Battle Born Glossary

Concepts and Definitions for terms used in the Battle Born Thrillers.

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1 Main Circuit is the term for the shipboard public address circuits used on United States Navy and United States Coast Guard vessels.

5 Main Circuit is the term for the shipboard public address circuits used for the flight deck aboard United States Navy and United States Coast Guard vessels.

(See also Needles). Automatic Carrier Landing System. Provides datalinked roll and pitch commands to establish the correct lateral and vertical path to land aboard an aircraft carrier.

Area Defense Exercise or Air Defense Exercise. A training exercise integrating air-to-air and surface-to-air assets in protecting a strategic asset, like an aircraft carrier.

Active Electronically Scanned Array. A type of phased array antenna in which a beam of radio waves can be electronically steered to point in different directions without physically moving the antenna.

Maverick. A hybrid combining the AGM-65D infrared seeker with the warhead and propulsion components of the AGM-65E.

(See also SLAM-ER). Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response. A precision-guided air-launched cruise missile capable of attacking land and sea targets.

Sidewinder. Short-range infrared-guided air-to-air missile with 90-degree off-boresight capability and compatible with the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System.

(See also AMRAAM). An upgraded version of the AMRAAM with improvements in range and guidance yielding an improved kill probability.

The Joint Advanced Tactical Missile is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile designed to replace the AIM-120 AMRAAM.

The Automatic Identification System is an automatic tracking system that uses transceivers on ships and supplements marine radar to track and monitor vessel movements. 

Avtomat Kalashnikova. A gas-operated automatic rifle developed in the Soviet Union and one of the most popular and widely used firearms in the world.

Autonomic Logistics Information System. Turns maintenance data into actionable information that enables pilots, maintainers and military leaders to make proactive decisions and keep jets flying.

(See also AIM-120D). The Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile is a beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile using active radar guidance.

(See also DAS). The Electro-optical Distributed Aperture System consists of six high-resolution infrared sensors mounted around the F-35’s airframe to provide missile and aircraft detection and tracking as well as imagery for cockpit displays and pilot night vision.

Nite Hawk. FLIR, laser designator, and laser tracker pod system for use with laser-guided munitions.

(See also AESA). An Active Electronically Scanned Array radar designed for the FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler.

(See also AESA). An Active Electronically Scanned Array radar designed for the F-35 Lightning II.

ATFLIR. Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infrared is a multi-sensor, electro-optical targeting pod that incorporates thermographic camera, low-light television, laser designator, and laser spot tracker. Replacement for the Nite Hawk.

An Electronic Warfare and Countermeasures suite designed for the F-35 Lightning II. Collects and processes electromagnetic energy to capture a 360-degree aerial field of view to provide a comprehensive picture of the battlespace.

Aviation Night Vision Goggles

The US Navy 3D radar system that is a key component of the Aegis Combat System, providing 360-degree coverage.

Auxiliary Power Unit.

Air Route Traffic Control Centers. Provides air traffic control service to aircraft operating on instrument flight rules flight plans within controlled airspace and principally during the en route phase of flight.

Air Transfer Office. Utilized for personnel muster, as well as arrival of mail, supplies and high-priority cargo. Responsible for determining what parts and people make it aboard the aircraft carrier.

Naval Aircrewman – Tactical Helicopter. In addition to other duties, they contribute directly to Naval Special Warfare, Search and Rescue, and Combat Search and Rescue missions.

The US Navy next-generation sub-sonic aerial target.

Bearing, Range, Altitude, Aspect. The standard format for providing information about an airborne contact during an intercept.

The term used for the shipboard Instrument Landing System. 

The Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery.

(See also COD). Greyhound. A twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft designed to carry supplies, mail, and passengers to and from aircraft carriers.

The senior US Navy officer responsible for the Carrier Air Wing.

The senior maintenance officer for the Carrier Air Wing.

Combat Air Patrol. Typically involves fighters screening a defended target (like an aircraft carrier) while looking for incoming attackers.

Carrier Air Traffic Control Center.

Carrier Control Area. The airspace within 50-nautical miles from an aircraft carrier.

USS Mobile Bay. A Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser.

Combat Information Center. Functions as a tactical center that provides processed information for command and control of the near battlespace or area of operations.

Close-In Weapon System. A point-defense weapon system for detecting and destroying short-range incoming missiles and enemy aircraft which have penetrated the outer defenses.

The US Navy variant of the V-22 Osprey designed to replace the C-2A Greyhound for the COD mission. The Osprey is a tiltrotor aircraft that can takeoff and land as a helicopter but transit as a turboprop aircraft.

Commanding Officer. The senior US Navy or Marine officer in command of a squadron or ship. Also known as Skipper.

Carrier Onboard Delivery. Used to ferry personnel, mail, supplies, and high-priority cargo from shore bases to an aircraft carrier at sea.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales. Bacteria that commonly cause infections that have grown resistant to a group of antibiotics.

Carrier Strike Group 3. The aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln is the group’s current flagship.

The most common standard approach used for recoveries to the aircraft carrier during periods of darkness or inclement weather.

Carrier Intelligence Center. A facility within an aircraft carrier where intelligence is gathered, collated, and used to mission plan, brief, and debrief aerial missions.

USS Abraham Lincoln. A Nimitz class aircraft carrier.

USS Ronald Reagan. A Nimitz class aircraft carrier.

(See also AN/AAQ-37). The Electro-optical Distributed Aperture System consists of six high-resolution infrared sensors mounted around the F-35’s airframe to provide missile and aircraft detection and tracking as well as imagery for cockpit displays and pilot night vision.

Deputy CAG. The second-most senior Navy officer in a Carrier Air Wing.

Hawkeye. An all-weather, carrier-capable tactical airborne early warning aircraft.

Elastic Compute Cloud. Offers scalable deployment of applications by providing a web service that allows users to rent virtual computers.

Warning Star. An airborne early warning and control radar surveillance aircraft operational from 1954 to 1978.

Electronic Chart Display and Information System. A geographic information system used for nautical navigation that complies with International Maritime Organization regulations as an alternative to paper nautical charts.

Emissions Control. A condition that minimizes radio and electronic emissions to ensure an enemy cannot triangulate the signal source and the ship using radio direction-finding techniques.

(See also Mk20). The Electro-Optic Sighting System includes visual and thermal imaging sensors and a laser range finder. Provides highly accurate targeting information to the ship’s gun weapon system.

Electro-Optical Targeting System. Provides precision air-to-air and air-to-surface targeting capability for the F-35 Lightning II. Combines Forward-Looking Infrared and Infrared Search and Track functionality.

Electronic Warfare. Any action that involves the use of the electromagnetic spectrum and directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults. Its purpose is to deny the opponent the advantage of – and ensure friendly unimpeded access to – the electromagnetic spectrum.

Tomcat. Carrier-capable supersonic, twin-engine, two-seat, twin-tail, variable sweep wing fighter aircraft.

Lightning II. The carrier-capable variant of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole combat aircraft.

Super Hornet. The single-seat variant of the carrier-capable, twin-engine, multirole fighter aircraft.

Forward Arming and Refueling Point. An area where aircraft (typically helicopters) can be refueled and/or re-armed at a distance closer to their area of operations than their main operating base.

Field Carrier Landing Practices. Simulated carrier landings on shore used to prepare aviators for deployment on an aircraft carrier.

Forward-Looking Infrared. Uses thermographic cameras that sense radiation to create an image assembled for video output. Capable of detecting warm objects against a cooler background.

Field Naval Aviator Evaluation Board. A board of inquiry that is held following an aviation mishap to determine the disposition of the aircrew’s further service.

Foreign Object Debris. Anything that has the capacity to injure personnel or damage aircraft (also known as Foreign Object Damage).

The US Air Force designation for the M134 Minigun—a six-barrel 7.62x51 mm rotary machine gun with a rate of fire between 2,000 and 6,000 rounds per minute.

Helicopter Second Pilot.

High Altitude Anti-Submarine Warfare Weapon Capability. The Mk 54 torpedo fixed to an Air Launch Accessory wing kit in order to be released from the P-8A Poseidon.

Helicopter Aircraft Commander.

High Altitude High Opening. A technique used to airdrop personnel at high altitudes when aircraft are unable to fly above enemy skies without posing a threat to the jumpers.

Hospital Corpsman. Navy rating.

Raptors. Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71.

Long-range semi-active radar homing surface-to-air missile developed by the People’s Republic of China. 

Phased antenna array used with the HQ-9 surface-to-air missile system.

Heads Up Display. A device that provides data to the pilot without needing to look down into the cockpit.

Improved Fresnel Lens Optical Landing System. An improvement over the over the optical landing system that provides pilots landing aboard an aircraft carrier with an immediate visual representation of their flight path.

International Genetically Engineered Machine. A worldwide synthetic biology competition.


Inspect/Inflate, Raft/Release, Options, Koch. Mnemonic used when training aviators for the procedures used during a parachute descent.

Infrared Search and Track. A method for detecting and tracking objects which give off infrared radiation, such as the infrared signatures of jet aircraft and helicopters.

Isolated Personnel Report. Used to authenticate isolated American personnel during rescue and recovery.

Flanker L. Chinese-developed variant of a twin-engine jet fighter derived from the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-27. Incorporates Chinese subsystems.

Flanker X2. Chinese all-weather, twin-engine, carrier-based, fourth-generation multirole fighter developed by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation. Structurally based on the Su-33 Flanker D with avionics from the J-11B program.

High flash point jet fuel designed for use in aircraft aboard aircraft carriers, where the risk from fire is particularly great.

Joint Strike Fighter. The development and acquisition program intended to replace a wide range of existing fighter, strike, and ground attack aircraft for the United States and multiple allied nations. The F-35 Lightning II was selected to fill this role.

Joint Strike Missile. A multi-role, air-launched cruise missile derived from the Naval Strike Missile and designed to be integrated with the F-35 Lightning II.

Extender. A three-engine aerial-refueling tanker based on the McDonnell Douglas DC-10.

Stratotanker. A four-engine aerial-refueling tanker based on the Boeing 707.

Landing Area. The roughly 500-foot space on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier used to land aircraft. Its centerline is angled ten-degrees to port from the axis of the ship.

A term used to imply a current fuel state equal to what is required to land during the scheduled recovery at the maximum landing weight.

USS America. An America class amphibious assault ship.

Link 16
A secure, jam-resistant, high-speed military tactical data link network.

Low Probability of Intercept Altimeter. A radar altimeter that minimizes the probability of detection by using a low-wattage beam.

Landing Signalman Enlisted. A sailor trained to guide helicopters in takeoffs and landings aboard Navy ships.

(See also Paddles). Landing Signal Officer. A Naval aviator specially trained to facilitate the safe and expeditious recovery of aircraft aboard aircraft carriers.

Landing Zone.

A gas-operated, magazine-fed carbine. A shortened version of the M16A2.

Joint Service Combat Shotgun based on the Benelli M4 semi-automatic shotgun.

Multifunction Advanced Data Link. A fast-switching narrow directional communications data link between stealth aircraft.

Maintenance Action Form. Documents on-equipment maintenance action or a removal and subsequent processing of a repairable component by an intermediate maintenance activity.

Massive Hemorrhage, Airway, Respiration, Circulation, Hypothermia/Head Injury. A mnemonic used to prioritize treatment in Tactical Combat Casualty Care.

Seahawk. The US Navy’s primary anti-submarine and surface warfare helicopter specially designed for all aspects of land or maritime operations from any aviation ship or air-capable vessel.

Hip. A Soviet-designed Russian military helicopter introduced in 1975.

Multifunctional Information Distribution System. The communication component of the Link-16 military tactical datalink network.

Mk 20
(See also EOSS). The Electro-Optic Sighting System includes visual and thermal imaging sensors and a laser range finder. Provides highly accurate targeting information to the ship’s gun weapon system.

Lightweight torpedo that can be fired from surface vessels and the P-8A Poseidon.

1,000-pound general purpose bomb. 

Maintenance Officer. The Navy officer responsible for maintenance actions in a squadron.

A personal defense weapon manufactured by Heckler & Koch chambered for the HK 4.6 x 30 mm armor-piercing cartridge.

Triton. A high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial vehicle flown by the US Navy as a surveillance aircraft.

Osprey. The US Marine Corps variant of the V-22. Used as an assault transport for troops, equipment and supplies, capable of operating from ships or expeditionary airfields.

Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division. Delivers integrated and interoperable warfighting capabilities through cutting-edge research, development, test, evaluation, and sustainment.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The primary law enforcement agency of the US Department of the Navy with a broad mandate that includes national security, counterintelligence, counterterrorism, cyberwarfare, and the protection of US naval assets worldwide.

Non-Commissioned Officer. A military officer who does not hold a commission and who usually earns their position of authority by promotion through the enlisted ranks.

(See also ACLS). Automatic Carrier Landing System. Provides datalinked roll and pitch commands to establish the correct lateral and vertical path to land aboard an aircraft carrier.

Not Mission Capable. A material condition indicating that systems and equipment are not capable of performing any of their assigned missions because of maintenance requirements. In aviation parlance, this is known as being “down”.

Night Optical Device. Also known as Night Vision Goggles.

Night Vision Cueing and Display. An additional capability to the Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System allowing the cueing of weapons and sensors at night.

A cloud-native system that incorporates a new integrated data environment and a new suite of user-centered applications to improve F-35 fleet’s sustainment and readiness performance. Allows software engineers to rapidly develop and deploy updates in response to emerging warfighter requirements.

Officer of the Deck. A watchstanding duty officer on a surface ship in charge of navigation and safety of the ship, unless relieved by the captain or a senior qualified line officer.

Orion. A four-engine, turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft.

Poseidon. A two-engine maritime patrol aircraft based on the Boeing 737-800.

A compact-size semi-automatic pistol manufactured by SIG SAUER.

A micro-compact, highly concealable semi-automatic pistol manufactured by SIG SAUER.

(See also LSO). Landing Signal Officer. A Naval aviator specially trained to facilitate the safe and expeditious recovery of aircraft aboard aircraft carriers.

Plane Captain. The person responsible for conducting the final examination of the aircraft.

Panoramic Cockpit Display. A high-resolution, high-brightness, night vision-compatible 20-inch x 8-inch active-matrix liquid crystal display that provides pilot control and display for major functions of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

Position of Intended Movement. The estimated latitude and longitude of the aircraft carrier’s intended position at time of aircraft recovery.

People’s Liberation Army—Navy.

Pilot’s Landing Aid Television. A closed-circuit TV system aboard the aircraft carrier that records and broadcasts various angles of flight operations on the flight deck.

Partial Mission Capable. A material condition indicating that systems and equipment can perform at least one but not all its missions because of maintenance requirements.

Plain Old Telephone Service. A phone system aboard Navy ships that allows users to connect with domestic phone numbers by utilizing a satellite switch.

Also known as Primary Flight Control. The control tower on the aircraft carrier where the Air Boss manages flight operations.

Quick Reaction Force. A unit capable of rapidly responding to developing situations to assist allied units in need of immediate assistance.

A semi-automatic pistol designed by Norinco in use by the People’s Liberation Army.

Radar Absorbent Material. Used in stealth technology to absorb radiofrequency radiation, as effectively as possible, from as many incident directions as possible. This results in lowering the resulting level of reflected radiation.

Rigid-Hull Inflatable Boat. A lightweight but high-performance and high-capacity boat constructed with a rigid hull bottom joined to side-forming air tubes that are inflated with air to a high pressure.

Standard Extended Range Active Missile, or Standard Missile 6. Designed for extended-range anti-air warfare purposes, providing capability against fixed and rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-ship cruise missiles in flight, both over sea and land, and terminal ballistic missile defense.

Return to Base. The act of returning to the place of origin or other friendly place of refuge following a mission.

Viking. A four-crew, twin-engine turbofan-powered jet aircraft designed to be a carrier-based, subsonic, all-weather, long-range, multi-mission aircraft. Also known as the “Hoover” because of its characteristic sound.

A medium-size commercial utility helicopter.

Search and Rescue. The search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger.

Southern California Offshore Range. A state-of-the-art facility that provides training and testing services to the US Navy Pacific Fleet.

Surveillance Detection Route. A route conducted by foot or vehicle designed to subtly expose hostile surveillance.

US Navy Sea, Air, and Land teams. The Navy’s primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command. Sometimes known as “frogmen”, SEALs trace their lineage to the Scouts and Raiders of World War II and the Underwater Demolition Teams.

Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape. A training program that prepares pilots and other at-risk individuals with skills needed to survive an isolated situation. The focus is on evading, withstanding, and escaping captivity.

Secure Hash Algorithm 1. In cryptography, SHA-1 is a hash function which takes an input and produces a 160-bit hash value known as a message digest – typically rendered as 40 hexadecimal digits. Designed by the US National Security Agency.

Sink at-sea live-fire training Exercise. A program that repurposes decommissioned and stricken warships for use as targets during live-fire training exercises by surface, sub-surface, and air units.

(See also AGM-84K). Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response. A precision-guided air-launched cruise missile capable of attacking land and sea targets.

Ship’s Nautical Or Otherwise Photographic Intelligence Exploitation. May also be known as Ship’s Nautical Or Otherwise Photographic Interpretation and Examination. A team comprised of sailors charged with collecting information on surface and air contacts that come in close proximity to a US Navy vessel.

Special Operations Peculiar Modification kit. An accessory system for the M4 (and other weapons) used by the United States Special Operations Command. 

Surface Surveillance and Control. A mission flown by carrier air wing aircraft to identify and track surface and sub-surface vessels in the vicinity of the carrier strike group.

Short Takeoff and Landing. Refers to conventional fixed-wing aircraft that have short runway requirements for takeoff and landing.

Surface Warfare Officers School. Located at Naval Station Newport, Rhode Island, it is a “center of excellence” for surface warfare and the focal point for training the officers and enlisted sailors who man and fight aboard US Navy ships.

Tactical Air Navigation. A system used by military aircraft to navigate using bearing and range from known stations.

Tactical Automated Mission Planning System. A now obsolete common automated system designed for rapidly processing large quantities of digitized terrain, threat and environmental data, aircraft, avionics, and weapon systems parameters.

Tactical Action Officer. The Commanding Officer’s representative concerning tactical employment of weapons systems and defense of the ship.

Avenger. A World War II-era torpedo bomber developed and used by the US Navy and Marine Corps. First saw action during the Battle of Midway. 

Tactical Operations Center. A command post for military operations comprising specially trained personnel who guide operations in an active tactical environment.

The US Navy Fighter Weapons School. Conducts three twelve-week courses per year, each consisting of three programs: Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI), Air-Intercept Controller (AIC), and Adversary.

Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel. An element specially trained in the recovery of isolated personnel.


Underwater Demolition Teams. Known as “naked warriors” they were formed to provide intelligence of underwater obstacles in advance of amphibious operations.

Unidentified Flying Object. Also known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

Ultra High Frequency. Radio frequencies in the range between 300 MHz and 3 GHz.

Dambusters. Strike Fighter Squadron 195 flying the FA-18E Super Hornet.

Visual Flight Rules. A set of regulations under which a pilot can operate an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow the pilot to see where the aircraft is going. 

Very High Frequency. Radio frequencies in the range from 30 to 300 MHz. 

Black Knights. Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314. The first Marine Corps squadron to receive the F-35C Lightning II and deploy aboard an aircraft carrier.

Dragons. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 flying the MV-22 Osprey. When “reinforced”, the squadron also includes the F-35B Lightning II.

Virtual Reality. A simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world.

Providers. Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30. One of only two active, carrier-capable squadrons flying the C-2A Greyhound.

Titans. Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron 30. The US Navy’s first CMV-22B Osprey squadron, established to begin the Navy’s transition from the C-2A Greyhound as the aircraft providing logistics support to aircraft carriers.

Bloodhounds. Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 30. Based at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, California, the squadron provides support to the US Navy’s sea test range.

Dust Devils. Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 31. Based at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, the squadron conducts flight test for Navy and Marine Corps tactical weapons systems.

Executive Officer. The second-most senior US Navy or Marine officer in a squadron or ship. In the Navy, the Executive Officer often promotes to become the Commanding Officer. This is known as “fleeting up.”

Yard Patrol. Vessels used to provide realistic, at-sea training in navigation and seamanship for midshipmen at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland

A Chinese medium attack helicopter developed by the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force, designed primarily for anti-tank warfare missions with a secondary role of air-to-air combat.