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Military Terms and Definitions

objective — 1. The clearly defined, decisive, and attainable goal toward which every
operation is 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). See also target.
(JP 5-0)

objective area — (*) A defined geographical area within which is located an objective to
be captured or reached by the military forces. This area is defined by competent
authority for purposes of command and control. Also called OA.

objective force level — The level of military forces that needs to be attained within a finite
time frame and resource level to accomplish approved military objectives, missions, or
tasks. See also military requirement.

obligated reservist — An individual who has a statutory requirement imposed by the
Military Selective Service Act of 1967 or Section 651, Title 10, United States Code, to
serve on active duty in the armed forces or to serve while not on active duty in a
Reserve Component for a period not to exceed that prescribed by the applicable statute.

oblique air photograph — (*) An air photograph taken with the camera axis directed
between the horizontal and vertical planes. Commonly referred to as an “oblique.” a.
High Oblique. One in which the apparent horizon appears. b. Low Oblique. One in
which the apparent horizon does not appear.

oblique air photograph strip — Photographic strip composed of oblique air photographs.

obliquity — The characteristic in wide-angle or oblique photography that portrays the
terrain and objects at such an angle and range that details necessary for interpretation
are seriously masked or are at a very small scale, rendering interpretation difficult or

observation helicopter — (*) Helicopter used primarily for observation and
reconnaissance, but which may be used for other roles.

observation post — (*) A position from which military observations are made, or fire
directed and adjusted, and which possesses appropriate communications; may be
airborne. Also called OP.

observed fire — (*) Fire for which the point of impact or burst can be seen by an observer.
The fire can be controlled and adjusted on the basis of observation. See also fire.

observed fire procedure — (*) A standardized procedure for use in adjusting indirect fire
on a target.

observer-target line — (*) An imaginary straight line from the observer/spotter to the
target. See also spotting line.

observer-target range — The distance along an imaginary straight line from the observer
or spotter to the target.

obstacle — Any obstruction designed or employed to disrupt, fix, turn, or block the
movement of an opposing force, and to impose additional losses in personnel, time, and
equipment on the opposing force. Obstacles can exist naturally or can be man-made, or
can be a combination of both. (JP 3-15)

obstacle belt — A brigade-level command and control measure, normally given
graphically, to show where within an obstacle zone the ground tactical commander
plans to limit friendly obstacle employment and focus the defense. It assigns an intent
to the obstacle plan and provides the necessary guidance on the overall effect of
obstacles within a belt. See also obstacle. (JP 3-15)

obstacle clearing — The total elimination or neutralization of obstacles.

obstacle intelligence — Those collection efforts to detect the presence of enemy (and
natural) obstacles, determine their types and dimensions, and provide the necessary
information to plan appropriate combined arms breaching, clearance, or bypass
operations to negate the impact on the friendly scheme of maneuver. It is typically
related to the tactical level of intelligence. Also called OBSTINTEL. (JP 2-0)

obstacle restricted areas — A command and control measure used to limit the type or
number of obstacles within an area. See also obstacle. (JP 3-15)

obstacle zone — A division-level command and control measure, normally done
graphically, to designate specific land areas where lower echelons are allowed to
employ tactical obstacles. See also obstacle. (JP 3-15)

obstructor — (*) In naval mine warfare, a device laid with the sole object of obstructing or
damaging mechanical minesweeping equipment.

occupational and environmental health surveillance — The regular or repeated
collection, analysis, archiving, interpretation, and dissemination of occupational and
environmental health-related data for monitoring the health of, or potential health
hazard impact on, a population and individual personnel, and for intervening in a timely
manner to prevent, treat, or control the occurrence of disease or injury when determined
necessary. (JP 4-02)

occupational and environmental health threats — Threats to the health of military
personnel and to military readiness created by exposure to hazardous agents,
environmental contamination, or toxic industrial materials. See also health threat.
(JP 4-02)

occupation currency — See military currency.

occupied territory — Territory under the authority and effective control of a belligerent
armed force. The term is not applicable to territory being administered pursuant to
peace terms, treaty, or other agreement, express or implied, with the civil authority of
the territory. See also civil affairs agreement.

Ocean Cargo Clearance Authority — The Surface Deployment and Distribution
Command activity that books Department of Defense sponsored cargo and passengers
for surface movement, performs related contract administration, and accomplishes
export and import surface traffic management functions for Department of Defense
cargo moving within the Defense Transportation System. Also called OCCA.
(JP 4-01.2)

ocean convoy — (*) A convoy whose voyage lies, in general, outside the continental shelf.
See also convoy.

ocean manifest — (*) A detailed listing of the entire cargo loaded into any one ship
showing all pertinent data which will readily identify such cargo and where and how
the cargo is stowed.

oceanography — The study of the sea, embracing and integrating all knowledge pertaining
to the sea and its physical boundaries, the chemistry and physics of seawater, and
marine biology. From a military perspective, oceanography includes basic
oceanography plus the study of bathymetry, hydrography, geophysics, astrometry and
precise time; supported by ocean engineering, operational supercomputing, and
operations research. (JP 3-59)

ocean station ship — (*) A ship assigned to operate within a specified area to provide
several services, including search and rescue, meteorological information, navigational
aid, and communications facilities.

offensive counterair — Offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy
aircraft, missiles, launch platforms, and their supporting structures and systems both
before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible. Offensive counterair
operations range throughout enemy territory and are generally conducted at the
initiative of friendly forces. These operations include attack operations, suppression of
enemy air defenses, fighter escort, and fighter sweep. Also called OCA. See also
counterair; defensive counterair; operation. (JP 3-01)

offensive counterair attack operations — Offensive action in support of the offensive
counterair mission against surface targets which contribute to the enemy’s air power
capabilities. Any part of the joint force may be tasked to conduct or support offensive
counterair attack operations. Also called OCA attack ops. See also counterair;
offensive counterair. (JP 3-01)

offensive minefield — In naval mine warfare, a minefield laid in enemy territorial water or
waters under enemy control. (JP 3-15)

offensive space control — Those operations to prevent an adversary’s hostile use of
US/third party space capabilities and services or negate (disrupt, deny, degrade,
deceive, or destroy) an adversary’s space capabilities. (JP 3-14)

office — An enduring organization that is formed around a specific function within a joint
force commander’s headquarters to coordinate and manage support requirements.
(JP 3-33)

officer in tactical command — In maritime usage, the senior officer present eligible to
assume command, or the officer to whom the senior officer has delegated tactical
command. Also called OTC.

officer of the deck — The officer of the deck under way has been designated by the
commanding officer to be in charge of the ship, including its safe and proper operation.
The officer of the deck reports directly to the commanding officer for the safe
navigation and general operation of the ship, to the executive officer (and command
duty officer if appointed) for carrying out the ship’s routine, and to the navigator on
sighting navigational landmarks and making course and speed changes. Also called
OOD. (JP 3-04)

official information — Information that is owned by, produced for or by, or is subject to
the control of the United States Government.

off-load preparation party — A temporary task organization of Navy and Marine
maintenance, embarkation, equipment operators, and cargo-handling personnel
deployed to the maritime pre-positioning ship before or during its transit to the
objective area to prepare the ship’s off-load systems and embarked equipment for offload.
Also called OPP. See also task organization. (JP 3-35)

offset bombing — (*) Any bombing procedure which employs a reference or aiming point
other than the actual target.

offset costs — Costs for which funds have been appropriated that may not be incurred as a
result of a contingency operation. Those funds may then be applied to the cost of the
operation. See also contingency operation. (JP 1-06)

offset distance (nuclear) — The distance the desired ground zero or actual ground zero is
offset from the center of an area target or from a point target.

offset lasing — The technique of aiming a laser designator at a point other than the target
and, after laser acquisition, moving the laser to designate the target for terminal attack
guidance. See also laser target designator. (JP 3-09.1)

offshore assets — Oil and gas facilities, mining and industrial installations, ocean thermal
energy conversion facilities, deep water ports, aids to navigation, and nuclear power
plants located or in operation seaward of the coastline.

offshore bulk fuel system — The system used for transferring fuel from points offshore to
reception facilities on the beach. It consists of two subsystems: amphibious bulk liquid
transfer system and the offshore petroleum discharge system. See also amphibious
bulk liquid transfer system; offshore petroleum discharge system. (JP 4-01.6)

offshore patrol — (*) A naval defense patrol operating in the outer areas of navigable
coastal waters. It is a part of the naval local defense forces consisting of naval ships
and aircraft and operates outside those areas assigned to the inshore patrol.

offshore petroleum discharge system — Provides a semipermanent, all-weather facility
for bulk transfer of petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) directly from an offshore
tanker to a beach termination unit (BTU) located immediately inland from the high
watermark. POL then is either transported inland or stored in the beach support area.
Major offshore petroleum discharge systems (OPDS) components are: the OPDS
tanker with booster pumps and spread mooring winches; a recoverable single anchor
leg mooring (SALM) to accommodate tankers of up to 70,000 deadweight tons; ship to
SALM hoselines; up to 4 miles of 6-inch (internal diameter) conduit for pumping to the
beach; and two BTUs to interface with the shoreside systems. OPDS can support a
two-line system for multiproduct discharge, but ship standoff distance is reduced from
4 to 2 miles. Amphibious construction battalions install the OPDS with underwater
construction team assistance. OPDS are embarked on selected Ready Reserve Force
tankers modified to support the system. Also called OPDS. See also facility;
petroleum, oils, and lubricants; single-anchor leg mooring. (JP 4-01.6)

off-the-shelf item — An item that has been developed and produced to military or
commercial standards and specifications, is readily available for delivery from an
industrial source, and may be procured without change to satisfy a military

oiler — (*) A naval or merchant tanker specially equipped and rigged for replenishing
other ships at sea.

on berth — Said of a ship when it is properly moored to a quay, wharf, jetty, pier, or buoy
or when it is at anchor and available for loading or discharging passengers and cargo.

on-call — 1. A term used to signify that a prearranged concentration, air strike, or final
protective fire may be called for. 2. Preplanned, identified force or materiel
requirements without designated time-phase and destination information. Such
requirements will be called forward upon order of competent authority. See also call
for fire.

on-call resupply — A resupply mission planned before insertion of a special operations
team into the operations area but not executed until requested by the operating team.
See also automatic resupply; emergency resupply. (JP 3-05.1)

on-call target — Planned target upon which fires or other actions are determined using
deliberate targeting and triggered, when detected or located, using dynamic targeting.
See also dynamic targeting; on-call; operational area; planned target; target.
(JP 3-60)

on-call target (nuclear) — A planned nuclear target other than a scheduled nuclear target
for which a need can be anticipated but which will be delivered upon request rather
than at a specific time. Coordination and warning of friendly troops and aircraft are

on-call wave — See wave.

one day’s supply — (*) A unit or quantity of supplies adopted as a standard of
measurement, used in estimating the average daily expenditure under stated conditions.
It may also be expressed in terms of a factor, e.g., rounds of ammunition per weapon
per day.

one-look circuit — (*) A mine circuit which requires actuation by a given influence once

on hand — The quantity of an item that is physically available in a storage location and
contained in the accountable property book records of an issuing activity.

on-scene commander — 1. An individual in the immediate vicinity of an isolating event
who temporarily assumes command of the incident. 2. The federal officer designated
to direct federal crisis and consequence management efforts at the scene of a terrorist or
weapons of mass destruction incident. Also called OSC. (JP 3-50)

on-station time — The time an aircraft can remain on station. May be determined by
endurance or orders.

open improved storage space — Open area that has been graded and hard surfaced or
prepared with topping of some suitable material so as to permit effective materials
handling operations. See also storage.

open ocean — Ocean limit defined as greater than 12 nautical miles (nm) from shore, as
compared with high seas that are over 200 nm from shore. See also contiguous zone.

open route — (*) A route not subject to traffic or movement control restrictions.

open-source intelligence — Information of potential intelligence value that is available to
the general public. Also called OSINT. See also intelligence. (JP 2-0)

open unimproved wet space — That water area specifically allotted to and usable for
storage of floating equipment. See also storage.

operating forces — Those forces whose primary missions are to participate in combat and
the integral supporting elements thereof. See also combat forces; combat service
support element; combat support elements.

operating level of supply — The quantities of materiel required to sustain operations in the
interval between requisitions or the arrival of successive shipments. These quantities
should be based on the established replenishment period (monthly, quarterly, etc.)

operation — 1. A military action or the carrying out of a strategic, operational, tactical,
service, training, or administrative military mission. 2. The process of carrying on
combat, including movement, supply, attack, defense, and maneuvers needed to gain
the objectives of any battle or campaign.

operational architecture — Descriptions of the tasks, operational elements, and
information flows required to accomplish or support a warfighting function.

operational area — An overarching term encompassing more descriptive terms for
geographic areas in which military operations are conducted. Operational areas
include, but are not limited to, such descriptors as area of responsibility, theater of war,
theater of operations, joint operations area, amphibious objective area, joint special
operations area, and area of operations. Also called OA. See also amphibious
objective area; area of operations; area of responsibility; joint operations area;
joint special operations area; theater of operations; theater of war. (JP 3-0)

operational art — The application of creative imagination by commanders and staffs —
supported by their skill, knowledge, and experience — to design strategies, campaigns,
and major operations and organize and employ military forces. Operational art
integrates ends, ways, and means across the levels of war. (JP 3-0)

operational authority — That authority exercised by a commander in the chain of
command, defined further as combatant command (command authority), operational
control, tactical control, or a support relationship. See also combatant command
(command authority); in support of; operational control; support; tactical
control. (JP 1)

operational characteristics — Those military characteristics that pertain primarily to the
functions to be performed by equipment, either alone or in conjunction with other
equipment; e.g., for electronic equipment, operational characteristics include such items
as frequency coverage, channeling, type of modulation, and character of emission.

operational contract support — The process of planning for and obtaining supplies,
services, and construction from commercial sources in support of joint operations along
with the associated contractor management functions. (JP 4-10)

operational control — 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.
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 training. Also called OPCON. See also
combatant command; combatant command (command authority); tactical
control. (JP 1)

operational control authority — (*) The naval commander responsible within a specified
geographical area for the naval control of all merchant shipping under Allied naval
control. Also called OCA.

operational decontamination — (*) Decontamination carried out by an individual and/or
a unit, restricted to specific parts of operationally essential equipment, materiel and/or
working areas, in order to minimize contact and transfer hazards and to sustain
operations. This may include decontamination of the individual beyond the scope of
immediate decontamination, as well as decontamination of mission-essential spares and
limited terrain decontamination. See also decontamination; immediate
decontamination; thorough decontamination. (JP 3-11)

operational design — The conception and construction of the framework that underpins a
campaign or major operation plan and its subsequent execution. See also campaign;
major operation. (JP 3-0)

operational design element — A key consideration used in operational design. (JP 3-0)

operational documentation — Visual information documentation of activities to convey
information about people, places, and things. It is general purpose documentation
normally accomplished in peacetime. Also called OPDOC. See also visual
information documentation.

operational environment — A composite of the conditions, circumstances, and influences
that affect the employment of capabilities and bear on the decisions of the commander.
(JP 3-0)

operational evaluation — The test and analysis of a specific end item or system, insofar as
practicable under Service operating conditions, in order to determine if quantity
production is warranted considering: a. the increase in military effectiveness to be
gained; and b. its effectiveness as compared with currently available items or systems,
consideration being given to: (1) personnel capabilities to maintain and operate the
equipment; (2) size, weight, and location considerations; and (3) enemy capabilities in
the field. See also technical evaluation.

operational exposure guide — The maximum amount of nuclear/external ionizing
radiation that the commander considers a unit may be permitted to receive while
performing a particular mission or missions. Also called OEG. See also radiation
exposure status. (JP 3-11)

operational intelligence — Intelligence that is required for planning and conducting
campaigns and major operations to accomplish strategic objectives within theaters or
operational areas. See also intelligence; strategic intelligence; tactical intelligence.
(JP 2-0)

operational level of war — The level of war at which campaigns and major operations are
planned, conducted, and sustained to achieve strategic objectives within theaters or
other operational areas. Activities at this level link tactics and strategy by establishing
operational objectives needed to achieve the strategic objectives, sequencing events to
achieve the operational objectives, initiating actions, and applying resources to bring
about and sustain these events. See also strategic level of war; tactical level of war.
(JP 3-0)

operational limitation — An action required or prohibited by higher authority, such as a
constraint or a restraint, and other restrictions that limit the commander’s freedom of
action, such as diplomatic agreements, rules of engagement, political and economic
conditions in affected countries, and host nation issues. See also constraint; restraint.
(JP 5-0)

operationally ready — 1. A unit, ship, or weapon system capable of performing the
missions or functions for which organized or designed. Incorporates both equipment
readiness and personnel readiness. 2. Personnel available and qualified to perform
assigned missions or functions.

operational necessity — A mission associated with war or peacetime operations in which
the consequences of an action justify the risk of loss of aircraft and crew. See also
mission. (JP 3-04)

operational pause — A temporary halt in operations. (JP 5-0)

operational procedures — (*) The detailed methods by which headquarters and units
carry out their operational tasks.

operational reach — The distance and duration across which a unit can successfully
employ military capabilities. (JP 3-0)

operational readiness — (*) The capability of a unit/formation, ship, weapon system, or
equipment to perform the missions or functions for which it is organized or designed.
May be used in a general sense or to express a level or degree of readiness. Also called
OR. See also combat readiness.

operational readiness evaluation — (*) An evaluation of the operational capability and
effectiveness of a unit or any portion thereof.

operational requirement — See military requirement.

Operational Requirements Document — A formatted statement containing performance
and related operational parameters for the proposed concept or system. Prepared by the
user or user’s representative at each milestone beginning with Milestone I, Concept
Demonstration Approval of the Requirements Generation Process. Also called ORD.

operational reserve — An emergency reserve of men and/or materiel established for the
support of a specific operation. See also reserve supplies.

operational route — (*) Land route allocated to a command for the conduct of a specific
operation; derived from the corresponding basic military route network.

operational support airlift — Operational support airlift (OSA) missions are movements
of high-priority passengers and cargo with time, place, or mission-sensitive
requirements. OSA aircraft are those fixed-wing aircraft acquired and/or retained
exclusively for OSA missions, as well as any other Department of Defense-owned or
controlled aircraft, fixed- or rotary-wing, used for OSA purposes. Also called OSA.
See also aircraft. (JP 4-01)

operational testing — A continuing process of evaluation that may be applied to either
operational personnel or situations to determine their validity or reliability.

operational training — (*) Training that develops, maintains, or improves the operational
readiness of individuals or units.

operation and maintenance — Maintenance and repair of real property, operation of
utilities, and provision of other services such as refuse collection and disposal,
entomology, snow removal, and ice alleviation. Also called O&M. (JP 3-34)

operation annexes — Those amplifying instructions that are of such a nature, or are so
voluminous or technical, as to make their inclusion in the body of the plan or order

operation map — A map showing the location and strength of friendly forces involved in
an operation. It may indicate predicted movement and location of enemy forces. See
also map.

operation order — A directive issued by a commander to subordinate commanders for the
purpose of effecting the coordinated execution of an operation. Also called OPORD.

operation plan — 1. Any plan for the conduct of military operations prepared in response
to actual and potential contingencies. 2. In the context of joint operation planning level
4 planning detail, a complete and detailed joint plan containing a full description of the
concept of operations, all annexes applicable to the plan, and a time-phased force and
deployment data. It identifies the specific forces, functional support, and resources
required to execute the plan and provide closure estimates for their flow into the
theater. Also called OPLAN. See also operation order. (JP 5-0)

operations center — The facility or location on an installation, base, or facility used by the
commander to command, control, and coordinate all operational activities. Also called
OC. See also base defense operations center; command center. (JP 3-07.2)

operations research — The analytical study of military problems undertaken to provide
responsible commanders and staff agencies with a scientific basis for decision on action
to improve military operations. Also called operational research; operations

operations security — 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 adversary 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. See also operations security indicators; operations security
measures; operations security planning guidance; operations security
vulnerability. (JP 3-13.3)

operations security indicators — Friendly detectable actions and open-source information
that can be interpreted or pieced together by an adversary to derive critical information.
operations security measures — Methods and means to gain and maintain essential
secrecy about critical information. See also operations security. (JP 3-13.3)

operations security planning guidance — Guidance that serves as the blueprint for
operations security planning by all functional elements throughout the organization. It
defines the critical information that requires protection from adversary appreciations,
taking into account friendly and adversary goals, estimated key adversary questions,
probable adversary knowledge, desirable and harmful adversary appreciations, and
pertinent intelligence system threats. It also should outline provisional operations
security measures to ensure the requisite essential secrecy.

operations security vulnerability — A condition in which friendly actions provide
operations security indicators that may be obtained and accurately evaluated by an
adversary in time to provide a basis for effective adversary decisionmaking.

operations support element — An element that is responsible for all administrative,
operations support and services support functions within the counterintelligence and
human intelligence staff element of a joint force intelligence directorate. Also called
OSE. (JP 2-01.2)

operations to restore order — Operations intended to halt violence and support, reinstate,
or establish civil authorities. They are designed to return an unstable and lawless
environment to the point where indigenous police forces can effectively enforce the law
and restore civil authority. See also operation; peace operations. (JP 3-07.3)

opportune lift — That portion of lift capability available for use after planned requirements
have been met.

opportunity target — See target of opportunity.

opposite numbers — Officers (including foreign) having corresponding duty assignments
within their respective Military Services or establishments.

optical axis — (*) In a lens element, the straight line which passes through the centers of
curvature of the lens surfaces. In an optical system, the line formed by the coinciding
principal axes of the series of optical elements.

optical minehunting — (*) The use of an optical system (e.g., television or towed diver) to
detect and classify mines or minelike objects on or protruding from the seabed.

optimum height — (*) The height of an explosion which will produce the maximum effect
against a given target.

optimum height of burst — (*) For nuclear weapons and for a particular target (or area),
the height at which it is estimated a weapon of a specified energy yield will produce a
certain desired effect over the maximum possible area.

orbital injection — The process of providing a space vehicle with sufficient velocity to
establish an orbit.

orbit determination — The process of describing the past, present, or predicted position of
a satellite in terms of orbital parameters.

orbit point — (*) A geographically or electronically defined location used in stationing
aircraft in flight during tactical operations when a predetermined pattern is not
established. See also holding point. (JP 3-50)

order — (*) A communication, written, oral, or by signal, which conveys instructions from
a superior to a subordinate. (DOD only) In a broad sense, the terms “order” and
“command” are synonymous. However, an order implies discretion as to the details of
execution whereas a command does not.

order and shipping time — The time elapsing between the initiation of stock
replenishment action for a specific activity and the receipt by that activity of the
materiel resulting from such action. Order and shipping time is applicable only to
materiel within the supply system, and it is composed of the distinct elements, order
time, and shipping time.

ordered departure — A procedure by which the number of US Government personnel,
their dependents, or both are reduced at a foreign service post. Departure is directed by
the Department of State (initiated by the chief of mission or the Secretary of State) to
designated safe havens with implementation of the combatant commander
noncombatant evacuation operations plan. (JP 3-68)

order of battle — (*) The identification, strength, command structure, and disposition
of the personnel, units, and equipment of any military force. Also called OB; OOB.
(JP 2-01.3)

order time — 1. The time elapsing between the initiation of stock replenishment action and
submittal of requisition or order. 2. The time elapsing between the submittal of
requisition or order and shipment of materiel by the supplying activity. See also order
and shipping time.

ordinary transport — (*) In railway terminology, transport of a load whose size, weight,
or preparation does not entail special difficulties vis-à-vis the facilities or equipment of
the railway systems to be used. See also exceptional transport.

ordnance — Explosives, chemicals, pyrotechnics, and similar stores, e.g., bombs, guns and
ammunition, flares, smoke, or napalm.

organic — Assigned to and forming an essential part of a military organization. Organic
parts of a unit are those listed in its table of organization for the Army, Air Force, and
Marine Corps, and are assigned to the administrative organizations of the operating
forces for the Navy.

organizational equipment — Referring to method of use: signifies that equipment (other
than individual equipment) used in furtherance of the common mission of an
organization or unit. See also equipment.

organizational maintenance — That maintenance that is the responsibility of and
performed by a using organization on its assigned equipment. Its phases normally
consist of inspecting, servicing, lubricating, and adjusting, as well as the replacing of
parts, minor assemblies, and subassemblies.

organization for combat — In amphibious operations, task organization of landing force
units for combat, involving combinations of command, ground and aviation combat,
combat support, and combat service support units for accomplishment of missions
ashore. See also amphibious operation; task organization. (JP 3-02)

organization for embarkation — In amphibious operations, the organization for
embarkation consisting of temporary landing force task organizations established by
the commander, landing force and a temporary organization of Navy forces established
by the commander, amphibious task force for the purpose of simplifying planning and
facilitating the execution of embarkation. See also amphibious operation;
embarkation; landing force; task organization. (JP 3-02)

organization for landing — In amphibious operations, the specific tactical grouping of the
landing force for the assault. (JP 3-02)

organization of the ground — (*) The development of a defensive position by
strengthening the natural defenses of the terrain and by assignment of the occupying
troops to specific localities.

Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force — A network of 13 regional organized
crime drug enforcement task forces designed to coordinate Federal law enforcement
efforts to combat the national and international organizations that cultivate, process,
and distribute illicit drugs. Also called OCDETF. (JP 3-07.4)

origin — Beginning point of a deployment where unit or non-unit-related cargo or
personnel are located.

original destination — (*) In naval control of shipping, the original final destination of a
convoy or an individual ship (whether in convoy or independent). This is particularly
applicable to the original destination of a voyage begun in peacetime.

original negative — See generation (photography).

original positive — See generation (photography).

originating medical facility — (*) A medical facility that initially transfers a patient to
another medical facility. (JP 4-02)

originator — The command by whose authority a message is sent. The responsibility of
the originator includes the responsibility for the functions of the drafter and the
releasing officer. See also releasing officer.

oropesa sweep — (*) In naval mine warfare, a form of sweep in which a length of sweep
wire is towed by a single ship, lateral displacement being caused by an otter and depth
being controlled at the ship end by a kite and at the other end by a float and float wire.

orthomorphic projection — (*) A projection in which the scale, although varying
throughout the map, is the same in all directions at any point, so that very small areas
are represented by correct shape and bearings are correct.

oscillating mine — (*) A mine, hydrostatically controlled, which maintains a pre-set depth
below the surface of the water independently of the rise and fall of the tide. See also

other detainee — Person in the custody of the US Armed Forces who has not been
classified as an enemy prisoner of war (article 4, Geneva Convention of 1949 Relative
to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (GPW)), retained personnel (article 33, GPW), or
civilian internee (article 78, Geneva Convention). Also called OD. See also civilian
internee; custody; detainee; prisoner of war; retained personnel. (JP 1-0)

other government agency — Within the context of interagency coordination, a non
Department of Defense agency of the United States Government. Also called OGA.
(JP 1)

other war reserve materiel requirement — War reserve materiel requirement less the
pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement.

other war reserve materiel requirement, balance — That portion of the other war reserve
materiel requirement that has not been acquired or funded. This level consists of the
other war reserve materiel requirement less the other war reserve materiel requirement

other war reserve materiel requirement, protectable — The portion of the other war
reserve materiel requirement that is protected for purposes of procurement, funding,
and inventory management.

other war reserve stock — The quantity of an item acquired and placed in stock against the
other war reserve materiel requirement.

otter — (*) In naval mine warfare, a device which, when towed, displaces itself sideways
to a predetermined distance.

outbound traffic — Traffic originating in the continental United States destined for
overseas or overseas traffic moving in a general direction away from the continental
United States.

outer fix — A fix in the destination terminal area, other than the approach fix, to which
aircraft are normally cleared by an air route traffic control center or a terminal area
traffic control facility, and from which aircraft are cleared to the approach fix or final
approach course.

outer landing ship areas — In amphibious operations, areas to which landing ships
proceed initially after their arrival in the objective area. They are usually located on the
flanks of the outer transport areas. (JP 3-02)

outer transport area — In amphibious operations, an area inside the antisubmarine screen
to which assault transports proceed initially after arrival in the objective area. See also
inner transport area; transport area.

outline map — (*) A map which represents just sufficient geographic information to
permit the correlation of additional data placed upon it.

outline plan — (*) A preliminary plan which outlines the salient features or principles of a
course of action prior to the initiation of detailed planning.

outsized cargo — Cargo that exceeds the dimensions of oversized cargo and requires the
use of a C-5 or C-17 aircraft or surface transportation. A single item that exceeds 1,000
inches long by 117 inches wide by 105 inches high in any one dimension. See also
oversized cargo. (JP 4-01.6)

overhaul — The restoration of an item to a completely serviceable condition as prescribed
by maintenance serviceability standards. See also rebuild; repair.

overhead clearance — The vertical distance between the route surface and any obstruction
above it.

overlap — 1. In photography, the amount by which one photograph includes the same area
covered by another, customarily expressed as a percentage. The overlap between
successive air photographs on a flight line is called “forward overlap.” The overlap
between photographs in adjacent parallel flight lines is called “side overlap.” 2. In
cartography, that portion of a map or chart that overlaps the area covered by another of
the same series. 3. In naval mine warfare, the width of that part of the swept path of a
ship or formation that is also swept by an adjacent sweeper or formation or is reswept
on the next adjacent lap.

overlay — A printing or drawing on a transparent or semi-transparent medium at the same
scale as a map, chart, etc., to show details not appearing or requiring special emphasis
on the original.

overpressure — (*) The pressure resulting from the blast wave of an explosion. It is
referred to as “positive” when it exceeds atmospheric pressure and “negative” during
the passage of the wave when resulting pressures are less than atmospheric pressure.
(JP 3-11)

overprint — (*) Information printed or stamped upon a map or chart, in addition to that
originally printed, to show data of importance or special use.

overseas — All locations, including Alaska and Hawaii, outside the continental United

Overseas Environmental Baseline Guidance Document — A set of objective criteria and
management practices developed by the Department of Defense to protect human
health and the environment. Also called OEBGD. (JP 3-34)

overseas search and rescue region — Overseas unified command areas (or portions
thereof not included within the inland region or the maritime region). See also search
and rescue region.

oversized cargo — 1. Large items of specific equipment such as a barge, side loadable
warping tug, causeway section, powered, or causeway section, nonpowered. Requires
transport by sea. 2. Air cargo exceeding the usable dimension of a 463L pallet loaded
to the design height of 96 inches, but equal to or less than 1,000 inches in length, 117
inches in width, and 105 inches in height. This cargo is air transportable on the C-5, C-
17, C-141, C-130, KC-10 and most civilian contract cargo carriers. See also outsized
cargo. (JP 3-17)

over the beach operations — See logistics over-the-shore operations.
over-the-horizon amphibious operations — An operational initiative launched from
beyond visual and radar range of the shoreline. (JP 3-02)

over-the-horizon radar — A radar system that makes use of the atmospheric reflection and
refraction phenomena to extend its range of detection beyond line of sight.
Over-the-horizon radars may be either forward scatter or back scatter systems.

overt operation — An operation conducted openly, without concealment. See also
clandestine operation; covert operation. (JP 3-05.1)

overt peacetime psychological operations programs — Those programs developed by
combatant commands, in coordination with the chiefs of US diplomatic missions, that
plan, support, and provide for the conduct of psychological operations, during military
operations other than war, in support of US regional objectives, policies, interests, and
theater military missions. Also called OP3. See also psychological operations.
(JP 3-53)



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