretary of Defense to the Military Departments and Services. 2. In
the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System, the planning conducted by the
supported combatant command and its components to determine required force
capabilities to accomplish an assigned mission, as well as by the Military Departments,
Services, and Service component commands of the combatant commands, to develop
forces lists, source and tailor required force capabilities with actual units, identify and
resolve shortfalls, and determine the routing and time-phasing of forces into the
operational area. (JP 5-0)

force projection — The ability to project the military instrument of national power from the
United States or another theater, in response to requirements for military operations.
See also force. (JP 5-0)

force protection — Preventive measures taken to mitigate hostile actions against
Department of Defense personnel (to include family members), resources, facilities,
and critical information. Force protection does not include actions to defeat the enemy
or protect against accidents, weather, or disease. Also called FP. See also force; force
protection condition; protection. (JP 3-0)

force protection condition — A Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff-approved program
standardizing the Military Services’ identification of and recommended responses to
terrorist threats against US personnel and facilities. This program facilitates inter-
Service coordination. Also called FPCON. There are four FPCONs above normal. a.
FPCON ALPHA — This condition applies when there is an increased general threat
of possible terrorist activity against personnel and facilities, the nature and extent of
which are unpredictable, and circumstances do not justify full implementation of
FPCON BRAVO measures. However, it may be necessary to implement certain
measures from higher FPCONs resulting from intelligence received or as a deterrent.
The measures in this FPCON must be capable of being maintained indefinitely. b.
FPCON BRAVO — This condition applies when an increased or more predictable
threat of terrorist activity exists. Sustaining the measures in this FPCON for a
prolonged period may affect operational capability and relations with local authorities.
c. FPCON CHARLIE — This condition applies when an incident occurs or
intelligence is received indicating some form of terrorist action or targeting against
personnel or facilities is likely. Prolonged implementation of measures in this FPCON
may create hardship and affect the activities of the unit and its personnel. d. FPCON
DELTA — This condition applies in the immediate area where a terrorist attack has
occurred or when intelligence has been received that terrorist action against a specific
location or person is imminent. Normally, this FPCON is declared as a localized
condition. FPCON DELTA measures are not intended to be sustained for substantial
periods. See also antiterrorism; force protection. (JP 3-07.2)

force protection working group — Cross-functional working group whose purpose is to
conduct risk assessment and risk management and to recommend mitigating measures
to the commander. Also called FPWG. (JP 3-10)

force rendezvous — (*) A checkpoint at which formations of aircraft or ships join and
become part of the main force. Also called group rendezvous.

force requirement number — An alphanumeric code used to uniquely identify force
entries in a given operation plan time-phased force and deployment data. Also called

force(s) — See airborne force; armed forces; covering force; garrison force;
multinational force; Navy cargo handling force; task force; underway
replenishment force.

force sequencing — The phased introduction of forces into and out of the operational area.
(JP 3-68)

force shortfall — A deficiency in the number or types of units available for planning within
the time required for the performance of an assigned task. (JP 4-05)

forces in being — (*) Forces classified as being in state of readiness “A” or “B” as
prescribed in the appropriate Military Committee document.

force sourcing — The identification of the actual units, their origins, ports of embarkation,
and movement characteristics to satisfy the time-phased force requirements of a
supported commander.

force structure — See military capability.

force tabs — With reference to war plans, the statement of time-phased deployments of
major combat units by major commands and geographical areas.

force tracking — The process of gathering and maintaining information on the location,
status, and predicted movement of each element of a unit including the unit’s command
element, personnel, and unit-related supplies and equipment while in transit to the
specified operational area. (JP 3-35)

force visibility — The current and accurate status of forces; their current mission; future
missions; location; mission priority; and readiness status. Force visibility provides
information on the location, operational tempo, assets, and sustainment requirements of
a force as part of an overall capability for a combatant commander. (JP 3-35)

forcible entry — Seizing and holding of a military lodgment in the face of armed
opposition. See also lodgment. (JP 3-18)

fordability — See shallow fording.

foreign assistance — Assistance to foreign nations ranging from the sale of military
equipment to donations of food and medical supplies to aid survivors of natural and
man-made disasters. US foreign assistance takes three forms: development assistance,
humanitarian assistance, and security assistance. See also domestic emergencies;
foreign disaster; foreign humanitarian assistance; security assistance. (JP 3-29)

foreign consequence management — Assistance provided by the United States
Government to a host nation to mitigate the effects of a deliberate or inadvertent
chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosives attack or event and
restore essential government services. Also called FCM. (JP 3-41)

foreign disaster — An act of nature (such as a flood, drought, fire, hurricane, earthquake,
volcanic eruption, or epidemic), or an act of man (such as a riot, violence, civil strife,
explosion, fire, or epidemic), which is or threatens to be of sufficient severity and
magnitude to warrant United States foreign disaster relief to a foreign country, foreign
persons, or to an intergovernmental organization. See also foreign disaster relief.
(JP 3-29)

foreign disaster relief — Prompt aid that can be used to alleviate the suffering of foreign
disaster victims. Normally it includes humanitarian services and transportation; the
provision of food, clothing, medicine, beds, and bedding; temporary shelter and
housing; the furnishing of medical materiel and medical and technical personnel; and
making repairs to essential services. See also foreign disaster. (JP 3-07.6)

foreign humanitarian assistance — Department of Defense activities, normally in support
of the United States Agency for International Development or Department of State,
conducted outside the United States, its territories, and possessions to relieve or reduce
human suffering, disease, hunger, or privation. Also called FHA. See also foreign
assistance. (JP 3-29)

foreign instrumentation signals intelligence — Technical information and intelligence
derived from the intercept of foreign electromagnetic emissions associated with the
testing and operational deployment of non-US aerospace, surface, and subsurface
systems. Foreign instrumentation signals intelligence is a subcategory of signals
intelligence. Foreign instrumentation signals include but are not limited to telemetry,
beaconry, electronic interrogators, and video data links. Also called FISINT. See also
signals intelligence. (JP 2-01)

foreign intelligence — Information relating to capabilities, intentions, and activities of
foreign powers, organizations, or persons, but not including counterintelligence, except
for information on international terrorist activities. See also intelligence. (JP 2-0)

foreign internal defense — Participation by civilian and military agencies of a government
in any of the action programs taken by another government or other designated
organization to free and protect its society from subversion, lawlessness, and
insurgency. Also called FID. (JP 3-05)

foreign military sales — That portion of United States security assistance authorized by the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act of
1976, as amended. This assistance differs from the Military Assistance Program and
the International Military Education and Training Program in that the recipient provides
reimbursement for defense articles and services transferred. Also called FMS.

foreign military sales trainees — Foreign nationals receiving training conducted by the
Department of Defense on a reimbursable basis, at the country’s request.

foreign national — Any person other than a US citizen, US permanent or temporary legal
resident alien, or person in US custody.

foreign nation support — Civil and/or military assistance rendered to a nation when
operating outside its national boundaries during military operations based on
agreements mutually concluded between nations or on behalf of intergovernmental
organizations. Support may come from the nation in which forces are operating.
Foreign nation support also may be from third party nations and include support or
assistance, such as logistics, rendered outside the operational area. Also called FNS.
See also host-nation support. (JP 1-06)

foreign object damage — Rags, pieces of paper, line, articles of clothing, nuts, bolts, or
tools that, when misplaced or caught by air currents normally found around aircraft
operations (jet blast, rotor or prop wash, engine intake), cause damage to aircraft
systems or weapons or injury to personnel. Also called FOD. (JP 3-04)

foreign service national — Foreign nationals who provide clerical, administrative,
technical, fiscal, and other support at foreign service posts abroad and are not citizens
of the United States. The term includes third country nationals who are individuals
employed by a United States mission abroad and are neither a citizen of the US nor of
the country to which assigned for duty. Also called FSN. (JP 3-68)

foreshore — That portion of a beach extending from the low water (datum) shoreline to the
limit of normal high water wave wash. (JP 4-01.6)

format — (*) 1. In photography, the size and/or shape of a negative or of the print
therefrom. 2. In cartography, the shape and size of a map or chart.

formation — (*) 1. An ordered arrangement of troops and/or vehicles for a specific
purpose. 2. An ordered arrangement of two or more ships, units, or aircraft proceeding
together under a commander.

formatted message text — (*) A message text composed of several sets ordered in a
specified sequence, each set characterized by an identifier and containing information
of a specified type, coded and arranged in an ordered sequence of character fields in
accordance with the NATO message text formatting rules. It is designed to permit both
manual and automated handling and processing. See also free form message text;
structured message text.

formerly restricted data — Information removed from the restricted data category upon a
joint determination by the Department of Energy (or antecedent agencies) and
Department of Defense that such information relates primarily to the military utilization
of atomic weapons and that such information can be adequately safeguarded as
classified defense information. (Section 142d, Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as
amended.) See also restricted data.

form lines — (*) Lines resembling contours, but representing no actual elevations, which
have been sketched from visual observation or from inadequate or unreliable map
sources, to show collectively the configuration of the terrain.

forward aeromedical evacuation — (*) That phase of evacuation which provides airlift
for patients between points within the battlefield, from the battlefield to the initial point
of treatment, and to subsequent points of treatment within the combat zone. (JP 4-02)

forward air controller — An officer (aviator/pilot) member of the tactical air control party
who, from a forward ground or airborne position, controls aircraft in close air support
of ground troops. Also called FAC. See also close air support. (JP 3-09.1)

forward air controller (airborne) — A specifically trained and qualified aviation officer
who exercises control from the air of aircraft engaged in close air support of ground
troops. The forward air controller (airborne) is normally an airborne extension of the
tactical air control party. Also called FAC(A). (JP 3-09.3)

forward area — An area in proximity to combat.

forward arming and refueling point — A temporary facility — organized, equipped, and
deployed by an aviation commander, and normally located in the main battle area
closer to the area where operations are being conducted than the aviation unit’s combat
service area — to provide fuel and ammunition necessary for the employment of
aviation maneuver units in combat. The forward arming and refueling point permits
combat aircraft to rapidly refuel and rearm simultaneously. Also called FARP.

forward aviation combat engineering — A mobility operation in which engineers perform
tasks in support of forward aviation ground facilities. Tasks include reconnaissance;
construction of low altitude parachute extraction zones, landing strips, and airstrips; and
providing berms, revetments, and trenches for forward arming and refueling points.
Also called FACE. See also combat engineering; reconnaissance. (JP 3-34)

forward edge of the battle area — (*) The foremost limits of a series of areas in which
ground combat units are deployed, excluding the areas in which the covering or
screening forces are operating, designated to coordinate fire support, the positioning of
forces, or the maneuver of units. Also called FEBA.

forward line of own troops — A line that indicates the most forward positions of friendly
forces in any kind of military operation at a specific time. The forward line of own
troops normally identifies the forward location of covering and screening forces. The
forward line of own troops may be at, beyond, or short of the forward edge of the battle
area. An enemy forward line of own troops indicates the forward-most position of
hostile forces. Also called FLOT.

forward logistic site — See naval forward logistic site. Also called FLS. (JP 4-01.3)

forward-looking infrared — An airborne, electro-optical thermal imaging device that
detects far-infrared energy, converts the energy into an electronic signal, and provides a
visible image for day or night viewing. Also called FLIR. (JP 3-09.3)

forward oblique air photograph — Oblique photography of the terrain ahead of the

forward observer — An observer operating with front line troops and trained to adjust
ground or naval gunfire and pass back battlefield information. In the absence of a
forward air controller, the observer may control close air support strikes. Also called
FO. See also forward air controller; spotter. (JP 3-09.1)

forward operating base — An airfield used to support tactical operations without
establishing full support facilities. The base may be used for an extended time period.
Support by a main operating base will be required to provide backup support for a
forward operating base. Also called FOB. (JP 3-09.3)

forward operating location — Primarily used for counterdrug operations. Similar to a
forward operating base (FOB) but without the in-place infrastructure associated with a
FOB. Also called FOL.

forward operating site — A scaleable location outside the United States and US territories
intended for rotational use by operating forces. Such expandable “warm facilities” may
be maintained with a limited US military support presence and possibly pre-positioned
equipment. Forward operating sites support rotational rather than permanently
stationed forces and are a focus for bilateral and regional training. Also called FOS.
See also cooperative security location; main operating base. (CJCS CM-0007-05)

forward operations base — In special operations, a base usually located in friendly
territory or afloat that is established to extend command and control or communications
or to provide support for training and tactical operations. Facilities may be established
for temporary or longer duration operations and may include an airfield or an
unimproved airstrip, an anchorage, or a pier. A forward operations base may be the
location of special operations component headquarters or a smaller unit that is
controlled and/or supported by a main operations base. Also called FOB. See also
advanced operations base; main operations base. (JP 3-05.1)

forward recovery mission profile — A mission profile that involves the recovery of an
aircraft at a neutral or friendly forward area airfield or landing site.

forward resuscitative care — Care provided as close to the point of injury as possible
based on current operational requirements to attain stabilization and achieve the most
efficient use of life-and-limb saving medical treatment. Forward resuscitative care
typically provides essential care for stabilization to ensure the patient can tolerate
evacuation. Also called FRC. See also essential care; evacuation; medical
treatment facility; patient. (JP 4-02)

forward slope — (*) Any slope which descends towards the enemy.

forward tell — (*) The transfer of information to a higher level of command. See also
track telling.

foundation data — Specific information on essential features that change rarely or slowly,
such as point positioning data, topographic features, elevation data, geodetic
information, and safety of navigation data. (JP 2-03)

four-round illumination diamond — (*) A method of distributing the fire of illumination
shells which, by a combination of lateral spread and range spread, provides illumination
of a large area.

463L system — Aircraft pallets, nets, tie down, and coupling devices, facilities, handling
equipment, procedures, and other components designed to interface with military and
civilian aircraft cargo restraint systems. Though designed for airlift, system
components may have to move intermodally via surface to support geographic
combatant commander objectives. (JP 4-01.7)

FPCON ALPHA — See force protection condition.

FPCON BRAVO — See force protection condition.

FPCON CHARLIE — See force protection condition.

FPCON DELTA — See force protection condition.

fragmentary order — An abbreviated form of an operation order issued as needed after an
operation order to change or modify that order or to execute a branch or sequel to that
order. Also called FRAGORD. (JP 5-0)

frame — (*) In photography, any single exposure contained within a continuous sequence
of photographs.

free air anomaly — The difference between observed gravity and theoretical gravity that
has been computed for latitude and corrected for elevation of the station above or below
the geoid, by application of the normal rate of change of gravity for change of
elevation, as in free air.

free air overpressure — (*) The unreflected pressure, in excess of the ambient
atmospheric pressure, created in the air by the blast wave from an explosion. See also

freedom of navigation operations — Operations conducted to demonstrate US or
international rights to navigate air or sea routes. (JP 3-0)

free drop — (*) The dropping of equipment or supplies from an aircraft without the use of
parachutes. See also airdrop; air movement; free fall; high velocity drop; low
velocity drop.

free fall — A parachute maneuver in which the parachute is manually activated at the
discretion of the jumper or automatically at a preset altitude. See also airdrop; air
movement; free drop; high velocity drop; low velocity drop.

free field overpressure — See free air overpressure.

free-fire area — A specific area into which any weapon system may fire without additional
coordination with the establishing headquarters. Also called FFA. See also fire.
(JP 3-09)

free form message text — (*) A message text without prescribed format arrangements. It
is intended for fast drafting as well as manual handling and processing. See also
formatted message text; structured message text.

free mail — Correspondence of a personal nature that weighs less than 11 ounces, to
include audio and video recording tapes, from a member of the Armed Forces or
designated civilian, mailed postage free from a Secretary of Defense approved free
mail zone. (JP 1-0)

free mine — (*) In naval mine warfare, a moored mine whose mooring has parted or been

free play exercise — (*) An exercise to test the capabilities of forces under simulated
contingency and/or wartime conditions, limited only by those artificialities or
restrictions required by peacetime safety regulations. See also controlled exercise.

free rocket — (*) A rocket not subject to guidance or control in flight.

freight consolidating activity — A transportation activity that receives less than car- or
truckload shipments of materiel for the purpose of assembling them into car- or
truckload lots for onward movement to the ultimate consignee or to a freight
distributing activity or other break bulk point. See also freight distributing activity.

freight distributing activity — A transportation activity that receives and unloads
consolidated car- or truckloads of less than car- or truckload shipments of material and
forwards the individual shipments to the ultimate consignee. See also freight
consolidating activity

frequency deconfliction — A systematic management procedure to coordinate the use of
the electromagnetic spectrum for operations, communications, and intelligence
functions. Frequency deconfliction is one element of electromagnetic spectrum
management. See also electromagnetic spectrum; electromagnetic spectrum
management; electronic warfare. (JP 3-13.1)

frequency management — The requesting, recording, deconfliction of and issuance of
authorization to use frequencies (operate electromagnetic spectrum dependent systems)
coupled with monitoring and interference resolution processes. (JP 6-0)

friendly — A contact positively identified as friendly. See also hostile.

friendly fire — In casualty reporting, a casualty circumstance applicable to persons killed in
action or wounded in action mistakenly or accidentally by friendly forces actively
engaged with the enemy, who are directing fire at a hostile force or what is thought to
be a hostile force. See also casualty.

friendly force information requirement — Information the commander and staff need to
understand the status of friendly force and supporting capabilities. Also called FFIR.
(JP 3-0)

front — (*) 1. The lateral space occupied by an element measured from the extremity of
one flank to the extremity of the other flank. 2. The direction of the enemy. 3. The
line of contact of two opposing forces. 4. When a combat situation does not exist or is
not assumed, the direction toward which the command is faced.

frontal attack — (*) 1. An offensive maneuver in which the main action is directed
against the front of the enemy forces. 2. (DOD only) In air intercept, an attack by an
interceptor aircraft that terminates with a heading crossing angle greater than 135

frustrated cargo — Any shipment of supplies and/or equipment which, while en route to
destination, is stopped prior to receipt and for which further disposition instructions
must be obtained.

full charge — The larger of the two propelling charges available for naval guns.

full mission-capable — Material condition of any piece of military equipment, aircraft, or
training device indicating that it can perform all of its missions. Also called FMC. See
also deadline; mission-capable; partial mission-capable; partial mission-capable,
maintenance; partial mission-capable, supply.

full mobilization — See mobilization.

full-spectrum superiority — The cumulative effect of dominance in the air, land,
maritime, and space domains and information environment that permits the conduct of
joint operations without effective opposition or prohibitive interference. (JP 3-0)

functional component command — A command normally, but not necessarily, composed
of forces of two or more Military Departments which may be established across the
range of military operations to perform particular operational missions that may be of
short duration or may extend over a period of time. See also component; Service
component command. (JP 1)

functional damage assessment — The estimate of the effect of military force to degrade or
destroy the functional or operational capability of the target to perform its intended
mission and on the level of success in achieving operational objectives established
against the target. This assessment is based upon all-source information, and includes
an estimation of the time required for recuperation or replacement of the target
function. See also damage assessment; target. (JP 3-60)

functional kill — To render a targeted installation, facility, or target system unable to fulfill
its primary function.

functions — The appropriate or assigned duties, responsibilities, missions, or tasks of an
individual, office, or organization. As defined in the National Security Act of 1947, as
amended, the term “function” includes functions, powers, and duties (5 United States
Code 171n (a)).

fusion — In intelligence usage, the process of examining all sources of intelligence and
information to derive a complete assessment of activity. (JP 2-0)

fuze cavity — (*) A recess in a charge for receiving a fuze.



Jump To Letter: