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Military Terms and Definitions

validate — Execution procedure used by combatant command components, supporting
combatant commanders, and providing organizations to confirm to the supported
commander and US Transportation Command that all the information records in a
time-phased force and deployment data not only are error-free for automation purposes,
but also accurately reflect the current status, attributes, and availability of units and
requirements. Unit readiness, movement dates, passengers, and cargo details should be
confirmed with the unit before validation occurs.

validation — 1. A process associated with the collection and production of intelligence that
confirms that an intelligence collection or production requirement is sufficiently
important to justify the dedication of intelligence resources, does not duplicate an
existing requirement, and has not been previously satisfied. 2. A part of target
development that ensures all vetted targets meet the objectives and criteria outlined in
the commander’s guidance and ensures compliance with the law of armed conflict and
rules of engagement. 3. In computer modeling and simulation, the process of
determining the degree to which a model or simulation is an accurate representation of
the real world from the perspective of the intended uses of the model or simulation. 4.
Execution procedure used by combatant command components, supporting combatant
commanders, and providing organizations to confirm to the supported commander and
United States Transportation Command that all the information records in a timephased
force and deployment data not only are error free for automation purposes, but
also accurately reflect the current status, attributes, and availability of units and
requirements. See also independent review; time-phased force and deployment
data; verification. (JP 3-35)

valuable cargo — (*) Cargo which may be of value during a later stage of the war.

value engineering — An organized effort directed at analyzing the function of Department
of Defense systems, equipment, facilities, procedures, and supplies for the purpose of
achieving the required function at the lowest total cost of effective ownership,
consistent with requirements for performance, reliability, quality, and maintainability.

variability — (*) The manner in which the probability of damage to a specific target
decreases with the distance from ground zero; or, in damage assessment, a
mathematical factor introduced to average the effects of orientation, minor shielding,
and uncertainty of target response to the effects considered.
variable safety level — See safety level of supply.

variant — 1. One of two or more cipher or code symbols that have the same plain text
equivalent. 2. One of several plain text meanings that are represented by a single code
group. Also called alternative.

variation — The angular difference between true and magnetic north. See also deviation.

vehicle-borne improvised explosive device — A device placed or fabricated in an
improvised manner on a vehicle incorporating destructive, lethal, noxious, pyrotechnic,
or incendiary chemicals and designed to destroy, incapacitate, harass, or distract.
Otherwise known as a car bomb. Also called VBIED. (JP 3-10)

vehicle cargo — Wheeled or tracked equipment, including weapons, that require certain
deck space, head room, and other definite clearance.

vehicle distance — (*) The clearance between vehicles in a column which is measured
from the rear of one vehicle to the front of the following vehicle.

vehicle summary and priority table — A table listing all vehicles by priority of
debarkation from a combat-loaded ship. It includes the nomenclature, dimensions,
square feet, cubic feet, weight, and stowage location of each vehicle; the cargo loaded
in each vehicle; and the name of the unit to which the vehicle belongs.

verification — 1. In arms control, any action, including inspection, detection, and
identification, taken to ascertain compliance with agreed measures. 2. In computer
modeling and simulation, the process of determining that a model or simulation
implementation accurately represents the developer’s conceptual description and
specifications. See also configuration management; independent review;

verify — (*) To ensure that the meaning and phraseology of the transmitted message
conveys the exact intention of the originator.

vertex — (*) In artillery and naval gunfire support, the highest point in the trajectory of a

vertex height — See maximum ordinate.

vertical air photograph — (*) An air photograph taken with the optical axis of the camera
perpendicular to the surface of the Earth.

vertical and/or short takeoff and landing — Vertical and/or short takeoff and landing
capability for aircraft.

vertical envelopment — A tactical maneuver in which troops, either air-dropped or
air-landed, attack the rear and flanks of a force, in effect cutting off or encircling the
force. (JP 3-18)

vertical interval — Difference in altitude between two specified points or locations, e.g.,
the battery or firing ship and the target; observer location and the target; location of
previously fired target and new target; observer and a height of burst; and battery or
firing ship and a height of burst, etc.

vertical landing zone — A specified ground area for landing vertical takeoff and landing
aircraft to embark or disembark troops and/or cargo. A landing zone may contain one
or more landing sites. Also called VLZ. See also landing zone; vertical takeoff and
landing aircraft. (JP 3-02)

vertical loading — (*) A type of loading whereby items of like character are vertically
tiered throughout the holds of a ship so that selected items are available at any stage of
the unloading. See also loading.

vertical probable error — The product of the range probable error and the slope of fall.

vertical replenishment — (*) The use of a helicopter for the transfer of materiel to or from
a ship. Also called VERTREP. (JP 3-04)

vertical separation — (*) Separation between aircraft expressed in units of vertical

vertical strip — A single flightline of overlapping photos. Photography of this type is
normally taken of long, narrow targets such as beaches or roads.

vertical takeoff and landing aircraft — Fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters capable of
taking off or landing vertically. Also called VTOL aircraft. See also vertical landing
zone; vertical takeoff and landing aircraft transport area. (JP 3-02)

vertical takeoff and landing aircraft transport area — Area to the seaward and on the
flanks of the outer transport and landing ship areas, but preferably inside the area
screen, for launching and/or recovering vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. Also
called VTOL aircraft transport area. See also vertical takeoff and landing
aircraft. (JP 3-02)

very 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 life is imminently
endangered. Also called VSII. See also casualty status.

very small aperture terminal — Refers to a fixed satellite terminal whose antenna
diameter typically does not exceed two meters. Also called VSAT.

vesicant agent — See blister agent. (JP 3-11)

vetting — A part of target development that assesses the accuracy of the supporting
intelligence to targeting. (JP 3-60)

vignetting — (*) A method of producing a band of color or tone on a map or chart, the
density of which is reduced uniformly from edge to edge.

visibility range — The horizontal distance (in kilometers or miles) at which a large dark
object can just be seen against the horizon sky in daylight.

visual call sign — (*) A call sign provided primarily for visual signaling. See also call

visual information — Use of one or more of the various visual media with or without
sound. Generally, visual information includes still photography, motion picture
photography, video or audio recording, graphic arts, visual aids, models, display, visual
presentation services, and the support processes. Also called VI.

visual information documentation — Motion media, still photography, and audio
recording of technical and nontechnical events while they occur, usually not controlled
by the recording crew. Visual information documentation encompasses Combat
Camera, operational documentation, and technical documentation. Also called
VIDOC. See also combat camera; operational documentation; technical

visual meteorological conditions — Weather conditions in which visual flight rules apply;
expressed in terms of visibility, ceiling height, and aircraft clearance from clouds along
the path of flight. When these criteria do not exist, instrument meteorological
conditions prevail and instrument flight rules must be complied with. Also called
VMC. See also instrument meteorological conditions. (JP 3-04)

visual mine firing indicator — (*) A device used with exercise mines to indicate that the
mine would have detonated had it been poised.

vital area — (*) A designated area or installation to be defended by air defense units.

vital ground — (*) Ground of such importance that it must be retained or controlled for the
success of the mission. See also key terrain.

voice call sign — (*) A call sign provided primarily for voice communication. See also
call sign.

Voluntary Intermodal Sealift Agreement — An agreement that provides the Department
of Defense with assured access to US flag assets, both vessel capacity and intermodal
systems, to meet Department of Defense contingency requirements. Carriers
contractually commit specified portions of their fleet to meet time-phased Department
of Defense contingency requirements. Also called VISA. See also intermodal;
intermodal systems. (JP 4-01.2)

voluntary tanker agreement — An agreement established by the Maritime Administration
to provide for US commercial tanker owners and operators to voluntarily make their
vessels available to satisfy the Department of Defense needs. It is designed to meet
contingency or war requirements for point-to-point petroleum, oils, and lubricants
movements, and not to deal with capacity shortages in resupply operations. Also called
VTA. (JP 4-01.2)

voluntary training — Training in a non-pay status for Individual Ready Reservists and
active status Standby Reservists. Participation in voluntary training is for retirement
points only and may be achieved by training with Selected Reserve or voluntary
training units; by active duty for training; by completion of authorized military
correspondence courses; by attendance at designated courses of instruction; by
performing equivalent duty; by participation in special military and professional events
designated by the Military Departments; or by participation in authorized Civil Defense
activities. Retirees may voluntarily train with organizations to which they are properly
preassigned by orders for recall to active duty in a national emergency or declaration of
war. Such training shall be limited to that training made available within the resources
authorized by the Secretary concerned.

voluntary training unit — A unit formed by volunteers to provide Reserve Component
training in a non-pay status for Individual Ready Reservists and active status Standby
Reservists attached under competent orders and participating in such units for
retirement points. Also called reinforcement training unit.

VOR — (*) An air navigational radio aid which uses phase comparison of a ground
transmitted signal to determine bearing. This term is derived from the words “very
high frequency omnidirectional radio range.”

vulnerability — 1. The susceptibility of a nation or military force to any action by any
means through which its war potential or combat effectiveness may be reduced or its
will to fight diminished. 2. The characteristics of a system that cause it to suffer a
definite degradation (incapability to perform the designated mission) as a result of
having been subjected to a certain level of effects in an unnatural (man-made) hostile
environment. 3. In information operations, a weakness in information system security
design, procedures, implementation, or internal controls that could be exploited to gain
unauthorized access to information or an information system. See also information;
information operations; information system. (JP 3-60)

vulnerability assessment — A Department of Defense, command, or unit-level evaluation
(assessment) to determine the vulnerability of a terrorist attack against an installation,
unit, exercise, port, ship, residence, facility, or other site. Identifies areas of
improvement to withstand, mitigate, or deter acts of violence or terrorism. Also called
VA. (JP 3-07.2)

vulnerability program — A program to determine the degree of any existing susceptibility
of nuclear weapon systems to enemy countermeasures, accidental fire, and accidental
shock and to remedy these weaknesses insofar as possible.

vulnerability study — An analysis of the capabilities and limitations of a force in a specific
situation to determine vulnerabilities capable of exploitation by an opposing force.

vulnerable area — See vital area.

vulnerable node — See target stress point.

vulnerable point — See vital area.



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