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Military Terms and Definitions

sabotage — An act or acts with intent to injure, interfere with, or obstruct the national
defense of a country by willfully injuring or destroying, or attempting to injure or
destroy, any national defense or war materiel, premises, or utilities, to include human
and natural resources.

sabotage alert team — See security alert team.

safe anchorage — (*) An anchorage considered safe from enemy attack to which merchant
ships may be ordered to proceed when the shipping movement policy is implemented.
See also refuge area.

safe area — A designated area in hostile territory that offers the evader or escapee a
reasonable chance of avoiding capture and of surviving until he or she can be

safe burst height — (*) The height of burst at or above which the level of fallout or damage
to ground installations is at a predetermined level acceptable to the military
commander. See also types of burst.

safe current — (*) In naval mine warfare, the maximum current that can be supplied to a
sweep in a given waveform and pulse cycle which does not produce a danger area with
respect to the mines being swept for.

safe depth — (*) In naval mine warfare, the shallowest depth of water in which a ship will
not actuate a bottom mine of the type under consideration. Safe depth is usually quoted
for conditions of ship upright, calm sea, and a given speed.

safe distance — (*) In naval mine warfare, the horizontal range from the edge of the
explosion damage area to the center of the sweeper.

safe haven — 1. Designated area(s) to which noncombatants of the United States
Government’s responsibility and commercial vehicles and materiel may be evacuated
during a domestic or other valid emergency. 2. Temporary storage provided to
Department of Energy classified shipment transporters at Department of Defense
facilities in order to assure safety and security of nuclear material and/or nonnuclear
classified material. Also includes parking for commercial vehicles containing Class A
or Class B explosives. 3. A protected body of water or the well deck of an amphibious
ship used by small craft operating offshore for refuge from storms or heavy seas.
(JP 4-01.6)

safe house — An innocent-appearing house or premises established by an organization for
the purpose of conducting clandestine or covert activity in relative security.

safe separation distance — (*) The minimum distance between the delivery system and
the weapon beyond which the hazards associated with functioning (detonation) are

safety and arming mechanism — (*) A dual function device which prevents the
unintended activation of a main charge or propulsion unit prior to arming, but allows
activation thereafter upon receipt of the appropriate stimuli.

safety device — (*) A device which prevents unintentional functioning.

safety distance — (*) In road transport, the distance between vehicles traveling in column
specified by the command in light of safety requirements.

safety fuze — A pyrotechnic contained in a flexible and weather-proof sheath burning at a
timed and constant rate; used to transmit a flame to the detonator.

safety height — See altitude; minimum safe altitude.

safety lane — (*) Specified sea lane designated for use in transit by submarine and surface
ships to prevent attack by friendly forces.

safety level of supply — The quantity of materiel, in addition to the operating level of
supply, required to be on hand to permit continuous operations in the event of minor
interruption of normal replenishment or unpredictable fluctuations in demand.

safety line — (*) In land mine warfare, demarcation line for trip wire or wire-actuated
mines in a minefield. It serves to protect the laying personnel. After the minefield is
laid, this line is neither marked on the ground nor plotted on the minefield record.

safety wire — (*) A cable, wire, or lanyard attached to the aircraft and routed to an
expendable aircraft store to prevent arming initiation prior to store release.

safety zone — (*) An area (land, sea, or air) reserved for noncombat operations of friendly
aircraft, surface ships, submarines, or ground forces. (Note: DOD does not use the
word “submarines”.)

safing — As applied to weapons and ammunition, the changing from a state of readiness for
initiation to a safe condition. Also called de-arming.

safing and arming mechanism — A mechanism whose primary purpose is to prevent an
unintended functioning of the main charge of the ammunition prior to completion of the
arming delay and, in turn, allow the explosive train of the ammunition to function after

salted weapon — (*) A nuclear weapon which has, in addition to its normal components,
certain elements or isotopes which capture neutrons at the time of the explosion and
produce radioactive products over and above the usual radioactive weapon debris. See
also minimum residual radioactivity weapon.

salvage — 1. Property that has some value in excess of its basic material content but is in
such condition that it has no reasonable prospect of use for any purpose as a unit and its
repair or rehabilitation for use as a unit is clearly impractical. 2. The saving or
rescuing of condemned, discarded, or abandoned property, and of materials contained
therein for reuse, refabrication, or scrapping.

salvage group — In an amphibious operation, a naval task organization designated and
equipped to rescue personnel and to salvage equipment and material.

salvage operation — 1. The recovery, evacuation, and reclamation of damaged, discarded,
condemned, or abandoned allied or enemy materiel, ships, craft, and floating equipment
for reuse, repair, refabrication, or scrapping. 2. Naval salvage operations include
harbor and channel clearance, diving, hazardous towing and rescue tug services, and
the recovery of materiel, ships, craft, and floating equipment sunk offshore or
elsewhere stranded.

salvo — 1. In naval gunfire support, a method of fire in which a number of weapons are
fired at the same target simultaneously. 2. In close air support or air interdiction
operations, a method of delivery in which the release mechanisms are operated to
release or fire all ordnance of a specific type simultaneously.

sanction enforcement — Operations that employ coercive measures to interdict the
movement of certain types of designated items into or out of a nation or specified area.
(JP 3-0)

sanctuary — A nation or area near or contiguous to the combat area that, by tacit agreement
between the warring powers, is exempt from attack and therefore serves as a refuge for
staging, logistic, or other activities of the combatant powers.

sanitize — To revise a report or other document in such a fashion as to prevent
identification of sources, or of the actual persons and places with which it is concerned,
or of the means by which it was acquired. Usually involves deletion or substitution of
names and other key details.

 satellite and missile surveillance — The systematic observation of aerospace for the
purpose of detecting, tracking, and characterizing objects, events, and phenomena
associated with satellites and inflight missiles, friendly and enemy. See also

S-bend distortion — See S-curve distortion.

scale — (*) The ratio or fraction between the distance on a map, chart, or photograph and
the corresponding distance on the surface of the Earth. See also conversion scale;
graphic scale; photographic scale; principal scale.

scale (photographic) — See photographic scale.

scaling law — (*) A mathematical relationship which permits the effects of a nuclear
explosion of given energy yield to be determined as a function of distance from the
explosion (or from ground zero) provided the corresponding effect is known as a
function of distance for a reference explosion, e.g., of 1-kiloton energy yield.

scan — 1. The path periodically followed by a radiation beam. 2. In electronic
intelligence, the motion of an electronic beam through space looking for a target.
Scanning is produced by the motion of the antenna or by lobe switching. See also
electronic intelligence.

scan line — (*) The line produced on a recording medium frame by a single sweep of a

scan period — The period taken by a radar, sonar, etc., to complete a scan pattern and
return to a starting point.

scan rate — (*) The rate at which individual scans are recorded.

scan type — The path made in space by a point on the radar beam; for example, circular,
helical, conical, spiral, or sector.

scatterable mine — IIn land mine warfare, a mine laid without regard to classical pattern
and which is designed to be delivered by aircraft, artillery, missile, ground dispenser, or
by hand. Once laid, it normally has a limited life. See also mine. (JP 3-15)

scene of action commander — In antisubmarine warfare, the commander at the scene of
contact. The commander is usually in a ship, or may be in a fixed-wing aircraft,
helicopter, or submarine.

scheduled arrival date — The projected arrival date of a specified movement requirement
at a specified location.

scheduled fire — (*) A type of prearranged fire executed at a predetermined time.

scheduled maintenance — Periodic prescribed inspection and/or servicing of equipment
accomplished on a calendar, mileage, or hours of operation basis. See also
organizational maintenance.

scheduled service (air transport) — A routine air transport service operated in accordance
with a timetable.

scheduled speed — (*) The planned sustained speed of a convoy through the water which
determines the speed classification of that convoy. See also convoy speed; critical
speed; declared speed.

scheduled target — Planned target upon which fires or other actions are scheduled for
prosecution at a specified time. See also planned target; target. (JP 3-60)

scheduled target (nuclear) — A planned target on which a nuclear weapon is to be
delivered at a specific time during the operation of the supported force. The time is
specified in terms of minutes before or after a designated time or in terms of the
accomplishment of a predetermined movement or task. Coordination and warning of
friendly troops and aircraft are mandatory.

scheduled wave — See wave.

schedule of fire — Groups of fires or series of fires fired in a definite sequence according to
a definite program. The time of starting the schedule may be ON CALL. For
identification purposes, schedules may be referred to by a code name or other

schedule of targets — In artillery, mortar, and naval gunfire support, individual targets,
groups, or series of targets to be fired on, in a definite sequence according to a definite

scheduling and movement — Joint Operation Planning and Execution System application
software providing the capability to create, update, allocate, manifest, and review
organic carrier information before and during deployment. It provides the ability to
review, analyze, and generate several predefined reports on an extensive variety of
scheduling and movement information. Also called S&M.

scheduling and movement capability — The capability required by Joint Operation
Planning and Execution System planners and operators to allow for review and update
of scheduling and movement data before and during implementation of a deployment

scheme of maneuver — Description of how arrayed forces will accomplish the
commander’s intent. It is the central expression of the commander’s concept for
operations and governs the design of supporting plans or annexes.

scientific and technical intelligence — The product resulting from the collection,
evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of foreign scientific and technical information
that covers: a. foreign developments in basic and applied research and in applied
engineering techniques; and b. scientific and technical characteristics, capabilities, and
limitations of all foreign military systems, weapons, weapon systems, and materiel; the
research and development related thereto; and the production methods employed for
their manufacture. Also called S&TI. See also intelligence; research; scientific
intelligence; technical intelligence. (JP 2-01)

scientific intelligence — See scientific and technical intelligence.

screen — (*) 1. An arrangement of ships, aircraft and/or submarines to protect a main
body or convoy. 2. In cartography, a sheet of transparent film, glass, or plastic
carrying a “ruling” or other regularly repeated pattern which may be used in
conjunction with a mask, either photographically or photomechanically, to produce
areas of the pattern. 3. In surveillance, camouflage and concealment, any natural or
artificial material, opaque to surveillance sensor(s), interposed between the sensor(s)
and the object to be camouflaged or concealed. See also concealment. 4. A security
element whose primary task is to observe, identify, and report information, and which
only fights in self-protection. See also flank guard; guard. 5. (DOD only) A task to
maintain surveillance; provide early warning to the main body; or impede, destroy, and
harass enemy reconnaissance within its capability without becoming decisively
engaged. See also security operations.

screening group — In amphibious operations, a task organization of ships that furnishes
protection to the task force en route to the objective area and during operations in the
objective area. (JP 3-02)

scribing — (*) In cartography, a method of preparing a map or chart by cutting the lines
into a prepared coating.

S-curve distortion — (*) The distortion in the image produced by a scanning sensor which
results from the forward displacement of the sensor during the time of lateral scan.

S-Day — See times.

sea-air-land team — US Navy forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct special
operations in maritime, littoral, and riverine environments. Also called SEAL.
(JP 3-05)

sea areas — Areas in the amphibious objective area designated for the stationing of
amphibious task force ships. Sea areas include inner transport area, sea echelon area,
fire support area, etc. See also amphibious objective area; fire support area; inner
transport area; sea echelon area. (JP 3-02)

sea barge — A type of barge-ship that can carry up to 38 loaded barges. It may also carry
tugs, stacked causeway sections, various watercraft, or heavy lift equipment to better
support joint logistics over-the-shore operations.

seabasing — In amphibious operations, a technique of basing certain landing force support
functions aboard ship which decreases shore-based presence. See also amphibious
operation. (JP 3-02)

seaborne forces — US or foreign combatants or auxiliary ships, including aircraft and
ground forces assigned to or emanating from such vessels and other military forces
operating in support of such forces and operating in, on, or over the sea.

sea control operations — The employment of naval forces, supported by land and air
forces as appropriate, in order to achieve military objectives in vital sea areas. Such
operations include destruction of enemy naval forces, suppression of enemy sea
commerce, protection of vital sea lanes, and establishment of local military superiority
in areas of naval operations. See also land control operations.

sea echelon — (*) A portion of the assault shipping which withdraws from or remains out
of the transport area during an amphibious landing and operates in designated areas to
seaward in an on-call or unscheduled status. (JP 3-02)

sea echelon area — In amphibious operations, an area to seaward of a transport area from
which assault shipping is phased into the transport area, and to which assault shipping
withdraws from the transport area. (JP 3-02)

sea echelon plan — In amphibious operations, the distribution plan for amphibious
shipping in the transport area to minimize losses due to enemy attack by weapons of
mass destruction and to reduce the area to be swept of mines. See also amphibious
operation. (JP 3-02)

sea frontier — The naval command of a coastal frontier, including the coastal zone in
addition to the land area of the coastal frontier and the adjacent sea areas.

sealed cabin — (*) The occupied space of an aircraft characterized by walls which do not
allow any gaseous exchange between the ambient atmosphere and the inside
atmosphere and containing its own ways of regenerating the inside atmosphere.

sealift enhancement features — Special equipment and modifications that adapt merchanttype
dry cargo ships and tankers to specific military missions. They are typically
installed on Ready Reserve Force ships or ships under Military Sealift Command
control. Sealift enhancements fall into three categories: productivity, survivability, and
operational enhancements. Also called SEFs. See also Military Sealift Command;
Ready Reserve. (JP 4-01.2)

Sealift Readiness Program — A standby contractual agreement between Military Sealift
Command and US ship operators for voluntary provision of private ships for defense
use. Call-up of ships may be authorized by joint approval of the Secretary of Defense
and the Secretary of Transportation. Also called SRP. See also Military Sealift

seaport — A land facility designated for reception of personnel or materiel moved by sea,
and that serves as an authorized port of entrance into or departure from the country in
which located. See also port of debarkation; port of embarkation. (JP 4-01.2)

search — 1. An operation to locate an enemy force known or believed to be at sea. 2. A
systematic reconnaissance of a defined area, so that all parts of the area have passed
within visibility. 3. To distribute gunfire over an area in depth by successive changes
in gun elevation.

search and rescue — The use of aircraft, surface craft, submarines, and specialized rescue
teams and equipment to search for and rescue distressed persons on land or at sea in a
permissive environment. Also called SAR. See also combat search and rescue;
isolated personnel; joint personnel recovery center; personnel recovery
coordination cell. (JP 3-50)

search and rescue alert notice — An alerting message used for United States domestic
flights. It corresponds to the declaration of the alert phase. Also called ALNOT. See
also search and rescue incident classification, subpart b.

search and rescue incident classification — Three emergency phases into which an
incident may be classified or progress, according to the seriousness of the incident and
its requirement for rescue service. a. uncertainty phase — Doubt exists as to the
safety of a craft or person because of knowledge of possible difficulties or because of
lack of information concerning progress or position. b. alert phase — Apprehension
exists for the safety of a craft or person because of definite information that serious
difficulties exist that do not amount to a distress or because of a continued lack of
information concerning progress or position. c. distress phase — Immediate
assistance is required by a craft or person because of being threatened by grave or
imminent danger or because of continued lack of information concerning progress or
position after procedures for the alert phase have been executed.

search and rescue region — See inland search and rescue region; maritime search and
rescue region; overseas search and rescue region.

search attack unit — The designation given to one or more ships and/or aircraft separately
organized or detached from a formation as a tactical unit to search for and destroy
submarines. Also called SAU.

searched channel — (*) In naval mine warfare, the whole or part of a route or a path which
has been searched, swept, or hunted, the width of the channel being specified.

searching fire — (*) Fire distributed in depth by successive changes in the elevation of a
gun. See also fire.

search jammer — See automatic search jammer.

search mission — (*) In air operations, an air reconnaissance by one or more aircraft
dispatched to locate an object or objects known or suspected to be in a specific area.

search radius — In search and rescue operations, a radius centered on a datum point having
a length equal to the total probable error plus an additional safety length to ensure a
greater than 50 percent probability that the target is in the search area.

search sweeping — (*) In naval mine warfare, the operation of sweeping a sample of route
or area to determine whether poised mines are present.

SEASHED — A temporary deck in container ships for transport of large military vehicles
and outsized breakbulk cargo that will not fit into containers. See also outsized cargo.
(JP 4-01.6)

sea state — A scale that categorizes the force of progressively higher seas by wave height.
This scale is mathematically co-related to the Pierson-Moskowitz scale and the
relationship of wind to waves. See also Pierson-Moskowitz scale. (JP 4-01.6)

sea surveillance — (*) The systematic observation of surface and subsurface sea areas by
all available and practicable means primarily for the purpose of locating, identifying
and determining the movements of ships, submarines, and other vehicles, friendly and
enemy, proceeding on or under the surface of the world’s seas and oceans. See also

sea surveillance system — (*) A system for collecting, reporting, correlating, and
presenting information supporting and derived from the task of sea surveillance.

seaward launch point — A designated point off the coast from which special operations
forces will launch to proceed to the beach to conduct operations. Also called SLP. See
also seaward recovery point. (JP 3-05.1)

seaward recovery point — A designated point off the coast to which special operations
forces will proceed for recovery by submarine or other means of recovery. Also called
SRP. See also seaward launch point. (JP 3-05.1)

secondary censorship — Armed forces censorship performed on the personal
communications of officers, civilian employees, and accompanying civilians of the
Armed Forces of the United States, and on those personal communications of enlisted
personnel of the Armed Forces not subject to Armed Forces primary censorship or
those requiring reexamination. See also censorship.

secondary imagery dissemination — See electronic imagery dissemination.
secondary imagery dissemination system — See electronic imagery dissemination.

secondary loads — Unit equipment, supplies, and major end items that are transported in
the beds of organic vehicles.

secondary port — (*) A port with one or more berths, normally at quays, which can
accommodate ocean-going ships for discharge.

secondary rescue facilities — Local airbase-ready aircraft, crash boats, and other air,
surface, subsurface, and ground elements suitable for rescue missions, including
government and privately operated units and facilities.

secondary road — A road supplementing a main road, usually wide enough and suitable
for two-way, all-weather traffic at moderate or slow speeds.

secondary wave breaker system — A series of waves superimposed on another series and
differing in height, period, or angle of approach to the beach. (JP 4-01.6)

second strike — The first counterblow of a war. (Generally associated with nuclear

secret — See security classification.

Secretary of a Military Department — The Secretary of the Air Force, Army, or Navy.

SECRET Internet Protocol Router Network — The worldwide SECRET-level packet
switch network that uses high-speed internet protocol routers and high-capacity
Defense Information Systems Network circuitry. Also called SIPRNET. See also
Defense Information Systems Network. (JP 6-0)

section — 1. As applied to ships or naval aircraft, a tactical subdivision of a division. It is
normally one-half of a division in the case of ships, and two aircraft in the case of
aircraft. 2. A subdivision of an office, installation, territory, works, or organization;
especially a major subdivision of a staff. 3. A tactical unit of the Army and Marine
Corps. A section is smaller than a platoon and larger than a squad. In some
organizations the section, rather than the squad, is the basic tactical unit. 4. An area in
a warehouse extending from one wall to the next; usually the largest subdivision of one

sector — (*) 1. An area designated by boundaries within which a unit operates, and for
which it is responsible. 2. One of the subdivisions of a coastal frontier. See also area
of influence; zone of action.

sector air defense commander — Commander subordinate to an area/regional air defense
commander and responsible for air and missile defenses in the assigned sector.
Exercises authorities delegated by the area/regional air defense commander. Also
called SADC. (JP 3-01)

sector of fire — (*) A defined area which is required to be covered by the fire of
individual or crew served weapons or the weapons of a unit.

sector scan — (*) Scan in which the antenna oscillates through a selected angle.

secure — (*) In an operational context, to gain possession of a position or terrain feature,
with or without force, and to make such disposition as will prevent, as far as possible,
its destruction or loss by enemy action. See also denial measure.

security — 1. Measures taken by a military unit, activity, or installation to protect itself
against all acts designed to, or which may, impair its effectiveness. 2. A condition that
results from the establishment and maintenance of protective measures that ensure a
state of inviolability from hostile acts or influences. 3. With respect to classified
matter, the condition that prevents unauthorized persons from having access to official
information that is safeguarded in the interests of national security. See also national

security alert team — Two or more security force members who form the initial
reinforcing element responding to security alarms, emergencies, or irregularities. Also
called SAT.

security assistance — Group of programs authorized by the Foreign Assistance Act of
1961, as amended, and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, as amended, or other
related statutes by which the United States provides defense articles, military training,
and other defense-related services by grant, loan, credit, or cash sales in furtherance of
national policies and objectives. Also called SA. See also security assistance
organization; security cooperation. (JP 3-57)

security assistance organization — All Department of Defense elements located in a
foreign country with assigned responsibilities for carrying out security assistance
management functions. It includes military assistance advisory groups, military
missions and groups, offices of defense and military cooperation, liaison groups, and
defense attaché personnel designated to perform security assistance functions. Also
called SAO. See also security assistance; security cooperation. (JP 3-07.1)

security certification — A certification issued by competent authority to indicate that a
person has been investigated and is eligible for access to classified matter to the extent
stated in the certification.

security classification — A category to which national security information and material is
assigned to denote the degree of damage that unauthorized disclosure would cause to
national defense or foreign relations of the United States and to denote the degree of
protection required. There are three such categories. a. top secret — National security
information or material that requires the highest degree of protection and the
unauthorized disclosure of which could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally
grave damage to the national security. Examples of “exceptionally grave damage”
include armed hostilities against the United States or its allies; disruption of foreign
relations vitally affecting the national security; the compromise of vital national defense
plans or complex cryptologic and communications intelligence systems; the revelation
of sensitive intelligence operations; and the disclosure of scientific or technological
developments vital to national security. b. secret — National security information or
material that requires a substantial degree of protection and the unauthorized disclosure
of which could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the national security.
Examples of “serious damage” include disruption of foreign relations significantly
affecting the national security; significant impairment of a program or policy directly
related to the national security; revelation of significant military plans or intelligence
operations; and compromise of significant scientific or technological developments
relating to national security. c. confidential — National security information or
material that requires protection and the unauthorized disclosure of which could
reasonably be expected to cause damage to the national security. See also
classification; security.

security clearance — An administrative determination by competent authority that an
individual is eligible, from a security stand-point, for access to classified information.

security cooperation — All Department of Defense interactions with foreign defense
establishments to build defense relationships that promote specific US security
interests, develop allied and friendly military capabilities for self-defense and
multinational operations, and provide US forces with peacetime and contingency
access to a host nation. See also security assistance; security assistance
organization. (JP 3-07.1)

security cooperation activity — Military activity that involves other nations and is
intended to shape the operational environment in peacetime. Activities include
programs and exercises that the US military conducts with other nations to improve
mutual understanding and improve interoperability with treaty partners or potential
coalition partners. They are designed to support a combatant commander’s theater
strategy as articulated in the theater security cooperation plan. (JP 3-0)

security cooperation planning — The subset of joint strategic planning conducted to
support the Department of Defense’s security cooperation program. This planning
supports a combatant commander’s theater strategy. See also security cooperation.
(JP 5-0)

security countermeasures — Those protective activities required to prevent espionage,
sabotage, theft, or unauthorized use of classified or controlled information, systems, or
material of the Department of Defense. See also counterintelligence. (JP 2-01.2)

security intelligence — (*) Intelligence on the identity, capabilities, and intentions of
hostile organizations or individuals who are or may be engaged in espionage, sabotage,
subversion, or terrorism. See also counterintelligence; intelligence; security.

security review — The process of reviewing news media products at some point, usually
before transmission, to ensure that no oral, written, or visual information is filed for
publication or broadcast that would divulge national security information or would
jeopardize ongoing or future operations or that would threaten the safety of the
members of the force. See also security. (JP 3-61)

sedition — Willfully advocating or teaching the duty or necessity of overthrowing the US
government or any political subdivision by force or violence. See also
counterintelligence. (JP 2-01.2)

segregation — In detainee operations, the removal of a detainee from other detainees and
their environment for legitimate purposes unrelated to interrogation, such as when
necessary for the movement, health, safety, and/or security of the detainee, the
detention facility, or its personnel. (JP 3-63)

seize — To employ combat forces to occupy physically and to control a designated area.
See also combat forces. (JP 3-18)

seizures — In counterdrug operations, includes drugs and conveyances seized by law
enforcement authorities and drug-related assets (monetary instruments, etc.) confiscated
based on evidence that they have been derived from or used in illegal narcotics
activities. See also counterdrug operations; law enforcement agency. (JP 3-07.4)

Selected Reserve — Those units and individuals within the Ready Reserve designated by
their respective Services and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff as so essential to
initial wartime missions that they have priority over all other Reserves. Selected
Reservists actively participate in a Reserve Component training program. The Selected
Reserve also includes persons performing initial active duty for training. See also
Ready Reserve. (JP 4-05)

Selected Reserve strength — The total number of guardsmen and reservists in the Selected
Reserve who are subject to the 200K Presidential recall or mobilization under
declaration of war or national emergency.

selective identification feature — A capability that, when added to the basic identification
friend or foe system, provides the means to transmit, receive, and display selected
coded replies.

selective jamming — See spot jamming.

selective loading — (*) The arrangement and stowage of equipment and supplies aboard
ship in a manner designed to facilitate issues to units. See also loading.

selective mobilization — See mobilization, Part 2.

selective release process — The process involving requesting, analyzing, and obtaining
approval for release of weapons to obtain specific, limited damage on selected targets.

selective unloading — In an amphibious operation, the controlled unloading from assault
shipping, and movement ashore, of specific items of cargo at the request of the landing
force commander. Normally, selective unloading parallels the landing of nonscheduled
units during the initial unloading period of the ship-to-shore movement. (JP 3-02.2)

selenodesy — That branch of applied mathematics that determines, by observation and
measurement, the exact positions of points and the figures and areas of large portions of
the moon’s surface, or the shape and size of the moon.

self-defense — A commander has the authority and obligation to use all necessary means
available and to take all appropriate action to defend that commander’s unit and other
US forces in the vicinity from a hostile act or hostile intent. Force used should not
exceed that which is necessary to decisively counter the hostile act or intent and ensure
the continued safety of US forces or other persons and property they are ordered to
protect. US forces may employ such force in self-defense only so long as the hostile
force continues to present an imminent threat.

self-destroying fuze — (*) A fuze designed to burst a projectile before the end of its flight.

self-protection depth — (*) The depth of water where the aggregate danger width relative
to mines affected by a minesweeping technique is zero. Safe depth is a particular
self-protection depth.

self-sustaining containership — A containership with shipboard-installed cranes capable
of loading and off-loading containers without assistance of port crane service. See also
containership. (JP 4-01.7)

semi-active homing guidance — (*) A system of homing guidance wherein the receiver in
the missile utilizes radiations from the target which has been illuminated by an outside

semi-controlled mosaic — (*) A mosaic composed of corrected or uncorrected prints laid
so that major ground features match their geographical coordinates. See also mosaic.

semipermanent joint task force — A joint task force that has been assigned an expanded
or follow-on mission and will continue to conduct these operations in a specified area
for an undetermined period of time. See also joint task force; mission; operation.
(JP 3-33)

senior contracting official — The lead Service or joint command designated contracting
official who has direct managerial responsibility over theater support contracting. Also
called SCO. (JP 4-10)

senior meteorological and oceanographic officer — Meteorological and oceanographic
officer responsible for assisting the combatant commander and staff in developing and
executing operational meteorological and oceanographic service concepts in support of
a designated joint force. Also called SMO. See also meteorological and
oceanographic. (JP 3-59)

senior officer present afloat — The senior line officer of the Navy, on active service,
eligible for command at sea, who is present and in command of any unit of the
operating forces afloat in the locality or within an area prescribed by competent
authority. This officer is responsible for the administration of matters which
collectively affect naval units of the operating forces afloat in the locality prescribed.
Also called SOPA.

sensitive — Requiring special protection from disclosure that could cause embarrassment,
compromise, or threat to the security of the sponsoring power. May be applied to an
agency, installation, person, position, document, material, or activity.

sensitive compartmented information — All information and materials bearing special
community controls indicating restricted handling within present and future community
intelligence collection programs and their end products for which community systems
of compartmentation have been or will be formally established. (These controls are
over and above the provisions of DOD 5200.1-R, Information Security Program
Regulation.) Also called SCI.

sensitive compartmented information facility — An accredited area, room, group of
rooms, or installation where sensitive compartmented information (SCI) may be stored,
used, discussed, and/or electronically processed. Sensitive compartmented information
facility (SCIF) procedural and physical measures prevent the free access of persons
unless they have been formally indoctrinated for the particular SCI authorized for use
or storage within the SCIF. Also called SCIF. See also sensitive compartmented
information. (JP 2-01)

sensitive site exploitation — A related series of activities inside a captured sensitive site to
exploit personnel documents, electronic data, and material captured at the site, while
neutralizing any threat posed by the site or its contents. Also called SSE. (JP 3-31)

separation zone — (*) An area between two adjacent horizontal or vertical areas into
which units are not to proceed unless certain safety measures can be fulfilled.

sequel — In a campaign, a major operation that follows the current major operation. In a
single major operation, a sequel is the next phase. Plans for a sequel are based on the
possible outcomes (success, stalemate, or defeat) associated with the current operation.
See also branch. (JP 5-0)

sequence circuit — (*) In mine warfare, a circuit which requires actuation by a
predetermined sequence of influences of predetermined magnitudes.

sequenced ejection system — See ejection systems.

serial — (*) 1. An element or a group of elements within a series which is given a
numerical or alphabetical designation for convenience in planning, scheduling, and
control. 2. (DOD only) A serial can be a group of people, vehicles, equipment, or
supplies and is used in airborne, air assault, amphibious operations, and convoys.
(JP 3-17)

serial assignment table — A table that is used in amphibious operations and shows the
serial number, the title of the unit, the approximate number of personnel; the material,
vehicles, or equipment in the serial; the number and type of landing craft and/or
amphibious vehicles required to boat the serial; and the ship on which the serial is

seriously ill or injured — The casualty status of a person whose illness or injury is
classified by medical authority to be of such severity that there is cause for immediate
concern, but there is not imminent danger to life. Also called SII. See also casualty

seriously wounded — A casualty whose injuries or illness are of such severity that the
patient is rendered unable to walk or sit, thereby requiring a litter for movement and
evacuation. See also evacuation; litter; patient. (JP 4-02)

service ammunition — Ammunition intended for combat rather than for training purposes.

Service-common— Equipment, material, supplies, and services adopted by a Military
Service for use by its own forces and activities. These include standard military items,
base operating support, and the supplies and services provided by a Military Service to
support and sustain its own forces, including those assigned to the combatant
commands. Items and services defined as Service-common by one Military Service are
not necessarily Service-common for all other Military Services. See also special
operations-peculiar. (JP 3-05)

Service component command — A command consisting of the Service component
commander and all those Service forces, such as individuals, units, detachments,
organizations, and installations under that command, including the support forces that
have been assigned to a combatant command or further assigned to a subordinate
unified command or joint task force. See also component; functional component
command. (JP 1)

service environment — (*) All external conditions, whether natural or induced, to which
items of materiel are likely to be subjected throughout their life cycle.

Service force module — A hypothetical force module built per Service doctrine composed
of combat, combat support, and combat service support forces and sustainment for an
estimated period, e.g., 30 days.

service group — A major naval administration and/or tactical organization, consisting of
the commander and the staff, designed to exercise operational and administrative
control of assigned squadrons and units in executing their tasks of providing logistic
support of fleet operations.

service mine — (*) A mine capable of a destructive explosion.

Service-organic transportation assets — Transportation assets that are: a. Assigned to a
Military Department for functions of the Secretaries of the Military Departments set
forth in Sections 3013(b), 5013(b), and 8013(b) of Title 10 of the United States Code,
including administrative functions (such as motor pools), intelligence functions,
training functions, and maintenance functions; b. Assigned to the Department of the
Army for the execution of the missions of the Army Corps of Engineers; c. Assigned to
the Department of the Navy as the special mission support force of missile range
instrumentation ships, ocean survey ships, cable ships, oceanographic research ships,
acoustic research ships, and naval test support ships; the naval fleet auxiliary force of
fleet ammunition ships, fleet stores ships, fleet ocean tugs, and fleet oilers; hospital
ships; and Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift Aircraft to provide delivery of
passengers and/or cargo from forward Air Mobility Command channel hubs to mobile
fleet units; Marine Corps intermediate maintenance activity ships, Marine Corps
helicopter support to senior Federal officials; and, prior to the complete discharge of
cargo, maritime pre-positioning ships; d. Assigned to the Department of the Air Force
for search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, audiovisual services, and aeromedical
evacuation functions, and transportation of senior Federal officials. (JP 4-01)

service squadron — An administrative and/or tactical subdivision of a naval service force
or service group, consisting of the commander and the staff and organized to exercise
operational and administrative control of assigned units in providing logistic support of
fleet units as directed.

service test — A test of an item, system of materiel, or technique conducted under
simulated or actual operational conditions to determine whether the specified military
requirements or characteristics are satisfied. See also troop test.

service troops — Those units designed to render supply, maintenance, transportation,
evacuation, hospitalization, and other services required by air and ground combat units
to carry out effectively their mission in combat. See also combat service support
elements; troops.

Service-unique container — Any 20- or 40-foot International Organization for
Standardization container procured or leased by a Service to meet Service-unique
requirements. Also called component-owned container. See also common-use
container; component-owned container. (JP 4-01.7)

servicing — See common servicing; cross-servicing; joint servicing. See also
inter-Service support.

severe damage — See nuclear damage, Part 3.

shaded relief — (*) A cartographic technique that provides an apparent three-dimensional
configuration of the terrain on maps and charts by the use of graded shadows that
would be cast by high ground if light were shining from the northwest. Shaded relief is
usually used in combination with contours. See also hill shading.

shadowing — To observe and maintain contact (not necessarily continuously) with a unit or

shallow fording — The ability of a self-propelled gun or ground vehicle equipped with
built-in waterproofing, with its wheels or tracks in contact with the ground, to negotiate
a water obstacle without the use of a special waterproofing kit. See also flotation.

shaped charge — (*) A charge shaped so as to concentrate its explosive force in a
particular direction.

shear link assembly — (*) A device designed to break at a specified mechanical load.

sheet explosive — (*) Plastic explosive provided in a sheet form.

sheetlines — Those lines defining the geographic limits of the map or chart detail.

shelf life — (*) The length of time during which an item of supply, subject to deterioration
or having a limited life which cannot be renewed, is considered serviceable while
stored. See also storage life.

shell (specify) — (*) A command or request indicating the type of projectile to be used.

shelter — An International Organization for Standardization container outfitted with liveor
work-in capability. See also International Organization for
Standardization. (JP 4-01.7)

shielding — (*) 1. Material of suitable thickness and physical characteristics used to
protect personnel from radiation during the manufacture, handling, and transportation
of fissionable and radioactive materials. 2. Obstructions which tend to protect
personnel or materials from the effects of a nuclear explosion.

shifting fire — Fire delivered at constant range at varying deflections; used to cover the
width of a target that is too great to be covered by an open sheaf.

ship counter — In naval mine warfare, a device in a mine which prevents the mine from
detonating until a preset number of actuations has taken place. (JP 3-15)

ship haven — See moving havens.

ship influence — (*) In naval mine warfare, the magnetic, acoustic, and pressure effects of
a ship, or a minesweep simulating a ship, which is detectable by a mine or other
sensing devices.

shipping configuration — The manner in which an item is prepared for shipment.

shipping control — See naval control of shipping.

shipping designator — A code word assigned to a particular overseas base, port, or area for
specific use as an address on shipments to the overseas location concerned. The code
word is usually four letters and may be followed by a number to indicate a particular

shipping lane — (*) A term used to indicate the general flow of merchant shipping
between two departure/terminal areas.

shipping time — The time elapsing between the shipment of materiel by the supplying
activity and receipt of materiel by the requiring activity. See also order and shipping

ship-to-shore movement — (*) That portion of the assault phase of an amphibious
operation which includes the deployment of the landing force from the assault shipping
to designated landing areas. (JP 3-02)

shoal — A sandbank or bar that makes water shoal; i.e., a sand-bank that is not rocky and
on which there is a water depth of 6 fathoms or less. (JP 4-01.6)

shock front — (*) The boundary between the pressure disturbance created by an explosion
(in air, water, or earth) and the ambient atmosphere, water, or earth.

shore fire control party — A specially trained unit for control of naval gunfire in support
of troops ashore. It consists of a spotting team to adjust fire and a naval gunfire liaison
team to perform liaison functions for the supported battalion commander. Also called

shoreline effect — See coastal refraction.

shore party — (*) A task organization of the landing force, formed for the purpose of
facilitating the landing and movement off the beaches of troops, equipment, and
supplies; for the evacuation from the beaches of casualties and enemy prisoners of war;
and for facilitating the beaching, retraction, and salvaging of landing ships and craft. It
comprises elements of both the naval and landing forces. Also called beach group.
See also beachmaster unit; beach party; naval beach group. (JP 3-02)

shore-to-shore movement — The assault movement of personnel and materiel directly
from a shore staging area to the objective, involving no further transfers between types
of craft or ships incident to the assault movement.

shortfall — The lack of forces, equipment, personnel, materiel, or capability, reflected as
the difference between the resources identified as a plan requirement and those
apportioned to a combatant commander for planning, that would adversely affect the
command’s ability to accomplish its mission.

short-range air defense engagement zone — See weapon engagement zone. (JP 3-52)

short-range ballistic missile — A ballistic missile with a range capability up to about 600
nautical miles. Also called SRBM.

short-range transport aircraft — See transport aircraft.

short scope buoy — (*) A buoy used as a navigational reference which remains nearly
vertical over its sinker.

short supply — An item is in short supply when the total of stock on hand and anticipated
receipts during a given period are less than the total estimated demand during that

short takeoff and landing — (*) The ability of an aircraft to clear a 50-foot (15 meters)
obstacle within 1,500 feet (450 meters) of commencing takeoff or in landing, to stop
within 1,500 feet (450 meters) after passing over a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle. Also
called STOL.

short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft — (*) Fixed-wing aircraft capable of clearing
a 15-meter (50-foot) obstacle within 450 meters (1,500 feet) of commencing takeoff
run, and capable of landing vertically. Also called STOVL. See also short takeoff
and landing.

short title — (*) A short, identifying combination of letters, and/or numbers assigned to a
document or device for purposes of brevity and/or security.

show of force — An operation designed to demonstrate US resolve that involves increased
visibility of US deployed forces in an attempt to defuse a specific situation that, if
allowed to continue, may be detrimental to US interests or national objectives. (JP 3-0)

shuttered fuze — (*) A fuze in which inadvertent initiation of the detonator will not
initiate either the booster or the burst charge.

side-looking airborne radar — (*) An airborne radar, viewing at right angles to the axis of
the vehicle, which produces a presentation of terrain or moving targets. Also called

side oblique air photograph — An oblique photograph taken with the camera axis at right
angles to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft.

side overlap — See overlap.

sighting — Actual visual contact. Does not include other contacts, which must be reported
by type, e.g., radar and sonar contacts. See also contact report.

SIGINT direct service — A reporting procedure to provide signals intelligence (SIGINT)
to a military commander or other authorized recipient in response to SIGINT
requirements. The product may vary from recurring, serialized reports produced by the
National Security Agency/Central Security Service to instantaneous aperiodic reports
provided to the command or other recipient, usually from a fixed SIGINT activity
engaged in collection and processing. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT direct service activity — A signals intelligence (SIGINT) activity composed of
collection and associated resources that normally performs in a direct service role under
the SIGINT operational control of the Director, National Security Agency/Chief,
Central Security Service. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT direct support — The provision of signals intelligence (SIGINT) information to a
military commander by a SIGINT direct support unit in response to SIGINT
operational tasking levied by that commander. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT direct support unit — A signals intelligence (SIGINT) unit, usually mobile,
designed to perform a SIGINT direct support role for a military commander under
delegated authority from the Director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central
Security Service. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT operational control — The authoritative direction of signals intelligence
(SIGINT) activities, including tasking and allocation of effort, and the authoritative
prescription of those uniform techniques and standards by which SIGINT information
is collected, processed, and reported. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT operational tasking — The authoritative operational direction of and direct
levying of signals intelligence (SIGINT) information needs by a military commander
on designated SIGINT resources. These requirements are directive, irrespective of
other priorities, and are conditioned only by the capability of those resources to produce
such information. Operational tasking includes authority to deploy all or part of the
SIGINT resources for which SIGINT operational tasking authority has been delegated.
See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT operational tasking authority — A military commander’s authority to
operationally direct and levy signals intelligence (SIGINT) requirements on designated
SIGINT resources; includes authority to deploy and redeploy all or part of the SIGINT
resources for which SIGINT operational tasking authority has been delegated. Also
called SOTA. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT resources — Personnel and equipment of any unit, activity, or organizational
element engaged in signals intelligence activities. See also signals intelligence.

SIGINT support plans — Plans prepared by the National Security Agency/Central
Security Service, in coordination with concerned elements of the United States SIGINT
system, which specify how the resources of the system will be aligned in crisis or war
to support military operations covered by certain Joint Chiefs of Staff and unified and
specified command operation plans. See also signals intelligence.

signal — (*) 1. As applied to electronics, any transmitted electrical impulse. 2.
Operationally, a type of message, the text of which consists of one or more letters,
words, characters, signal flags, visual displays, or special sounds with prearranged
meaning, and which is conveyed or transmitted by visual, acoustical, or electrical

signal center — A combination of signal communication facilities operated by the Army in
the field and consisting of a communications center, telephone switching central and
appropriate means of signal communications.

signal letters — See international call sign.

signal operation instructions — A series of orders issued for technical control and
coordination of the signal communication activities of a command. In Marine Corps
usage, these instructions are designated communication operation instructions.

signal security — A generic term that includes both communications security and
electronics security. See also security.

signals intelligence — 1. A category of intelligence comprising either individually or in
combination all communications intelligence, electronic intelligence, and foreign
instrumentation signals intelligence, however transmitted. 2. Intelligence derived from
communications, electronic, and foreign instrumentation signals. Also called SIGINT.
See also communications intelligence; electronic intelligence; foreign
instrumentation signals intelligence; intelligence. (JP 2-0)

signal-to-noise ratio — The ratio of the amplitude of the desired signal to the amplitude of
noise signals at a given point in time.

signature equipment — (*) Any item of equipment which reveals the type and nature of
the unit or formation to which it belongs.

signed route — A route along which a unit has placed directional signs bearing its unit
identification symbol. The signs are for the unit’s use only and must comply with
movement regulations.

significant wave height — The average height of the third of waves observed during a
given period of time. Significant wave height is used for evaluating the impact of
waves and breakers on watercraft in the open sea and surf zones. See also surf zone.
(JP 4-01.6)

Silver Triangle — The South American region consisting of Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia
that is historically known to be a major illegal drug production area. (JP 3-07.4)

simulative electromagnetic deception — See electromagnetic deception.

simultaneous engagement — The concurrent engagement of hostile targets by combination
of interceptor aircraft and surface-to-air missiles.

single-anchor leg mooring — A mooring facility dedicated to the offshore petroleum
discharge system. Once installed, it permits a tanker to remain on station and pump in
much higher sea states than is possible with a spread moor. Also called SALM. See
also offshore petroleum discharge system. (JP 4-01.6)

single department purchase — A method of purchase whereby one Military Department
buys commodities for another Military Department or Departments.

single flow route — (*) A route at least one-and-a-half lanes wide allowing the passage of
a column of vehicles, and permitting isolated vehicles to pass or travel in the opposite
direction at predetermined points. See also double flow route.

single integrated theater logistic manager — Service component or agency, usually in a
mature theater, that is designated by the combatant commander or subunified
commander as the single in-theater manager for planning and execution of a specific
common-user logistic (CUL) item or related items. Single integrated logistic managers
are normally long-term in nature with responsibilities that include planning,
coordination, control, and execution of a specific CUL function (or similar CUL
functions) at the theater level, in both peacetime and during actual operations, within
the parameters of combatant commander’s directives. Also called SITLM. See also
agency. (JP 4-07)

single manager— A Military Department or Agency designated by the Secretary of
Defense to be responsible for management of specified commodities or common
service activities on a Department of Defense-wide basis. (JP 4-01)

single manager for transportation — The United States Transportation Command is the
Department of Defense single manager for transportation, other than Service-organic or
theater-assigned transportation assets. See also Service-organic transportation
assets; theater-assigned transportation assets; United States Transportation
Command. (JP 4-01)

single port manager — Through its transportation component commands, the US
Transportation Command is the Department of Defense-designated single port manager
for all common-user aerial and seaports worldwide. The single port manager performs
those functions necessary to support the strategic flow of the deploying forces’
equipment and sustainment from the aerial and seaport of embarkation and hand-off to
the combatant commander in the aerial and seaport of debarkation. The single port
manager is responsible for providing strategic deployment status information to the
combatant commander and to manage workload of the aerial port of debarkation and
seaport of debarkation operator based on the commander’s priorities and guidance. The
single port manager is responsible through all phases of the theater aerial and seaport
operations continuum, from a unimproved airfield and bare beach deployment to a
commercial contract supported deployment. Also called SPM. See also Surface
Deployment and Distribution Command; transportation component command;
United States Transportation Command. (JP 4-01.2)

single-service manager — A component commander, designated by the combatant
commander, who has been assigned responsibility and delegated the authority to
coordinate specific theater personnel support activities such as theater postal operations.
See also component. (JP 1-0)

sinker — (*) In naval mine warfare, a heavy weight to which a buoyant mine is moored.
The sinker generally houses the mooring rope drum and depth-setting mechanism and
for mines laid by ships, it also serves as a launching trolley.

situation map — (*) A map showing the tactical or the administrative situation at a
particular time. See also map.

situation report — (*) A report giving the situation in the area of a reporting unit or
formation. Also called SITREP.

situation template — A depiction of assumed adversary dispositions, based on adversary
doctrine and the effects of the battlespace if the adversary should adopt a particular
course of action. In effect, situation templates are the doctrinal templates depicting a
particular operation modified to account for the effects of the battlespace environment
and the adversary’s current situation (training and experience levels, logistic status,
losses, dispositions). Normally, the situation template depicts adversary units two
levels of command below the friendly force, as well as the expected locations of highvalue
targets. Situation templates use time-phase lines to indicate movement of forces
and the expected flow of the operation. Usually, the situation template depicts a critical
point in the course of action. Situation templates are one part of a adversary course of
action model. Models may contain more than one situation template. See also course
of action; doctrinal template. (JP 2-01.3)

skim sweeping — (*) In naval mine warfare, the technique of wire sweeping to a fixed
depth over deep-laid moored mines to cut any shallow enough to endanger surface

skin paint — A radar indication caused by the reflected radar signal from an object.

skin tracking — The tracking of an object by means of a skin paint.

slant range — (*) The line of sight distance between two points, not at the same level
relative to a specific datum.

slated items — Bulk petroleum and packaged bulk petroleum items that are requisitioned
for overseas use by means of a consolidated requirement document, prepared and
submitted through joint petroleum office channels. Packaged petroleum items are
requisitioned in accordance with normal requisitioning procedures.

slice — An average logistic planning factor used to obtain estimates of requirements for
personnel and materiel. (e.g., a personnel slice generally consists of the total strength
of the stated basic combatant elements, plus its proportionate share of all supporting
and higher headquarters personnel.)

slightly wounded — A casualty whose injuries or illness are relatively minor, permitting
the patient to walk and/or sit. See also patient; walking patient. (JP 4-02)

small arms — Man portable, individual, and crew-served weapon systems used mainly
against personnel and lightly armored or unarmored equipment.

small arms ammunition — Ammunition for small arms, i.e., all ammunition up to and
including 20 millimeters (.787 inches).

small austere airfield — Unsophisticated airfield, usually with a short runway, that is
limited in one or a combination of the following: taxiway systems, ramp space,
security, materials handling equipment, aircraft servicing, maintenance, navigation
aids, weather observing sensors, and communications. Also called SAAF. See
also airfield. (JP 3-17)

small-lot storage — Generally considered to be a quantity of less than one pallet stack,
stacked to maximum storage height. Thus, the term refers to a lot consisting of from
one container to two or more pallet loads, but is not of sufficient quantity to form a
complete pallet column. See also storage.

small-scale map — A map having a scale smaller than 1:600,000. See also map.

smoke screen — A cloud of smoke used to conceal ground maneuver, obstacle breaching,
recovery operations, and amphibious assault operations as well as key assembly areas,
supply routes, and logistic facilities.

snagline mine — (*) A contact mine with a buoyant line attached to one of the horns or
switches which may be caught up and pulled by the hull or propellers of a ship.

soft missile base — (*) A launching base that is not protected against a nuclear explosion.

soil shear strength — The maximum resistance of a soil to shearing stresses.

solatium — Monetary compensation given in areas where it is culturally appropriate to
alleviate grief, suffering, and anxiety resulting from injuries, death, and property loss
with a monetary payment. (JP 1-06)

solenoid sweep — (*) In naval mine warfare, a magnetic sweep consisting of a horizontal
axis coil wound on a floating iron tube.

sonar — A sonic device used primarily for the detection and location of underwater objects.
(This term is derived from the words “sound navigation and ranging.”)

sonic — Of or pertaining to sound or the speed of sound. See also speed of sound.

sonobuoy — A sonar device used to detect submerged submarines that, when activated,
relays information by radio. It may be active directional or nondirectional, or it may be
passive directional or nondirectional.

sortie — (*) In air operations, an operational flight by one aircraft. (JP 3-30)

sortie allotment message — The means by which the joint force commander allots excess
sorties to meet requirements of subordinate commanders that are expressed in their air
employment and/or allocation plan. Also called SORTIEALOT. (JP 3-30)

sortie number — (*) A reference used to identify the images taken by all the sensors
during one air reconnaissance sortie.

sortie plot — An overlay representing the area on a map covered by imagery taken during
one sortie.

sortie reference — See sortie number.

sorting — In counterdrug operations, the process involved in differentiating traffic which
could be involved in drug trafficking from legitimate air traffic. See also counterdrug
operations. (JP 3-07.4)

source — 1. A person, thing, or activity from which information is obtained. 2. In
clandestine activities, a person (agent), normally a foreign national, in the employ of an
intelligence activity for intelligence purposes. 3. In interrogation activities, any person
who furnishes information, either with or without the knowledge that the information is
being used for intelligence purposes. In this context, a controlled source is in the
employment or under the control of the intelligence activity and knows that the
information is to be used for intelligence purposes. An uncontrolled source is a
voluntary contributor of information and may or may not know that the information is
to be used for intelligence purposes. See also agent; collection agency.

source registry — A source record/catalogue of leads and sources acquired by collectors
and centralized for management, coordination and deconfliction of source operations.
(JP 2-01.2)

space — A medium like the land, sea, and air within which military activities shall be
conducted to achieve US national security objectives. (JP 3-14)

space asset — Any individual part of a space system as follows. (1) Equipment that is or
can be placed in space (e.g., a satellite or a launch vehicle). (2) Terrestrially-based
equipment that directly supports space activity (e.g., a satellite ground station).
(JP 3-14)

space assignment — An assignment to the individual Departments/Services by the
appropriate transportation operating agency of movement capability which completely
or partially satisfies the stated requirements of the Departments/Services for the
operating month and that has been accepted by them without the necessity for referral
to the Joint Transportation Board for allocation.

space available mail — A transportation category for military mail transported to and from
overseas bases by air on a space-available basis. Also called SAM.

space capability — 1. The ability of a space asset to accomplish a mission. 2. The ability
of a terrestrial-based asset to accomplish a mission in space (e.g., a ground-based or
airborne laser capable of negating a satellite). See also space; space asset. (JP 3-14)

space control — Operations to ensure freedom of action in space for the US and its allies
and, when directed, deny an adversary freedom of action in space. The space control
mission area includes: operations conducted to protect friendly space capabilities from
attack, interference, or unintentional hazards (defensive space control); operations to
deny an adversary’s use of space capabilities (offensive space control); supported by
the requisite current and predictive knowledge of the space environment and the
operational environment upon which space operations depend (space situational
awareness). See also combat service support; combat support; negation; space;
space systems. (JP 3-14)

space coordinating authority — A commander responsible for coordinating joint space
operations and integrating space capabilities in the operational area. Also called SCA.
(JP 3-14)

space environment — The environment corresponding to the space domain, where
electromagnetic radiation, charged particles, and electric and magnetic fields are the
dominant physical influences, and that encompasses the earth’s ionosphere and
magnetosphere, interplanetary space, and the solar atmosphere. See also ionosphere.
(JP 3-59)

space force application — Combat operations in, through, and from space to influence the
course and outcome of conflict by holding terrestrial targets at risk. The space force
application mission area includes ballistic missile defense and force projection. See
also ballistic missile; force protection; space. (JP 3-14)

space force enhancement — Combat support operations and force-multiplying capabilities
delivered from space systems to improve the effectiveness of military forces as well as
support other intelligence, civil, and commercial users. The space force enhancement
mission area includes: intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; integrated tactical
warning and attack assessment; command, control, and communications; positioning,
navigation, and timing; and environmental monitoring. See also combat support;
space. (JP 3-14)

space forces — The space and terrestrial systems, equipment, facilities, organizations, and
personnel necessary to access, use and, if directed, control space for national security.
See also national security; space; space systems. (JP 3-14)

space power — The total strength of a nation’s capabilities to conduct and influence
activities to, in, through, and from space to achieve its objectives. See also space.
(JP 3-14)

space sensor — An instrument or mechanical device mounted on a space platform or space
vehicle for collecting information or detecting activity or conditions either in space or
in a terrestrial medium. See also space. (JP 3-14)

space situational awareness — The requisite current and predictive knowledge of the
space environment and the operational environment upon which space operations
depend — including physical, virtual, and human domains — as well as all factors,
activities, and events of friendly and adversary space forces across the spectrum of
conflict. (JP 3-14)

space superiority — The degree of dominance in space of one force over another that
permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, maritime, air,
space, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive
interference by the opposing force. See also space. (JP 3-14)

space support — Operations to deploy and sustain military and intelligence systems in
space. The space support mission area includes launching and deploying space
vehicles, maintaining and sustaining spacecraft on-orbit, rendezvous and proximity
operations, disposing of (including deorbiting and recovering) space capabilities, and
reconstitution of space forces, if required. See also combat service support; space.
(JP 3-14)

space surveillance — The observation of space and of the activities occurring in space.
This mission is normally accomplished with the aid of ground-based radars and electrooptical
sensors. This term is separate and distinct from the intelligence collection
mission conducted by space-based sensors which surveil terrestrial activity. See also
space; space control. (JP 3-14)

space systems — All of the devices and organizations forming the space network. These
consist of: spacecraft; mission packages(s); ground stations; data links among
spacecraft, mission or user terminals, which may include initial reception, processing,
and exploitation; launch systems; and directly related supporting infrastructure,
including space surveillance and battle management and/or command and control. See
also space. (JP 3-14)

space weather — The conditions and phenomena in space and specifically in the near-Earth
environment that may affect space assets or space operations. Space weather may
impact spacecraft and ground-based systems. Space weather is influenced by
phenomena such as solar flare activity, ionospheric variability, energetic particle
events, and geophysical events. See also space; space asset. (JP 3-14)

span of detonation (atomic demolition munition employment) — That total period of
time, resulting from a timer error, between the earliest and the latest possible detonation
time. 1. early time — The earliest possible time that an atomic demolition munition
can detonate; 2. fire time — That time the atomic demolition munition will detonate
should the timers function precisely without error; 3. late time — The latest possible
time that an atomic demolition munition can detonate.

special access program — A sensitive program, approved in writing by a head of agency
with original top secret classification authority, that imposes need-to-know and access
controls beyond those normally provided for access to confidential, secret, or top secret
information. The level of controls is based on the criticality of the program and the
assessed hostile intelligence threat. The program may be an acquisition program, an
intelligence program, or an operations and support program. Also called SAP.
(JP 3-05.1)

special actions — Those functions that due to particular sensitivities, compartmentation, or
caveats cannot be conducted in normal staff channels and therefore require
extraordinary processes and procedures and may involve the use of sensitive
capabilities. (JP 3-05.1)

special activities — Activities conducted in support of national foreign policy objectives
that are planned and executed so that the role of the US Government is not apparent or
acknowledged publicly. They are also functions in support of such activities but are
not intended to influence US political processes, public opinion, policies, or media and
do not include diplomatic activities or the collection and production of intelligence or
related support functions. (JP 3-05)

special agent — A person, either United States military or civilian, who is a specialist in
military security or the collection of intelligence or counterintelligence information.

special air operation — An air operation conducted in support of special operations and
other clandestine, covert, and psychological activities. (JP 3-05.1)

special ammunition supply point — A mobile supply point where special ammunition is
stored and issued to delivery units.

special assignment airlift requirements — Airlift requirements, including Chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff -directed or -coordinated exercises, that require special
consideration due to the number of passengers involved, weight or size of cargo,
urgency of movement, sensitivity, or other valid factors that preclude the use of channel
airlift. See also airlift requirement; channel airlift.

special boat squadron — A permanent Navy echelon III major command to which two or
more special boat units are assigned for some operational and all administrative
purposes. The squadron is tasked with the training and deployment of these special
boat units and may augment naval special warfare task groups and task units. Also
called SBS. (JP 3-05.1)

special boat team — US Navy forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct or
support special operations with patrol boats or other combatant craft. Also called SBT.
(JP 3-05)

special cargo — Cargo that requires special handling or protection, such as pyrotechnics,
detonators, watches, and precision instruments.

special-equipment vehicle — A vehicle consisting of a general-purpose chassis with
special-purpose body and/or mounted equipments designed to meet a specialized

special events for homeland security — Those special events designated as having an
impact on homeland security. Also called SEHS. (JP 3-28)

special forces — US Army forces organized, trained, and equipped to conduct special
operations with an emphasis on unconventional warfare capabilities. Also called SF.
(JP 3-05)

special forces group — A combat arms organization capable of planning, conducting, and
supporting special operations activities in all operational environments in peace,
conflict, and war. It consists of a group headquarters and headquarters company, a
support company, and special forces battalions. The group can operate as a single unit,
but normally the battalions plan and conduct operations from widely separated
locations. The group provides general operational direction and synchronizes the
activities of subordinate battalions. Although principally structured for unconventional
warfare, special forces group units are capable of task-organizing to meet specific
requirements. Also called SFG. (JP 3-05)

special forces operations base — A command, control, and support base established and
operated by a special forces group or battalion from organic and attached resources.
The base commander and his staff coordinate and synchronize the activities of
subordinate and forward-deployed forces. A special forces operations base is normally
established for an extended period of time to support a series of operations. Also called
SFOB. (JP 3-05)

special hazard — (*) In aircraft crash rescue and fire-fighting activities: fuels, materials,
components, or situations that could increase the risks normally associated with
military aircraft accidents and could require special procedures, equipment, or
extinguishing agents.

special information operations — Information operations that by their sensitive nature and
due to their potential effect or impact, security requirements, or risk to the national
security of the United States, require a special review and approval process. Also called
SIO. See also information; information operations; operation. (JP 3-13)

specialist intelligence report — A category of specialized, technical reports used in the
dissemination of intelligence. Also called SPIREP. See also intelligence reporting.

specialization — An arrangement within an alliance wherein a member or group of
members most suited by virtue of technical skills, location, or other qualifications
assume(s) greater responsibility for a specific task or significant portion thereof for one
or more other members.

special mission unit — A generic term to represent a group of operations and support
personnel from designated organizations that is task-organized to perform highly
classified activities. Also called SMU. (JP 3-05.1)

special operations — Operations conducted in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive
environments to achieve military, diplomatic, informational, and/or economic
objectives employing military capabilities for which there is no broad conventional
force requirement. These operations often require covert, clandestine, or low visibility
capabilities. Special operations are applicable across the range of military operations.
They can be conducted independently or in conjunction with operations of
conventional forces or other government agencies and may include operations through,
with, or by indigenous or surrogate forces. Special operations differ from conventional
operations in degree of physical and political risk, operational techniques, mode of
employment, independence from friendly support, and dependence on detailed
operational intelligence and indigenous assets. Also called SO. (JP 3-05)

special operations combat control team — A team of Air Force personnel organized,
trained, and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Under clandestine,
covert, or low-visibility conditions, these teams establish and control air assault zones;
assist aircraft by verbal control, positioning, and operating navigation aids; conduct
limited offensive direct action and special reconnaissance operations; and assist in the
insertion and extraction of special operations forces. Also called SOCCT. See also
combat control team. (JP 3-05.1)

special operations command — A subordinate unified or other joint command established
by a joint force commander to plan, coordinate, conduct, and support joint special
operations within the joint force commander’s assigned operational area. Also called
SOC. See also special operations. (JP 3-05)

special operations command and control element — A special operations element that is
the focal point for the synchronization of special operations forces activities with
conventional forces activities. It performs command and control functions according to
mission requirements. It normally collocates with the command post of the supported
force. It can also receive special operations forces operational, intelligence, and target
acquisition reports directly from deployed special operations elements and provide
them to the supported component headquarters. It remains under the operational
control of the joint force special operations component commander or commander,
joint special operations task force. Also called SOCCE. See also command and
control; joint force special operations component commander; special operations;
special operations forces. (JP 3-05.1)

special operations forces — Those Active and Reserve Component forces of the Military
Services designated by the Secretary of Defense and specifically organized, trained,
and equipped to conduct and support special operations. Also called SOF. See also
Air Force special operations forces; Army special operations forces; naval special
warfare forces. (JP 3-05.1)

special operations liaison element — A special operations liaison team provided by the
joint force special operations component commander to the joint force air component
commander (if designated), or appropriate Service component air command and control
organization, to coordinate, deconflict, and integrate special operations air, surface, and
subsurface operations with conventional air operations. Also called SOLE. See also
joint force air component commander; joint force special operations component
commander; special operations. (JP 3-05)

special operations mission planning folder — The package that contains the materials
required to execute a given special operations mission. It will include the mission
tasking letter, mission tasking package, original feasibility assessment (as desired),
initial assessment (as desired), target intelligence package, plan of execution,
infiltration and exfiltration plan of execution, and other documentation as required or
desired. Also called SOMPF. (JP 3-05.1)

special operations naval mobile environment team — A team of Navy personnel
organized, trained, and equipped to support naval special warfare forces by providing
weather, oceanographic, mapping, charting, and geodesy support. Also called
SONMET. (JP 3-05.1)

special operations-peculiar — Equipment, material, supplies, and services required for
special operations missions for which there is no Service-common requirement. These
are limited to items and services initially designed for, or used by, special operations
forces until adopted for Service-common use by one or more Military Service;
modifications approved by the Commander, US Special Operations Command for
application to standard items and services used by the Military Services; and items and
services approved by the Commander, US Special Operations Command as critically
urgent for the immediate accomplishment of a special operations mission. Also called
SO-peculiar. See also Service-common; special operations. (JP 3-05)

special operations terminal attack controller — United States Air Force combat control
personnel certified to perform the terminal attack control function in support of special
operations forces missions. Special operations terminal attack controller operations
emphasize the employment of night infrared, laser, and beacon tactics and equipment.
Also called SOTAC. See also special operations; special tactics team; terminal.
(JP 3-09.1)

special operations weather team/tactical element — A task-organized team of Air Force
personnel organized, trained, and equipped to collect critical weather observations from
data-sparse areas. These teams are trained to operate independently in permissive or
uncertain environments, or as augmentation to other special operations elements in
hostile environments, in direct support of special operations. Also called SOWT/TE.
(JP 3-05)

special operations wing — An Air Force special operations wing. Also called SOW.
(JP 3-05.1)

special (or project) equipment — Equipment not authorized in standard equipment
publications but determined as essential in connection with a contemplated operation,
function, or mission. See also equipment.

special purpose Marine air-ground task force — A Marine air-ground task force
organized, trained, and equipped with narrowly focused capabilities. It is designed to
accomplish a specific mission, often of limited scope and duration. It may be any size,
but normally it is a relatively small force — the size of a Marine expeditionary unit or
smaller. Also called SPMAGTF. See also aviation combat element; combat service
support element; command element; ground combat element; Marine air-ground
task force; Marine expeditionary force; Marine expeditionary force (forward);
Marine expeditionary unit; task force.

special-purpose vehicle — A vehicle incorporating a special chassis and designed to meet a
specialized requirement.

special reconnaissance — Reconnaissance and surveillance actions conducted as a special
operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments to collect or verify
information of strategic or operational significance, employing military capabilities not
normally found in conventional forces. These actions provide an additive capability for
commanders and supplement other conventional reconnaissance and surveillance
actions. Also called SR. (JP 3-05)

special staff — All staff officers having duties at a headquarters and not included in the
general (coordinating) staff group or in the personal staff group. The special staff
includes certain technical specialists and heads of services, e.g., quartermaster officer,
antiaircraft officer, transportation officer, etc. See also staff.

special tactics — US Air Force special operations forces organized, trained, and equipped
to conduct special operations. They include combat control team, pararescue, and
combat weather personnel who provide the interface between air and ground combat
operations. Also called ST. See also special tactics team. (JP 3-05)

special tactics team — A task-organized element of special tactics that may include combat
control, pararescue, and combat weather personnel. Functions include austere airfield
and assault zone reconnaissance, surveillance, establishment, and terminal control;
terminal attack control; combat search and rescue; combat casualty care and evacuation
staging; and tactical weather observations and forecasting. Also called STT. See also
combat search and rescue; special operations; special operations forces; special
tactics; terminal attack control. (JP 3-05)

special unloading berth — Berths established in the vicinity of the approach lanes into
which transports may move for unloading, thus reducing the running time for landing
craft and assisting in the dispersion of transports. (JP 3-02.2)

special weapons — A term sometimes used to indicate weapons grouped for special
procedures, for security, or other reasons. Specific terminology, e.g., “nuclear
weapons” or “guided missiles,” is preferable.

specific intelligence collection requirement — An identified gap in intelligence holdings
that may be satisfied only by collection action, and that has been validated by the
appropriate requirements control authority. Also called SICR.

specific search — Reconnaissance of a limited number of points for specific information.

specified combatant command — See specified command. (JP 1)

specified command — A command that has a broad, continuing mission, normally
functional, and is established and so designated by the President through the Secretary
of Defense with the advice and assistance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It normally is composed of forces from a single Military Department. Also called
specified combatant command. (JP 1)

specified task — In the context of joint operation planning, a task that is specifically
assigned to an organization by its higher headquarters. See also essential task;
implied task. (JP 5-0)

spectrozonal photography — (*) A photographic technique whereby the natural spectral
emissions of all objects are selectively filtered in order to image only those objects
within a particular spectral band or zone and eliminate the unwanted background.

speed of advance — (*) In naval usage, the speed expected to be made good over the
ground. Also called SOA. See also pace; rate of march.

speed of sound — (*) The speed at which sound travels in a given medium under specified
conditions. The speed of sound at sea level in the International Standard Atmosphere is
1108 ft/second, 658 knots, 1215 km/hour. See also hypersonic; sonic; subsonic;
supersonic; transonic.

spillover — The part of the laser spot that is not on the target because of beam divergence
or standoff range, improper boresighting of laser designator, or poor operator
illuminating procedures. See also laser spot. (JP 3-09.1)

spin stabilization — Directional stability of a projectile obtained by the action of
gyroscopic forces that result from spinning of the body about its axis of symmetry.

split cameras — (*) An assembly of two cameras disposed at a fixed overlapping angle
relative to each other.

split-mission oriented protective posture — The concept of maintaining heightened
protective posture only in those areas (or zones) that are contaminated, allowing
personnel in uncontaminated areas to continue to operate in a reduced posture. Also
called split-MOPP. (JP 3-11)

split pair — See split vertical photography.

split-up — See break-up.

split vertical photography — (*) Photographs taken simultaneously by two cameras
mounted at an angle from the vertical, one tilted to the left and one to the right, to
obtain a small side overlap.

spoiling attack — A tactical maneuver employed to seriously impair a hostile attack while
the enemy is in the process of forming or assembling for an attack. Usually employed
by armored units in defense by an attack on enemy assembly positions in front of a
main line of resistance or battle position.

sponsor — Military member or civilian employee with dependents.

spoke — The portion of the hub and spoke distribution system that refers to transportation
mode operators responsible for scheduled delivery to a customer of the “hub”. See also
distribution; distribution system; hub; hub and spoke distribution. (JP 4-01.4)

spot — (*) 1. To determine by observation, deviations of ordnance from the target for the
purpose of supplying necessary information for the adjustment of fire. 2. To place in a
proper location. 3. (DOD only) An approved shipboard helicopter landing site. See
also ordnance. (JP 3-04)

spot elevation — (*) A point on a map or chart whose elevation is noted.

spot jamming — (*) The jamming of a specific channel or frequency. See also barrage
jamming; electronic warfare; jamming.

spot net — Radio communication net used by a spotter in calling fire.

spot report — A concise narrative report of essential information covering events or
conditions that may have an immediate and significant effect on current planning and
operations that is afforded the most expeditious means of transmission consistent with
requisite security. Also called SPOTREP. (Note: In reconnaissance and surveillance
usage, spot report is not to be used.) See Joint Tactical Air
Reconnaissance/Surveillance Mission Report.

spot size — (*) The size of the electron spot on the face of the cathode ray tube.

spotter — An observer stationed for the purpose of observing and reporting results of naval
gunfire to the firing agency and who also may be employed in designating targets. See
also field artillery observer; naval gunfire spotting team.

spotting — Parking aircraft in an approved shipboard landing site. (JP 3-04)

spotting line — (*) Any straight line to which the fall of shot of projectiles is related or fire
is adjusted by an observer or a spotter. See also gun-target line; observer-target line.

spray dome — (*) The mound of water spray thrown up into the air when the shock wave
from an underwater detonation of a nuclear weapon reaches the surface.

spreader bar — A device specially designed to permit the lifting and handling of
containers or vehicles and breakbulk cargo. (JP 4-01.6)

spreading fire — A notification by the spotter or the naval gunfire ship, depending on who
is controlling the fire, to indicate that fire is about to be distributed over an area.

sprocket — (*) In naval mine warfare, an anti-sweep device included in a mine mooring to
allow a sweep wire to pass through the mooring without parting the mine from its

squadron — 1. An organization consisting of two or more divisions of ships, or two or
more divisions (Navy) or flights of aircraft. It is normally but not necessarily
composed of ships or aircraft of the same type. 2. The basic administrative aviation
unit of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. 3. Battalion-sized ground or
aviation units in US Army cavalry regiments.

squib — A small pyrotechnic device that may be used to fire the igniter in a rocket or for
some similar purpose. Not to be confused with a detonator that explodes.

squirt — (*) In air-to-air refuelling, a means of providing visual detection of a nearby
aircraft. In practice this is achieved by the donor aircraft dumping fuel and/or the
receiver aircraft selecting afterburners, if so equipped.

staballoy — Metal alloys made from high-density depleted uranium mixed with other
metals for use in kinetic energy penetrators for armor-piercing munitions. Several
different metals, such as titanium or molybdenum, can be used for the purpose. The
various staballoy metals have low radioactivity that is not considered to be a significant
health hazard.

stability operations — An overarching term encompassing various military missions, tasks,
and activities conducted outside the United States in coordination with other
instruments of national power to maintain or reestablish a safe and secure environment,
provide essential governmental services, emergency infrastructure reconstruction, and
humanitarian relief. (JP 3-0)

stabilized patient — A patient whose airway is secured, hemorrhage is controlled, shock
treated, and fractures are immobilized. See also patient. (JP 4-02.2)

stable base film — (*) A particular type of film having a high stability in regard to
shrinkage and stretching.

stable patient — A patient for whom no inflight medical intervention is expected but the
potential for medical intervention exists. See also patient. (JP 4-02.2)

staff — See multinational staff; general staff; integrated staff; joint staff; parallel staff;
special staff.

staff estimates — Assessments of courses of action by the various staff elements of a
command that serve as the foundation of the commander’s estimate.

staff judge advocate — A judge advocate so designated in the Army, Air Force, or Marine
Corps, and the principal legal advisor of a Navy, Coast Guard, or joint force command
who is a judge advocate. Also called SJA. (JP 1-04)

staff supervision — The process of advising other staff officers and individuals subordinate
to the commander of the commander’s plans and policies, interpreting those plans and
policies, assisting such subordinates in carrying them out, determining the extent to
which they are being followed, and advising the commander thereof.

stage — (*) 1. An element of the missile or propulsion system that generally separates
from the missile at burnout or cut-off. Stages are numbered chronologically in order of
burning. 2. To process, in a specified area, troops which are in transit from one
locality to another. See also marshalling; staging area.

staged crews — Aircrews specifically positioned at intermediate airfields to take over
aircraft operating on air routes, thus relieving complementary crews of flying fatigue
and speeding up the flow rate of the aircraft concerned.

staging — Assembling, holding, and organizing arriving personnel, equipment, and
sustaining materiel in preparation for onward movement. The organizing and
preparation for movement of personnel, equipment, and materiel at designated areas to
incrementally build forces capable of meeting the operational commander’s
requirements. See also staging area. (JP 3-35)

staging area — 1. Amphibious or airborne — A general locality between the mounting
area and the objective of an amphibious or airborne expedition, through which the
expedition or parts thereof pass after mounting, for refueling, regrouping of ships,
and/or exercise, inspection, and redistribution of troops. 2. Other movements — A
general locality established for the concentration of troop units and transient personnel
between movements over the lines of communications. Also called SA. See also
airborne; marshalling; stage; staging. (JP 3-35)

staging base — 1. An advanced naval base for the anchoring, fueling, and refitting of
transports and cargo ships as well as replenishment of mobile service squadrons. 2. A
landing and takeoff area with minimum servicing, supply, and shelter provided for the
temporary occupancy of military aircraft during the course of movement from one
location to another.

standard advanced base units — Personnel and materiel organized to function as
advanced base units, including the functional components that are employed in the
establishment of naval advanced bases. Such advanced base units may establish repair
bases, supply bases, supply depots, airfields, air bases, or other naval shore
establishments at overseas locations.

standardization — The process by which the Department of Defense achieves the closest
practicable cooperation among the Services and Department of Defense agencies for
the most efficient use of research, development, and production resources, and agrees
to adopt on the broadest possible basis the use of: a. common or compatible
operational, administrative, and logistic procedures; b. common or compatible technical
procedures and criteria; c. common, compatible, or interchangeable supplies,
components, weapons, or equipment; and d. common or compatible tactical doctrine
with corresponding organizational compatibility. (JP 4-02)

standard operating procedure — See standing operating procedure.

standard parallel — (*) A parallel on a map or chart along which the scale is as stated for
that map or chart.

standard pattern — (*) In land mine warfare, the agreed pattern to which mines are
normally laid.

standard positioning system — One of two levels of service provided by the global
positioning system, the standard positioning system normally offers users a horizontal
accuracy of 100 meters or better with a 95% probability. Also called SPS.

standard route — In naval control of shipping, a pre-planned single track that is assigned a
code name and connects positions within the main shipping lanes.

standard unit — A type unit whose unit-type code and movement characteristics are
described in the type unit characteristics file.

standard use Army aircraft flight route — Routes established below the coordinating
altitude to facilitate the movement of Army aviation assets. Routes are normally
located in the corps through brigade rear areas of operation and do not require approval
by the airspace control authority. Also called SAAFR. (JP 3-52)

Standby Reserve — Those units and members of the Reserve Components (other than
those in the Ready Reserve or Retired Reserve) who are liable for active duty only, as
provided in title 10 , US Code, sections 10151, 12301, and 12306. See also active
duty; Ready Reserve; Reserve Components; Retired Reserve. (JP 4-05)

stand fast — (*) In artillery, the order at which all action on the position ceases

standing joint force headquarters — A staff organization operating under a flag officer
providing a combatant commander with a full-time, trained joint command and control
element integrated into the combatant commander’s staff whose focus is on
contingency and crisis action planning. Also called SJFHQ. (JP 3-0)

standing operating procedure — (*) A set of instructions covering those features of
operations which lend themselves to a definite or standardized procedure without loss
of effectiveness. The procedure is applicable unless ordered otherwise. Also called
SOP. (3-31)

standing order — (*) A promulgated order which remains in force until amended or

standing rules for the use of force — Preapproved directives issued to guide United States
forces on the use of force during various operations. These directives may take the
form of execute orders, deployment orders, memoranda of agreement, or plans. Also
called SRUF. (JP 3-28)

state and regional defense airlift — The program for use during an emergency of civil
aircraft other than air carrier aircraft.

stateless person — A person who is not considered as a national by any state under the
operation of its law. See also dislocated civilian; displaced person; evacuee;
expellee; refugee. (JP 3-29)

state of readiness — See defense readiness condition; weapons readiness state.

state of readiness--state 1--safe — The state of a demolition target upon or within which
the demolition charge has been placed and secured. The firing or initiating circuits
have been installed, but not connected to the demolition charge. Detonators or
initiators have not been connected nor installed. See also state of readiness--state

state of readiness--state 2--armed — The state of a demolition target in which the
demolition charges are in place, the firing and priming circuits are installed and
complete, and the charge is ready for immediate firing. See also state of
readiness--state 1--safe.

static air temperature — (*) The temperature at a point at rest relative to the ambient air.

static line (air transport) — A line attached to a parachute pack and to a strop or anchor
cable in an aircraft so that, when the load is dropped, the parachute is deployed

static line cable — See anchor cable.

static marking — (*) Marks on photographic negatives and other imagery caused by
unwanted discharges of static electricity.

station — 1. A general term meaning any military or naval activity at a fixed land location.
2. A particular kind of activity to which other activities or individuals may come for a
specific service, often of a technical nature, e.g., aid station. 3. An assigned or
prescribed position in a naval formation or cruising disposition; or an assigned area in
an approach, contact, or battle disposition. 4. Any place of duty or post or position in
the field to which an individual, group of individuals, or a unit may be assigned. 5.
One or more transmitters or receivers or a combination of transmitters and receivers,
including the accessory equipment necessary at one location, for carrying on radio
communication service. Each station will be classified by the service in which it
operates permanently or temporarily.

station authentication — A security measure designed to establish the authenticity of a
transmitting or receiving station.

station time — (*) In air transport operations, the time at which crews, passengers, and
cargo are to be on board and ready for the flight. (JP 3-17)

status-of-forces agreement — An agreement that defines the legal position of a visiting
military force deployed in the territory of a friendly state. Agreements delineating the
status of visiting military forces may be bilateral or multilateral. Provisions pertaining
to the status of visiting forces may be set forth in a separate agreement, or they may
form a part of a more comprehensive agreement. These provisions describe how the
authorities of a visiting force may control members of that force and the amenability of
the force or its members to the local law or to the authority of local officials. Also
called SOFA. See also civil affairs agreement. (JP 3-16)

stay behind — Agent or agent organization established in a given country to be activated in
the event of hostile overrun or other circumstances under which normal access would
be denied.

stay behind force — (*) A force which is left in position to conduct a specified mission
when the remainder of the force withdraws or retires from the area.

stellar guidance — A system wherein a guided missile may follow a predetermined course
with reference primarily to the relative position of the missile and certain preselected
celestial bodies.

stepped-up separation — (*) The vertical separation in a formation of aircraft measured
from an aircraft ahead upward to the next aircraft behind or in echelon.

stereographic coverage — Photographic coverage with overlapping air photographs to
provide a three-dimensional presentation of the picture; 60 percent overlap is
considered normal and 53 percent is generally regarded as the minimum.

sterilize — (*) 1. In naval mine warfare, to permanently render a mine incapable of firing
by means of a device (e.g., sterilizer) within the mine. 2. (DOD only) To remove
from material to be used in covert and clandestine operations, marks or devices which
can identify it as emanating from the sponsoring nation or organization.

sterilizer — (*) In mine warfare, a device included in mines to render the mine
permanently inoperative on expiration of a pre-determined time after laying.

stick (air transport) — A number of paratroopers who jump from one aperture or door of
an aircraft during one run over a drop zone.

stick commander (air transport) — A designated individual who controls paratroops from
the time they enter the aircraft until their exit. See also jumpmaster.

stimulants — Controlled drugs that make the user feel stronger, more decisive, and
self-possessed; includes cocaine and amphetamines. (JP 3-07.4)

stockage objective — The maximum quantities of materiel to be maintained on hand to
sustain current operations. It will consist of the sum of stocks represented by the
operating level and the safety level.

stock control — (*) Process of maintaining inventory data on the quantity, location, and
condition of supplies and equipment due-in, on-hand, and due-out, to determine
quantities of material and equipment available and/or required for issue and to facilitate
distribution and management of materiel. See also inventory control.

stock coordination — A supply management function exercised usually at department level
that controls the assignment of material cognizance for items or categories of material
to inventory managers.

Stock Number — See National Stock Number.

stockpile to target sequence — 1. The order of events involved in removing a nuclear
weapon from storage and assembling, testing, transporting, and delivering it on the
target. 2. A document that defines the logistic and employment concepts and related
physical environments involved in the delivery of a nuclear weapon from the stockpile
to the target. It may also define the logistic flow involved in moving nuclear weapons
to and from the stockpile for quality assurance testing, modification and retrofit, and the
recycling of limited life components.

stock record account — A basic record showing by item the receipt and issuance of
property, the balances on hand, and such other identifying or stock control data as may
be required by proper authority.

stop-loss — Presidential authority under Title 10 US Code 12305 to suspend laws relating
to promotion, retirement, or separation of any member of the Armed Forces determined
essential to the national security of the United States (“laws relating to promotion”
broadly includes, among others, grade tables, current general or flag officer
authorizations, and E8 and 9 limits). This authority may be exercised by the President
only if Reservists are serving on active duty under Title 10 authorities for Presidential
Reserve Call-up, partial mobilization, or full mobilization. See also mobilization;
partial mobilization; Presidential Reserve Call-up. (JP 4-05)

storage — 1. The retention of data in any form, usually for the purpose of orderly retrieval
and documentation. 2. A device consisting of electronic, electrostatic, electrical,
hardware, or other elements into which data may be entered, and from which data may
be obtained as desired. See also ammunition and toxic material open space; bin
storage; bulk storage; igloo space; large-lot storage; medium-lot storage; open
improved storage space; open unimproved wet space; small-lot storage.

storage life — (*) The length of time for which an item of supply, including explosives,
given specific storage conditions, may be expected to remain serviceable and, if
relevant, safe. See also shelf life.

stores — See naval stores; supplies.

stowage — The method of placing cargo into a single hold or compartment of a ship to
prevent damage, shifting, etc. (JP 3-02)

stowage diagram — (*) A scaled drawing included in the loading plan of a vessel for each
deck or platform showing the exact location of all cargo. See also stowage plan.

stowage factor — The number that expresses the space, in cubic feet, occupied by a long
ton of any commodity as prepared for shipment, including all crating or packaging.

stowage plan — A completed stowage diagram showing what materiel has been loaded and
its stowage location in each hold, between-deck compartment, or other space in a ship,
including deck space. Each port of discharge is indicated by colors or other appropriate
means. Deck and between-deck cargo normally is shown in perspective, while cargo
stowed in the lower hold is shown in profile, except that vehicles usually are shown in
perspective regardless of stowage. See also stowage diagram.

strafing — The delivery of automatic weapons fire by aircraft on ground targets.

straggler — (*) 1. Any personnel, vehicles, ships, or aircraft which, without apparent
purpose or assigned mission, become separated from their unit, column, or formation.
2. A ship separated from its convoy by more than 5 nautical miles, through inability to
keep up, and unable to rejoin before dark, or over 10 nautical miles from its convoy
whether or not it can rejoin before dark. See also romper.

strapping — 1. An operation by which supply containers, such as cartons or boxes, are
reinforced by bands, metal straps, or wire, placed at specified intervals around them,
drawn taut, and then sealed or clamped by a machine. 2. Measurement of storage
tanks and calculation of volume to provide tables for conversion of depth of product in
linear units of measurement to volume of contents.

strategic advantage — The overall relative power relationship of opponents that enables
one nation or group of nations effectively to control the course of a military or political

strategic airlift — See intertheater airlift. (JP 3-17)

strategic air transport — The movement of personnel and materiel by air in accordance
with a strategic plan.

strategic air transport operations — (*) The carriage of passengers and cargo between
theaters by means of: a. scheduled service; b. special flight; c. air logistic support; d.
aeromedical evacuation.

strategic air warfare — Air combat and supporting operations designed to effect, through
the systematic application of force to a selected series of vital targets, the progressive
destruction and disintegration of the enemy’s war-making capacity to a point where the
enemy no longer retains the ability or the will to wage war. Vital targets may include
key manufacturing systems, sources of raw material, critical material, stockpiles, power
systems, transportation systems, communication facilities, concentration of
uncommitted elements of enemy armed forces, key agricultural areas, and other such
target systems.

strategic communication — Focused United States Government efforts to understand and
engage key audiences to create, strengthen, or preserve conditions favorable for the
advancement of United States Government interests, policies, and objectives through
the use of coordinated programs, plans, themes, messages, and products synchronized
with the actions of all instruments of national power. (JP 5-0)

strategic concentration — (*) The assembly of designated forces in areas from which it is
intended that operations of the assembled force shall begin so that they are best
disposed to initiate the plan of campaign.

strategic concept — The course of action accepted as the result of the estimate of the
strategic situation. It is a statement of what is to be done in broad terms sufficiently
flexible to permit its use in framing the military, diplomatic, economic, informational,
and other measures which stem from it. See also basic undertakings.

strategic direction — The common thread that integrates and synchronizes the activities of
the Joint Staff, combatant commands, Services, and combat support agencies. As an
overarching term, strategic direction encompasses the processes and products by which
the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff provide
strategic guidance in the form of various strategic products. (JP 5-0)

strategic estimate — The estimate of the broad strategic factors that influence the
determination of missions, objectives, and courses of action. The estimate is
continuous and includes the strategic direction received from the President, Secretary of
Defense, or the authoritative body of an alliance or coalition. See also commander’s
estimate of the situation; estimate; logistic estimate of the situation; national
intelligence estimate. (JP 3-0)

strategic intelligence — Intelligence required for the formation of policy and military plans
at national and international levels. Strategic intelligence and tactical intelligence differ
primarily in level of application, but may also vary in terms of scope and detail. See
also intelligence; operational intelligence; tactical intelligence. (JP 2-01.2)

strategic level of war — The level of war at which a nation, often as a member of a group
of nations, determines national or multinational (alliance or coalition) strategic security
objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to achieve these
objectives. Activities at this level establish national and multinational military
objectives; sequence initiatives; define limits and assess risks for the use of military and
other instruments of national power; develop global plans or theater war plans to
achieve those objectives; and provide military forces and other capabilities in
accordance with strategic plans. See also operational level of war; tactical level of
war. (JP 3-0)

strategic map — A map of medium scale or smaller used for planning of operations,
including the movement, concentration, and supply of troops. See also map.

strategic material (critical) — Material required for essential uses in a war emergency, the
procurement of which in adequate quantity, quality, or time, is sufficiently uncertain,
for any reason, to require prior provision of the supply thereof.

strategic mining — A long-term mining operation designed to deny the enemy the use of
specific sea routes or sea areas. (JP 3-15)

strategic mission — A mission directed against one or more of a selected series of enemy
targets with the purpose of progressive destruction and disintegration of the enemy’s
warmaking capacity and will to make war. Targets include key manufacturing systems,
sources of raw material, critical material, stockpiles, power systems, transportation
systems, communication facilities, and other such target systems. As opposed to
tactical operations, strategic operations are designed to have a long-range rather than
immediate effect on the enemy and its military forces.

strategic mobility — The capability to deploy and sustain military forces worldwide in
support of national strategy. See also mobility.

strategic plan — A plan for the overall conduct of a war.

strategic psychological activities — (*) Planned psychological activities in peace, crisis,
and war which pursue objectives to gain the support and cooperation of friendly and
neutral countries and to reduce the will and the capacity of hostile or potentially hostile
countries to wage war. (JP 3-53)

strategic sealift — The afloat pre-positioning and ocean movement of military materiel in
support of US and multinational forces. Sealift forces include organic and
commercially acquired shipping and shipping services, including chartered foreign-flag
vessels and associated shipping services. (JP 4-01.5)

strategic sealift forces — Sealift forces composed of ships, cargo handling and delivery
systems, and the necessary operating personnel. They include US Navy, US Marine
Corps, and US Army elements with Active and Reserve components. Merchant marine
vessels manned by civilian mariners may constitute part of this force. See also force.
(JP 4-01.6)

strategic sealift shipping — Common-user ships of the Military Sealift Command force,
including pre-positioned ships after their pre-positioning mission has been completed
and they have been returned to the operational control of the Military Sealift
Command. See also Military Sealift Command; Military Sealift Command force.
(JP 4-01.2)

strategic transport aircraft — (*) Aircraft designed primarily for the carriage of
personnel and/or cargo over long distances.

strategic vulnerability — The susceptibility of vital instruments of national power to being
seriously decreased or adversely changed by the application of actions within the
capability of another nation to impose. Strategic vulnerability may pertain to political,
geographic, economic, informational, scientific, sociological, or military factors.

strategic warning — A warning prior to the initiation of a threatening act. See also
strategic warning lead time; strategic warning post-decision time; strategic
warning pre-decision time; tactical warning; warning; warning of war.

strategic warning lead time — That time between the receipt of strategic warning and the
beginning of hostilities. This time may include two action periods: strategic warning
pre-decision time and strategic warning post-decision time. See also commander’s
estimate of the situation; strategic concept; strategic warning.

strategic warning post-decision time — That time beginning after the decision, made at
the highest levels of government(s) in response to strategic warning, is ordered
executed and ending with the start of hostilities or termination of the threat. It is that
part of strategic warning lead time available for executing pre-hostility actions to
strengthen the national strategic posture; however, some preparatory actions may be
initiated in the predecision period. See also strategic warning; strategic warning
lead time.

strategic warning pre-decision time — That time which begins upon receipt of strategic
warning and ends when a decision is ordered executed. It is that part of strategic
warning lead time available to the highest levels of government(s) to determine that
strategic course of action to be executed. See also strategic warning; strategic
warning lead time.

strategy — A prudent idea or set of ideas for employing the instruments of national power
in a synchronized and integrated fashion to achieve theater, national, and/or
multinational objectives. (JP 3-0)

stretcher — See litter.

stretch out — A reduction in the delivery rate specified for a program without a reduction
in the total quantity to be delivered.

strike — An attack to damage or destroy an objective or a capability. (JP 3-0)

strike coordination and reconnaissance — A mission flown for the purpose of detecting
targets and coordinating or performing attack or reconnaissance on those targets. Strike
coordination and reconnaissance missions are flown in a specific geographic area and
are an element of the command and control interface to coordinate multiple flights,
detect and attack targets, neutralize enemy air defenses and provide battle damage
assessment. Also called SCAR. (JP 3-0)

strikedown — The movement of aircraft from the flight deck to the hangar deck level. See
also aircraft; flight deck. (JP 3-04)

strike photography — (*) Air photographs taken during an air strike.

strip marker — (*) In land mine warfare, a marker, natural, artificial, or specially
installed, located at the start and finish of a mine strip. See also marker.

strip plot — (*) A portion of a map or overlay on which a number of photographs taken
along a flight line is delineated without defining the outlines of individual prints.

strong point — (*) A key point in a defensive position, usually strongly fortified and
heavily armed with automatic weapons, around which other positions are grouped for
its protection.

structured message text — (*) A message text composed of paragraphs ordered in a
specified sequence, each paragraph characterized by an identifier and containing
information in free form. It is designed to facilitate manual handling and processing.
See also formatted message text; free form message text.

stuffing — Packing of cargo into a container. See also unstuffing. (JP 4-01.7)

subassembly — (*) In logistics, a portion of an assembly, consisting of two or more parts,
that can be provisioned and replaced as an entity. See also assembly; component.

subgravity — A condition in which the resultant ambient acceleration is between 0 and 1

subkiloton weapon — (*) A nuclear weapon producing a yield below one kiloton. See
also kiloton weapon; megaton weapon; nominal weapon.

submarine operating authority — The naval commander exercising operational control of
submarines. Also called SUBOPAUTH.

submarine operations area — A geographic area defined for submarine operations for
peacetime or warfare activities.

submarine patrol area — A restricted area established to allow submarine operations: a.
unimpeded by the operation of, or possible attack from, friendly forces in wartime; b.
without submerged mutual interference in peacetime.

submunition — (*) Any munition that, to perform its task, separates from a parent

subordinate command — A command consisting of the commander and all those
individuals, units, detachments, organizations, or installations that have been placed
under the command by the authority establishing the subordinate command. (JP 1)

subordinate unified command — A command established by commanders of unified
commands, when so authorized by the Secretary of Defense through the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to conduct operations on a continuing basis in accordance with
the criteria set forth for unified commands. A subordinate unified command may be
established on an area or functional basis. Commanders of subordinate unified
commands have functions and responsibilities similar to those of the commanders of
unified commands and exercise operational control of assigned commands and forces
within the assigned operational area. Also called subunified command. See also
area command; functional component command; operational control;
subordinate command; unified command. (JP 1)

subscription — An agreement by a nation’s Military Services to agree to accept and abide
by, with or without reservation, the details of a standardization agreement. See also
implementation; ratification; reservation.

subsidiary landing — (*) In an amphibious operation, a landing usually made outside the
designated landing area, the purpose of which is to support the main landing. (JP 3-02)

subsonic — Of or pertaining to speeds less than the speed of sound. See also speed of

substitute transport-type vehicle — A wheeled vehicle designed to perform, within certain
limitations, the same military function as military transport vehicles, but not requiring
all the special characteristics thereof. They are developed from civilian designs by
addition of certain features, or from military designs by deletion of certain features.

subunified command — See subordinate unified command. (JP 1)

subversion — Action designed to undermine the military, economic, psychological, or
political strength or morale of a regime. See also unconventional warfare.

subversion of Department of Defense personnel — Actions designed to undermine the
loyalty, morale, or discipline of Department of Defense military and civilian personnel.

subversive activity — Anyone lending aid, comfort, and moral support to individuals,
groups, or organizations that advocate the overthrow of incumbent governments by
force and violence is subversive and is engaged in subversive activity. All willful acts
that are intended to be detrimental to the best interests of the government and that do
not fall into the categories of treason, sedition, sabotage, or espionage will be placed in
the category of subversive activity.

subversive political action — A planned series of activities designed to accomplish
political objectives by influencing, dominating, or displacing individuals or groups who
are so placed as to affect the decisions and actions of another government.

summit — The highest altitude above mean sea level that a projectile reaches in its flight
from the gun to the target; the algebraic sum of the maximum ordinate and the altitude
of the gun.

sun-synchronous orbit — An orbit in which the satellite’s orbital plane is at a fixed
orientation to the sun, i.e., the orbit precesses about the earth at the same rate that the
earth orbits the sun. It has the characteristics of maintaining similar sun angles along its
ground trace for all orbits, and typically has an inclination from 96 to 98 degrees,
depending on the orbit altitude and orbit shape (eccentricity). (JP 3-14)

supercargo — Personnel that accompany cargo on board a ship for the purpose of
accomplishing en route maintenance and security.

supersonic — Of or pertaining to speed in excess of the speed of sound. See also speed of

supervised route — (*) In road traffic, a roadway over which limited control is exercised
by means of traffic control posts, traffic patrols, or both. Movement credit is required
for its use by a column of vehicles or a vehicle of exceptional size or weight. See also

supplementary facilities — (*) Facilities required at a particular location to provide a
specified minimum of support for reinforcing forces, which exceed the facilities
required to support in-place forces.

supplies — In logistics, all materiel and items used in the equipment, support, and
maintenance of military forces. See also assembly; component; equipment;
subassembly. (JP 4-0)

supply — The procurement, distribution, maintenance while in storage, and salvage of
supplies, including the determination of kind and quantity of supplies. a. producer
phase — That phase of military supply that extends from determination of procurement
schedules to acceptance of finished supplies by the Military Services. b. consumer
phase — That phase of military supply which extends from receipt of finished
supplies by the Military Services through issue for use or consumption. (JP 4-0)

supply by air — See airdrop; air movement.

supply chain — The linked activities associated with providing materiel from a raw
materiel stage to an end user as a finished product. See also supply; supply chain
management. (JP 4-09)

supply chain management — A cross-functional approach to procuring, producing, and
delivering products and services to customers. The broad management scope includes
sub-suppliers, suppliers, internal information, and funds flow. See also supply; supply
chain. (JP 4-09)

supply control — The process by which an item of supply is controlled within the supply
system, including requisitioning, receipt, storage, stock control, shipment, disposition,
identification, and accounting.

supplying ship — (*) The ship in a replenishment unit that provides the personnel and/or
supplies to be transferred.

supply management — See inventory control.

supply point — A location where supplies, services, and materials are located and issued.
These locations are temporary and mobile, normally being occupied for up to 72 hours.

supply support activity — Activities assigned a Department of Defense activity address
code and that have a supply support mission, i.e., direct support supply units, missile
support elements, and maintenance support units. Also called SSA. (JP 4-01.7

supply transaction reporting — Reporting on individual transactions affecting the stock
status of materiel to the appropriate supply accounting activity as they occur.

support — 1. The action of a force that aids, protects, complements, or sustains another
force in accordance with a directive requiring such action. 2. A unit that helps another
unit in battle. 3. An element of a command that assists, protects, or supplies other
forces in combat. See also close support; direct support; general support;
interdepartmental or agency support; international logistic support; inter-Service
support; mutual support. (JP 1)

support agency — A federal department or agency designated to assist a specific primary
agency with available resources, capabilities, or expertise in support of emergency
support response operations, as coordinated by the representative of the primary
agency. See also lead federal agency. (JP 3-28)

supported commander — 1. The commander having primary responsibility for all aspects
of a task assigned by the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan or other joint operation
planning authority. In the context of joint operation planning, this term refers to the
commander who prepares operation plans or operation orders in response to
requirements of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 2. In the context of a support
command relationship, the commander who receives assistance from another
commander’s force or capabilities, and who is responsible for ensuring that the
supporting commander understands the assistance required. See also support;
supporting commander. (JP 3-0)

supported unit — As related to contracted support, a supported unit is the organization that
is the recipient, but not necessarily the requester of, contractor-provided support. See
also requiring activity. (JP 4-10)

supporting aircraft — All active aircraft other than unit aircraft. See also aircraft.

supporting arms — Weapons and weapons systems of all types employed to support forces
by indirect or direct fire.

supporting arms coordination center — A single location on board an amphibious
command ship in which all communication facilities incident to the coordination of fire
support of the artillery, air, and naval gunfire are centralized. This is the naval
counterpart to the fire support coordination center utilized by the landing force. Also
called SACC. See also fire support coordination center.

supporting artillery — Artillery that executes fire missions in support of a specific unit,
usually infantry, but remains under the command of the next higher artillery

supporting attack — (*) An offensive operation carried out in conjunction with a main
attack and designed to achieve one or more of the following: a. deceive the enemy; b.
destroy or pin down enemy forces which could interfere with the main attack; c.
control ground whose occupation by the enemy will hinder the main attack; or d. force
the enemy to commit reserves prematurely or in an indecisive area.

supporting commander — 1. A commander who provides augmentation forces or other
support to a supported commander or who develops a supporting plan. This includes
the designated combatant commands and Department of Defense agencies as
appropriate. 2. In the context of a support command relationship, the commander who
aids, protects, complements, or sustains another commander’s force, and who is
responsible for providing the assistance required by the supported commander. See
also support; supported commander. (JP 3-0)

supporting fire — (*) Fire delivered by supporting units to assist or protect a unit in
combat. See also direct supporting fire.

supporting forces — Forces stationed in or to be deployed to an operational area to provide
support for the execution of an operation order. Combatant command (command
authority) of supporting forces is not passed to the supported commander.

supporting operations — In amphibious operations, those operations conducted by forces
other than those conducted by the amphibious force. See also amphibious force;
amphibious operation. (JP 3-02)

supporting plan — An operation plan prepared by a supporting commander, a subordinate
commander, or an agency to satisfy the requests or requirements of the supported
commander’s plan. See also supported commander; supporting commander.
(JP 5-0)

support items — Items subordinate to or associated with an end item (i.e., spares, repair
parts, tools, test equipment, and sundry materiel) and required to operate, service,
repair, or overhaul an end item.

support to counterinsurgency — Support provided to a government in the military,
paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions it undertakes to
defeat insurgency. See also support to insurgency. (JP 3-0)

support to insurgency — Support provided to an organized movement aimed at the
overthrow of a constituted government through use of subversion and armed conflict.
See also support to counterinsurgency. (JP 3-0)

suppression — Temporary or transient degradation by an opposing force of the
performance of a weapons system below the level needed to fulfill its mission

suppression mission — A mission to suppress an actual or suspected weapons system for
the purpose of degrading its performance below the level needed to fulfill its mission
objectives at a specific time for a specified duration.

suppression of enemy air defenses — Activity that neutralizes, destroys, or temporarily
degrades surface-based enemy air defenses by destructive and/or disruptive means.
Also called SEAD. See also electromagnetic spectrum; electronic warfare.
(JP 3-01)

suppressive fire — Fires on or about a weapons system to degrade its performance below
the level needed to fulfill its mission objectives, during the conduct of the fire mission.
See also fire.

surface action group — A temporary or standing organization of combatant ships, other
than carriers, tailored for a specific tactical mission. Also called SAG. See group;
mission. (JP 3-33)

surface code — See panel code.

surface combatant — A ship constructed and armed for combat use with the capability to
conduct operations in multiple maritime roles against air, surface and subsurface
threats, and land targets.

Surface Deployment and Distribution Command — A major command of the US Army,
and the US Transportation Command’s component command responsible for
designated continental United States land transportation as well as common-user water
terminal and traffic management service to deploy, employ, sustain, and redeploy US
forces on a global basis. Also called SDDC. See also transportation component
command. (JP 4-01.6)

surface smuggling event — In counterdrug operations, the sighting of a suspected drug
smuggling vessel or arrival of a suspected drug smuggling vessel. See also arrival
zone; counterdrug operations; transit zone. (JP 3-07.4)

surface-to-air guided missile — (*) A surface-launched guided missile for use against air

surface-to-air missile envelope — That air space within the kill capabilities of a specific
surface-to-air missile system.

surface-to-air missile installation — A surface-to-air missile site with the surface-to-air
missile system hardware installed.

surface-to-air missile site — A plot of ground prepared in such a manner that it will readily
accept the hardware used in surface-to-air missile system.

surface-to-air weapon — A surface-launched weapon for use against airborne targets.
Examples include missiles, rockets, and air defense guns. (JP 3-09.3)

surface-to-surface guided missile — (*) A surface-launched guided missile for use against
surface targets.

surface warfare — That portion of maritime warfare in which operations are conducted to
destroy or neutralize enemy naval surface forces and merchant vessels. Also called
SUW. (JP 3-33)

surface zero — See ground zero.

surf line — The point offshore where waves and swells are affected by the underwater
surface and become breakers. See also breaker. (JP 4-01.6)

surf zone — The area of water from the surf line to the beach. See also surf line.
(JP 4-01.6)

surplus property — Any excess property not required for the needs and for the discharge
of the responsibilities of all federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, as
determined by the General Services Administration.

surprise dosage attack — (*) A chemical operation which establishes on target a dosage
sufficient to produce the desired casualties before the troops can mask or otherwise
protect themselves.

surveillance — (*) The systematic observation of aerospace, surface, or subsurface areas,
places, persons, or things, by visual, aural, electronic, photographic, or other means.
See also air surveillance; satellite and missile surveillance; sea surveillance.
(JP 3-0)

surveillance approach — An instrument approach conducted in accordance with directions
issued by a controller referring to the surveillance radar display.

survey control point — A survey station used to coordinate survey control.

survey information center — A place where survey data are collected, correlated, and
made available to subordinate units.

survey, liaison, and reconnaissance party — A task organization formed from the Marine
air-ground task force and Navy support element, which is introduced into the objective
area prior to arrival of the fly-in echelon (FIE). The survey, liaison, and reconnaissance
party conducts initial reconnaissance, establishes liaison with in theater authorities and
initiates preparations for arrival of the main body of the FIE and the maritime prepositioning
ships squadron. Also called SLRP.

survey photography — See air cartographic photography.

survivability — Concept which includes all aspects of protecting personnel, weapons, and
supplies while simultaneously deceiving the enemy. Survivability tactics include
building a good defense; employing frequent movement; using concealment, deception,
and camouflage; and constructing fighting and protective positions for both individuals
and equipment. (JP 3-34)

survival, evasion, resistance, and escape — Actions performed by isolated personnel
designed to ensure their health, mobility, safety, and honor in anticipation of or
preparation for their return to friendly control. Also called SERE. (JP 3-50)

suspect — 1. In counterdrug operations, a track of interest where correlating information
actually ties the track of interest to alleged illegal drug operations. See also
counterdrug operations; track of interest. 2. An identity applied to a track that is
potentially hostile because of its characteristics, behavior, origin, or nationality. See
also assumed friend; hostile; neutral; unknown. (JP 3-07.4)

suspension equipment — (*) All aircraft devices such as racks, adapters, missile launchers,
and pylons used for carriage, employment, and jettison of aircraft stores.

suspension strop — (*) A length of webbing or wire rope between the helicopter and cargo

sustainability — See military capability.

sustained attrition minefield — (*) In naval mine warfare, a minefield which is
replenished to maintain its danger to the enemy in the face of countermeasures.

sustained rate of fire — (*) Actual rate of fire that a weapon can continue to deliver for an
indefinite length of time without seriously overheating.

sustaining stocks — (*) Stocks to support the execution of approved operation plans
beyond the initial predetermined period covered by basic stocks until resupply is
available for support of continued operations.

sustainment — The provision of logistics and personnel services required to maintain and
prolong operations until successful mission accomplishment. (JP 3-0)

swell — Ocean waves that have traveled out of their fetch. Swell characteristically exhibits
a more regular and longer period and has flatter crests than waves within their fetch.
(JP 4-01.6)

sweep — To employ technical means to uncover planted microphones or other surveillance
devices. See also technical survey.

sweeper track — See hunter track.

sweep jamming — (*) A narrow band of jamming that is swept back and forth over a
relatively wide operating band of frequencies.

swept path — (*) In naval mine warfare, the width of the lane swept by the mechanical
sweep at all depths less than the sweep depth.

switch horn — (*) In naval mine warfare, a switch in a mine operated by a projecting
spike. See also horn.

sympathetic detonation — (*) Detonation of a charge by exploding another charge
adjacent to it.

synchronization — 1. The arrangement of military actions in time, space, and purpose to
produce maximum relative combat power at a decisive place and time. 2. In the
intelligence context, application of intelligence sources and methods in concert with the
operation plan to ensure intelligence requirements are answered in time to influence the
decisions they support. (JP 2-0)

synchronized clock — A technique of timing the delivery of fires by placing all units on a
common time. The synchronized clock uses a specific hour and minute based on either
local or universal time. Local time is established using the local time zone. (JP 3-09.3)

synthesis — In intelligence usage, the examining and combining of processed information
with other information and intelligence for final interpretation.

synthetic exercise — (*) An exercise in which enemy and/or friendly forces are generated,
displayed, and moved by electronic or other means on simulators, radar scopes, or other
training devices.

system — A functionally, physically, and/or behaviorally related group of regularly
interacting or interdependent elements; that group of elements forming a unified whole.
(JP 3-0)

systems architecture — Descriptions, including graphics, of systems and interconnections
providing for or supporting warfighting functions.

systems design — The preparation of an assembly of methods, procedures, or techniques
united by regulated interaction to form an organized whole.

systems support contract — A prearranged contract awarded by a Service acquisition
program management office that provides technical support, maintenance and, in some
cases, repair parts for selected military weapon and support systems. See also external
support contract; theater support contract. (JP 4-10)



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