Glossary of Terms

GLOSSARY

I realize that military writing is often hard to follow. Acronyms take years to learn and as soldiers, we become desensitized and often forget they aren’t real words. Despite explanations given in early blogs, I know trying to remember what they mean can be difficult in later blogs.  I’ll build it as I go.  Thanks for reading. Steve

ANA

Afghan National Army – the soldiers that NATO is training to eventually take control of their nation.

AO

Area of Operations. A term describing a geographical space where a nation or combat group focussed their work.

ASE

Aircraft Survivability Equipment. The Electronic Warfare stuff on the helicopter. Basically Flare, rocket and Missile detectors. 3 seconds to either a ‘shart’ or die alarm.

BDA

Battle Damage Assessment. A report given following a battle to give operations information.

BUB (Battle Update Brief)

Is a formal brief of the situation in an area of activity or interest. Refers to friendly, enemy, air force and indirect fire activity in the immediate area. An Infantry BUB may also include his/her plan and how we (helicopters) will fit into it.

CALL-SIGN

The name someone is called over the radio.

CHINOOK

A military CH47 helicopter. Can lift upto 20,000 pounds – 42 troops.

CO

Commanding Officer. The lead pilot in the Squadron.

COMPOUND

Home of local Afghanistan people. They resembled compounds as they were walled of hardened mud around a yard with a small living quarters inside. The walls could often be upto 3 meters high. Often large numbers of compounds joined together with access to each other creating villages or even cities.

CONTACT

This word is spoken when you see something but not designating it as friendly or enemy. ie: “Contact house,” means I see the house.

DFAC

Dining Facility. There were four main DFACs on base that the Canadian ate at.

DICKERS

Enemy person reporting on friendly activity for malicious intent. The enemy uses ‘dickers’  to observe where friendlies are located and subsequently signal triggermen to detonate IEDs or commence and attack.

EC DAY

Equipment Care Day. Every fourteen days. A day of minimal tasking giving the troops a chance to have a slower pace, a Bar-B-Q and breathe.

EO-IR:

Electro-optic Infrared Sensor. Usually refers to an electric eye ball for long range scanning, Infrared capable (it sees heat imagery in the dark) and targeting for some aircraft. Capable EO-IR platforms are the KIOWS, Apache, UAV and yours truly – Griffon with the MX15.

FAC

Forward Air Controller. (or J-TAC) A specialist embedded into a forward area with direct communication with artillery and fast air, helicopters. A FAC is beside the ground commander and ready to call in whatever the ground commander needs for air or indirect fire on an objective.

FAM

Fighting Aged Male.

GOLF

Radio talk indicating an artillery unit (guns)

GPS

Global Position System. Navigation system.

GRAPE_HUT

A huge mud structure often 3 stories tall. They were often half to one meter thick in places and hard like concrete. The Taliban used them as bunkers to hide and fight from.

GRID REFERENCE

An alpha-numeric sequence of numbers that identified an exact location on the ground.

GRIFFON

A military Bell 412 helicopter. Lift upto 3000 pounds, mostly ammo. In Afghanistan – 2-4 passengers maximum seasonally dependant.

IED

Improvised Explosive Devise. Used HME (Home Made Explosive). Primary weapon of terror for Taliban and insurgents.

INDIA

Radio Talk indicating an Infantry unit

INT

Slang for Intelligence. This could refer to the product or the person giving the Int.

J-TAC

See FAC

KAF

Kandahar Air Field

LT

Lieutenant. A rank or position. Soldiers in a unit may refer to their Platoon commander as LT or Captain rather than sir or name.

MOAC

Mother of All Coffees: Green Beans special 28 oz. Coffee with 4 shots espresso

MX15

A Westcam product that greatly enhances visual  surveillance in the helicopter. Military and police units use them globally.

OPS

Slang for Operations. A place where all activity was coordinated.

PID

Positive Identification – term used to track and maintain a target. PID MUST be established and maintained prior to engaging with lethal force.

POL

Pattern of Life. A report about what kind of civilian activity is occurring. Normal or abnormal. Hiding out in the open.

PREDATOR – PRED

An American UAV

RADOP

Radio Operator – also keeps information and war log in the ops centre. And makes coffee. Does everything. Gets food. Cleans. Sets up camp. Courier. Unsung heroes when they are good.

RAMP CEREMONY

A formal memorial service to honour the life of the fallen as he/she boards the aircraft to go back to Canada. Usually thousands attend of all nations as a voluntary gesture of honour and respect. During my tour, the ramp officials often kept people out because too many people showed up than was ramp space available for them to stand and honour the fallen.

ROMEO-TANGO = ROGER THAT = I UNDERSTAND,

I understand.

ROZ IS HOT

Restricted Operating Zone. It is of defined dimensions where only those persons authorized to enter may do so.

RFL (Restricted Fire Line)

This is a line on a map in which a person can not shoot across, nor move in some cases.

SAFIRE

Small Arms Fire – like AK47s or C7s. Usually refers to anything under a 50 caliber.

SAMEO

Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Officer. Lead Maintenance authority at the Squadron.

SHAMUS

Call Sign for American Kiowa teams. Kiowa OH58D models with forward firing 50 cal and 2.75 inch rockets. Also had Electro-optic eye ball on top for long range targeting and surveillance. Aka: Top Hat

SNAFU

Expression: Situation Normal (but) All Fucked Up. Meaning that is normally all fucked up.

SNAKE-EATER

Slang for Special Forces soldiers.

TANGO

Radio Talk indicating a Tank unit

TERP

Interpretor, usually of Pashtun tongue that could listen on radio and tell the Canadians what the Taliban were saying.

TIC

Troops in Contact. Means they are usually exchanging bullets with the enemy.

TLS

Taliban Last Stand. The airport terminal where everyone gets off the aircraft on arrival and departure to theatre. The TLS is where the final American/Taliban fight was in the early 2000’s before KAF was taken over.

UAV

Unmanned aerial vehicle. Canadian used fun armed UAVs for observation and intelligence gathering. American UAVs also maintained a strike capability.

WACS

Woman and Children. A definite no shoot criteria. Often called to let other shooters know there was potential to harm women or children.

WADI

Name for a river or creek.

WAIT OUT

Radio word to say, I’m not answering yet. I need to get more information first or I am busy.

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