Terms, Techniques, Tactics and Strategies
Activities specified by the Government. Activities specified by Government are a great difference of operations which are not included in a unit's usual range of missions. It can also include Black and Covert operations.
Administrative Command Post or ACP, the part of the CP function that manages logistics, the press, communications, and related operational support. The ACP is one of two CPs, the other being the Tactical Command Post, where the operation is planned, directed, and commanded.
Airborne Battle Group or ABBG. The ABBG is an all arms organisation from across the airborne unit, making it a self-contained fighting force capable of seizing and holding an objective, in readiness for the Main Force insertion.
Advance Force. An operation requiring the immediate deployment of forces with the intent to negate a threat before the deployment of follow-on forces is required.
. While performing an air assault the soldier must have air assault skills. Air assault is similar to airmobile except the helicopter never lands.
. The essence of an airborne operation lies in utilising the Air flank to insert a ground force into battle by air.
Airland Battle Doctrine. An approach to military operations that realises the full potential of forces. Two notions (extending the battlefield and the ability to integrate conventional, nuclear, chemical, and electronics means) are combined to describe a battlefield where the enemy is attacked to the full depth of his formation.
Area of Influence. A geographical area wherein a commander is directly capable of influencing operations by manoeuvre or fire support systems normally under his command or control.
Area of Interest. That area of concern to the commander, including the area of influence, areas adjacent thereto, and extending into enemy territory to the objectives of current or planned operations. This area also includes areas occupied by enemy forces who would jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission.
Area of Operations or AO. That portion of an area of conflict necessary for military operations. Areas of operations are geographical areas assigned to commanders for which they have responsibility and in which they have authority to conduct military operations.
Area of Responsibility or AOR. The area within the AO that a team will have as a primary responsibility. For example, an entry team might have the right half of the living room of a residence as a primary AOR after the door-kick. A sniper team might have an AOR of the north wall of a structure, and if there are two sniper teams in the group, one may have the northeast wall, the other the northwest wall as AORs. An assault team may have three subAORs within a building, taken in sequence after the door-kick. Individuals on the team will each have their own AORs within each room.
. A mountaineering technique of descending with a climbing rope from a VTOL aircraft. A person on rappel uses friction or mechanical breaking devices to control the descent.
Assaulter. An assaulter is a member of an assault team.
Assault Group. An assault group consist of several assault teams. The group is led by an Assault Commander.
Assault Landing Operation. In an assault landing operation, the first wave of troops are landed on the beach by landing craft from LPDs and by a "vertical assault" on vital points somewhat inland by helicopters from the LPH, to establish a beachhead and landing zone. The LSD(A)'s are initially positioned about 20 nm offshore and remain over-the-horizon during the first wave assault, they may use landing craft and helicopters to help offload the second wave and subsequent waves of troops and equipment from themselves. When the beach area and landing zone have been finally confirmed as secure, the LSD(A)'s will approach the landing zone and from just one or two thousand yards off-shore will deploy Mexeflotes (motorised pontoons) to assist in the quick and efficient offloading of the heavy vehicles and equipment that they carry. Once a harbour has been secured, Point Class "Ro-Ro" Strategic Transport's and ships taken up from trade (STUFT) will bring in further reinforcements and re-supply the force.
Assault Team. An Assault Team is the basic team of the Special Forces during operations. An assault team may consist of an Assault Team Commander, a Breacher, Shooters, a (para)Medic, a communication man and depending on the mission several other specialties. An Assault Team is part of an Assault Group.
Assault Team Commander. The Assault Team Commander is not always the highest one in rank. More often it is the most experienced member of the assault team. An Assault team Commander has an thorough understanding of the mission and all team positions. Since the Assault Team Commander directs the tactical deployment of the team, he must have the ability to make quick, effective decisions under pressure.
Avalanche. The code word adopted by some units to warn of possible explosives in the AO. It also functions as an evacuation order from the AOR. Other departments will use other words.
Ballistics. The science of projectile motion and impact. It studies in particular the trajectory, the velocity and the energy of ammunition.
Bang. Slang for a using a flash-bang grenade.
Bent Spear. Codename for a nuclear weapons incident.
Body Guard Duties. Close protection is also known as Body Guard. During these duties a Close Protection Team is tasked with protecting an important person from harm by hostiles.
Black Operations. Activities to accomplish intelligence, counterintelligence, and other similar activities sponsored or conducted by governmental departments or agencies, in such a way as to ensure secrecy or concealment. (They differ from covert operations in that emphasis is placed on concealment of the operation rather than on concealment of the identity of the sponsor.)
. The Blitzkrieg (Lightning War) assault is the German interpretation of a British strategic concept called the indirect approach.
Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL or BUD/S. Basic training program of the US Navy SEALS. A 26week basic training course at Coronado, California, that all SEAL candidates must endure and pass in order to be considered for the SEAL teams.
Black. Nickname for the Special Forces counter terrorism equipment. The name is chosen after the colour of the battle dress.
Blow and Go. Phrase used by CT units in reference to dynamic entries; you blow the explosive charges and immediately enter the building through the breach or hole.
Breach. To forcibly make a dynamic entry, with a ram, a kick, or with explosives-through a door or window, or right through a wall if necessary.
Broken Arrow. Codename for a nuclear accident. It is much more serious than a Bent Spear.
Command and Control or C2. The process of controlling and directing an operation, based on military experience and principles of command in battle. The C2 in an operation is the operation commander, usually staffed by a person who is either the team leader, team commander, or the unit commander. The C2 is clearly identified in the pre-op briefing, and the C2 is, for the duration of the operation, God.
Canary. Slang for a hostage.
Camouflage. The technique of disguising oneself and one's gear for the purpose of concealment. Camouflage may vary from patterned clothing, face paint, and foliage alter colour and shape so that the camouflaged person remains invisible.
Chalk. One specific aircraft load.
Chicken Plate. Slang for the ceramic or steel disk that fits inside a bullet-proof vest. The plate, which is positioned over the heart, is designed to withstand hits from high-calibre bullets.
Civil Affairs (CA)
is the official name for special operations units that conduct civil-military operations.
Clandestine Operations. Activities to accomplish intelligence, counterintelligence, and other similar activities sponsored or conducted by governmental departments or agencies, in such a way as to ensure secrecy or concealment. (They differ from covert operations in that emphasis is placed on concealment of the operation rather than on concealment of the identity of the sponsor.)
Close Protection Duties. Close protection is also known as Body Guard. During these duties a Close Protection Team is tasked with protecting an important person from harm by hostiles.
Close Quarters Battle or CQB
. Fighting in enclosed environments and at close range. These environments include buildings, aircraft, trains and tunnels. This type of fighting requires quick thinking and speedy reactions from the operators.
Close Quarter Shooting or CQS. The particular kind of engagements common to SOF operations within buildings, with a mix of hostages and hostiles, often in the dark, and with smoke and explosions nearby.
Combat Search and Rescue or CSAR. The use of aircraft, surface craft, submarines, specialised rescue teams, and equipment to search for and rescue personnel in a combat situation in distress on land or at sea.
Comm/Commo Communications. Refers to the frequency or method (not necessarily radio, as communication can be through hand and arm signals, notes, or other code systems). "The comm frequency is 'blue,"' means the blue radio channel is primary for the operation.
Communications Intelligence or COMINT. The interception and processing of foreign communications passed by radio, wire, or other electromagnetic means, and by the processing of foreign encrypted communications, however transmitted. Interception comprises search, intercept, operator identification, signal analysis, traffic analysis, crypto-analysis, study of plain text, the fusion of these processes, and reporting the results.
Communications Security or COMSEC. The protection resulting from all measures designed to deny to unauthorised persons information of value that might be derived from the possession and study of telecommunications, or to mislead unauthorised persons in their interpretations of the results of such study. This includes crypto-security, physical security, and transmission security.
Compromised Authority or CA. The situation when hostiles know an assault is coming. When CA is discovered, one jurisdiction transmits over the tactical channel. Despite a careful plan for a deliberate entry and assault on a residence, if a hostile comes out the door with a shotgun, one of the sniper teams will probably make the CA code call over the radio to let C2 and the rest of the operation know there has been a sudden change of plan and the operation will go down now.
Confidential informant or CI. A "spy" of one sort or another, often a relative or associate of the subjects. While "snitches" are frequently unreliable and often just as bad as the people on whom they report, the information they provide can save lives and is potentially very important.
Counter Intelligence. That aspect of intelligence activities, both offensive and defensive, designed to detect and neutralize or destroy the effectiveness of hostile foreign intelligence activities and to protect information against espionage, personnel against subversion, and installations and materiel against sabotage.
Covert Operations. Operations that are so planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor. They differ from clandestine operations in that emphasis is placed on concealment of identity of the sponsor rather than on concealment of the operation.
Crow. Slang for a terrorist.
Debriefing or debrief. An evaluation of how the mission went, and how that compared to the way it was planned. A "lessons learned" session. Some teams do this quite formally, by subunits. The debrief is sometimes supported by careful documentation of the residence by operators who come through and make photographs and videotape records, maps, and diagrams of the location and its components.
Deception. Those measures designed to mislead the enemy by manipulation, distortion, or falsification of evidence to induce him to react in a manner prejudicial to his interests.
Deliberate Assault Team/Plan or DAT/P. One way of moving in on the suspects, characterised by slow, precise, carefully controlled and coordinated movement. The alternative is an emergency assault team or plan, used when everything suddenly goes to wrong.
Demolitions or Demo. Either the materials or the team members. Some teams have and use explosives to open doors, or to make doors in the middle of walls.
Demonstration. A show of force in an area where a decision is not sought. It is similar to a feint but does not make contact with the enemy.
Direct Action (DA).
These are short-duration strikes and other small-scale offensive actions conducted as a special operation in hostile, denied, or politically sensitive environments and which employ specialised military capabilities to seize, destroy, capture, exploit, recover, or damage designated targets.
. The Strategy of Direct Approach is a strategy in which a commander will try to defeat the enemy's political will be by military force.
Distinguished Visitor Protection or DVP. a mission often assigned to US SOF teams when the president or other famous persons come to town for a visit.
Double Tap. Two aimed shots fired in rapid succession at a terrorist to ensure that he does not pose any further threat.
Drill. A drill focuses on a "chunk" or "slice" of battle and is targeted at small units. Drills are critical collective tasks that require a high degree of proficiency from a small unit. Generally, small units "drill" collective tasks that require rapid responses by unit members in the absence of detailed orders from unit leaders.
Dry Hole. An empty room or structure.
. Codename for a situation in which a nuclear weapon malfunctions or is damaged, and could result in detonation or radioactive contamination.
. During a dynamic entry, an assault team forces a sudden entrance into a barricaded location. Explosives, rams and vehicles may be used to breach doors and windows, with diversionary devices deployed to distract the attention of the people who are inside the location. A dynamic entry is used if there is eminent threat of death to the hostages, or obstacles prevent a covert entry.
Eagle/span>. Slang for a good guy or SOF operator.
Electronic Countermeasures. That division of electronic warfare involving actions taken to prevent or reduce an enemy's effective use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Electronic Intelligence or ELINT. The technical and intelligence information derived from foreign non communications electromagnetic radiations emanating from other than atomic detonations or radioactive sources.
Electronic Warfare. Military action involving the use of electromagnetic energy to determine, exploit, reduce, or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum and action that retains friendly use of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Electronic Warfare Support Measures or ESM. That division of EW involving actions taken to search for, intercept, identify, and locate sources of radiated electromagnetic energy for the purpose of immediate threat recognition. ESM provides a source of information needed for immediate action involving electronic countermeasures, electronic counter-countermeasures, avoidance, targeting, and other tactical employment of forces.
Emergency Assault Team/Plan or EAT/P. Assault plan used for hasty reactions to events requiring immediate action, such as the rescue of a team caught or overwhelmed during a deliberate assault. An emergency assault is conducted despite the plan for the deliberate assault, when there isn't a choice. These plans anticipate situations where a team member gets shot, or something else puts a crimp in the deliberate assault plan; the assault has to continue, using the EAT or EAP.
Emergency Medical Technician or EMT. the team member or support staff who always is written into the plan to provide immediate aid to anybody who is injured during the course of an operation. An EMT on the team may very well shoot somebody, then immediately treat the wound he or she has just inflicted. The EMT is not normally on an assault or entry team, but may be part of an arrest team.
Emergency Medical Treatment.
Entry Point One or EP1. A designated way for the entry team to go into a structure. It can be a door, window, or hole in the wall, which the demo team has just blown with a coil of detonation cord. Normally teams brief at least two entry points, the second providing an alternative if the first doesn't work for whatever reason. EP-1 is normally the front door; EP-2 might be the front picture window.
Escape and Evasion or E & E. 1. Name of a manoeuvre after unwanted contact with the enemy. 2. Name of training where skills concerning escape and evasion actions are learned or tested.
Espionage. Actions directed toward the acquisition of information through clandestine operations.
Evacuation. The use of military forces to evacuate citizens or allies from a hostile or potentially hostile area, or to safeguard personnel or property. If hostages or innocents - or wounded team members need to get pulled out of a residence, there is seldom time to sit around and talk about it. An evacuation team and plan will be part of the SOP and the briefing.
Exit Point or EXP. A designated point in the structure where the team will leave through , normally specified in the briefing.
. The removal of personnel or units from areas under enemy control by stealth, deception, surprise, or clandestine means.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal or EOD. The problem of getting rid of the case of old explosives discovered in the basement of a residence or the detonation cord booby traps installed by a hostile.
Extraction. The removal of personnel or units from areas under enemy control by any means, to include exfiltration, airborne, airmobile, or amphibious.