uncertain environment. See operational environment.
uncommitted force - A force that is not in contact with an enemy and is not already assigned a specific mission or course of action which would preclude its use elsewhere.
unconventional warfare (UW) (JP 1-02) - A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations, normally of long duration, predominantly conducted by indigenous or surrogate forces who are organized, trained, equipped, supported, and directed in varying degrees by an external source. It includes guerrilla warfare and other direct offensive, low visibility, covert, or clandestine operations, as well as the indirect activities of subversion, sabotage, intelligence activities, and evasion and escape. (Army) - A broad spectrum of military and paramilitary operations conducted in enemy-held, enemy-controlled, or politically sensitive territory. UW includes guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, subversion, sabotage, direct action missions, and other operations of a low-visibility, covert, or clandestine nature. These interrelated aspects of UW may be prosecuted singly or collectively by predominantly indigenous personnel, usually supported and directed in varying degrees by an external source during all conditions of war or peace. (See military operations other than war (MOOTW).) See FM 100-20.
underground - A covert unconventional warfare organization established to operate in areas denied to the guerrilla forces or conduct operations not suitable for guerrilla forces.
unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO) (JP 1-02, NATO) - Explosive ordnance which has been primed, fused, armed, or otherwise prepared for action, and which has been fired, dropped, launched, or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard to operations, installations, personnel, or material, and remains unexploded either by malfunction or design or for any other cause.
unified command (JP 1-02) - A command with a broad continuing mission under a single commander and composed of significant assigned components of two or more Military Departments, and which 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. Also called unified combatant command. See FM 100-5 and JP 5-0.
unit (JP 1-02, NATO) - 1. Any military element whose structure is prescribed by competent authority, such as a table of organization and equipment; specifically, part of an organization. 2. An organization title of a subdivision of a group in a task force. 3. A standard of basic quantity into which an item of supply is divided, issued, or used. In this meaning, also called unit of issue. 4. With regard to reserve components of the Armed Forces, denotes a Selected Reserve unit organized, equipped, and trained for mobilization to serve on active duty as a unit or to augment or be augmented by another unit. Headquarters and support functions without wartime missions are not considered units. (Army) - This first level of command (company, troop, or battery) upon which all other higher formations and organizations are built. (See also organization.)
unit distribution - A method of distributing supplies by which the receiving unit is issued supplies in its own area with transportation furnished by the issuing agency.
United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) - A tailored, temporary force, comprised of joint and/or multinational forces or agencies under the command of the United Nations Secretary-General, that monitors or verifies compliance with United Nations Resolutions by various parties or ensures humanitarian care is provided to noncombatants. These forces are equipped with light defensive weapons and are authorized to use force only for self-defense. (See also implementation force (IFOR).) See FMs 100-20 and 100-23.
unit maintenance collection point (UMCP) - A location or a series of locations, operated by a battalion maintenance platoon, that is the nearest point to the combat unit to which equipment can be recovered, and where limited parts are available, and some repairs can be performed. See FM 72-1.
unit trains - Combat service support personnel and equipment organic or attached to a force that provides support such as supply, evacuation, and maintenance services. Unit trains, whether or not echeloned, are under unit control and no portion of them is released to the control of a higher headquarters. Trains are normally echeloned into combat and field trains. (See also combat trains and field trains.)
unity of command - One of the nine principles of war. All forces operate under one responsible commander who possesses requisite authority to direct forces in pursuit of a common unified purpose. (See also maneuver, offensive, objective, surprise, economy of force, mass, security, and security.) See FM 100-5.
unity of effort - Coordination and cooperation among all forces, not necessarily part of the same command structure toward a commonly recognized objective. See FM 100-5.
Universal Time (ZULU) (JP 1-02) - A measure of time that conforms, within a close approximation, to the mean diurnal rotation of the Earth and serves as the basis of civil timekeeping. Universal Time (UTI) is determined from observations of the stars, radio sources, and also from ranging observations of the Moon and artificial Earth satellites. The scale determined directly from such observations is designated Universal Time Observed (UTO); it is slightly dependent on the place of observation. When UTO is corrected for the shift in longitude of the observing station caused by polar motion, the time scale UT1 is obtained. When an accuracy better than one second is not required, Universal Time can be used to mean Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Formerly called Greenwich Mean Time. (See also ZULU time.) See FM 101-5.
universal transverse mercator grid (JP 1-02, NATO) - A grid coordinate system based on the transverse mercator projection, applied to maps of the Earth's surface extending to 84 degrees N and 80 degrees S latitudes. See FM 21-26.
unknown (JP 1-02) - 1. A code meaning information not available. 2. An unidentified target. (Army) - An aircraft or ship which has not been determined to be hostile, friendly, or neutral using identification friend or foe (IFF) and other techniques, but which must be tracked by air defense or naval engagement systems.
unobserved fire (JP 1-02, NATO) - Fire for which the points of impact or burst are not observed. See FM 6-series, 7-90, 7-91, 17-12, and 23-1.
unwarned exposed (JP 1-02, NATO) - The vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects. In this condition, personnel who are assumed to be standing in the open at burst time, but have dropped to a prone position by the time the blast wave arrives. They are expected to have areas of bare skin exposed to direct thermal radiation, and some personnel may suffer dazzle. (See also warned exposed and warned protected.) See FM 100-30, JPs 3-12.2, and 3-12.3.
up (JP 1-02, NATO) - In artillery and naval gunfire support: 1. A term used in a call for fire to indicate that the target is higher in altitude than the point which has been used as a reference point for target location. 2. A correction used by an observer or a spotter in time fire to indicate that an increase in height of burst is desired. (Army) - Indirect fire, a term used to move the point of aim higher than the previous point of aim, usually expressed in mils. See FMs 6-series, 7-90, 7-91, 17-12, and 23-1.
vaccine - A preparation of killed or attenuated infective or toxic agent used as an inoculation to produce active artificial immunity. See FM 3-9.
V-agents - Persistent, highly toxic nerve agents absorbed primarily through the skin. See FM 3-9.
vector - 1. A carrier, especially the animal or intermediate host, that carries a pathogen from one host to another. See FM 3-9. 2. An angle of direction expressed in degrees or mils to a target or a specified point.
vee formation - A unit formation with subordinate elements arranged in a V formation with the point facing away from the templated enemy. This formation is hard to reorient and difficult to control in heavily wooded areas but provides good firepower to the front and flanks. (See also formation, movement formation, and wedge formation.) See FMs 7-7, 7-8 and 7-20.
vehicle distance (JP 1-02, NATO) - The clearance between vehicles in a column which is measured from the rear of one vehicle to the front of the following vehicle. (See also march column, march serial, and march unit.) See FMs 55-10, 55-30, and 101-5.
vehicle washdown - Technique used for flushing contamination off equipment surfaces to limit the spreading and transferring of contamination. Along with mission-oriented protective posture (MOPP) gear exchange, it is part of decontamination operations. See FM 3-5.
versatility - The ability of units to meet diverse mission requirements and for commanders to shift focus, tailor forces, and move from one form or type of operation to another rapidly and efficiently. It is also the ability to be multifunctional and to operate across the full range of military operations. See FM 100-5.
vertical envelopment (JP 1-02) - 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. (See also air assault and choices of maneuver.)
vesicant - chemical agent that acts on the eyes, lungs, and skin, capable of producing blisters. See FM 3-9.
visual flight rules (VFR) - A meteorological condition that allows pilots to control aircraft orientation and attitude using visual references (the ground and the natural horizon). When weather conditions are good enough to allow pilots to safely operate their aircraft without the control requirements of instrument flight rules (IFR) flight procedures, and weather minimum conditions are above the regulatory requirements for VFR flight, pilots may operate under VFR procedures. See FM 1-111.
vulnerability analysis - A process to determine which friendly elements are within the radius of vulnerability (RV) for a proposed friendly weapon of mass destruction target and whether they will be exposed to a radiation risk greater than emergency risk. (See also emergency risk (nuclear), radius of vulnerability (RV) (nuclear), and troop safety (nuclear) .) See FMs 3-3, 3-100, 100-30, JPs 3-12.2, and 3-12.3
walking patient (JP 1-02, NATO) - A patient not requiring a litter while in transit. (See also casualty and patient.) See FM 8-series.
war game (JP 1-02, NATO) - A simulation, by whatever means, of a military operation involving two or more opposing forces, using rules, data, and procedures designed to depict an actual or assumed real life situation.
wargaming - A step-by-step process of action, reaction, and counteraction for visualizing the execution of each friendly course of action (COA) in relation to enemy COAs and reactions. It explores the possible branches and sequels to the primary plan resulting in a final plan and decision points for critical actions. See FM 101-5.
warned exposed(JP 1-02, NATO) - The vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects. In this condition, personnel are assumed to be prone with all skin covered and with thermal protection at least that provided by a two-layer summer uniform. (See also unwarned exposed and warned protected.) See FM 100-30, JPs 3-12.2, and 3-12.3.
warned protected (JP 1-02, NATO) - The vulnerability of friendly forces to nuclear weapon effects. In this condition, personnel are assumed to have some protection against heat, blast, and radiation such as that afforded in closed armored vehicles or crouched in fox holes with improvised overhead shielding. ( See also unwarned exposed and warned exposed.) See FM 100-30, JPs 3-12.2, and 3-12.3.
warning order (WARNO) (JP 1-02, NATO) - 1. A preliminary notice of an order or action which is to follow. 2. A crisis action planning directive issued by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that initiates the development and evaluation of courses of action by a supported commander and requests that a commander's estimate be submitted. 3. A planning directive that describes the situation, allocates forces and resources, establishes command relationships, provides other initial planning guidance, and initiates subordinate unit mission planning. See FMs 1-111, 6-20, 7-20, 7-30, 17-95, 71-100, 71-123, 100-15, 100-40, 101-5, and JP 5-0.
wave (JP 1-02, NATO) - A formation of forces, landing ships, craft, and amphibious vehicles or aircraft required to beach or land about the same time. Can be classified as to type, function, or order as shown: a. Assault wave; b. Boat wave; c. Helicopter wave; d. Numbered wave; e. On-call wave; f. Scheduled wave.
way point (JP 1-02) - In air operations, a point or a series of points in space to which an aircraft may be vectored. (Army) - A designated point or series of points loaded and stored in a global positioning system or other electronic navigational aid system to facilitate movement.
weapon control status - The degree of fire control imposed upon Army units having assigned, attached, or organic air defense weapons. (See air defense weapon control status.)
weapon engagement zone (WEZ) (JP 1-02) - In air defense, airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with a particular weapon system. a. fighter engagement zone (FEZ). In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with fighter aircraft. b. . high-altitude missile engagement zone (HIMEZ) In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with high-altitude surface-to-air missiles. c. . low-altitude missile engagement zone (LOMEZ). In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with low- to medium-altitude surface-to-air missiles. d. short-range air defense engagement zone (SHORADEZ). In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which the responsibility for engagement of air threats normally rests with short-range air defense weapons. It may be established within a low- or high-altitude missile engagement zone. e. joint engagement zone (JEZ). In air defense, that airspace of defined dimensions within which multiple air defense systems (surface-to-air missiles and aircraft) are simultaneously employed to engage air threats.
weapons free (JP 1-02, NATO) - In air defense, a weapon control order imposing a status whereby weapons systems may be fired at any target not positively recognized as friendly. (See also weapons hold, weapons tight, and air defense weapon control status.) See FM 44-100.
weapons free zone (JP 1-02) - An air defense zone established for the protection of key assets or facilities, other than air bases, where weapon systems may be fired at any target not positively recognized as friendly. (See also weapons free and air defense weapon control status.) See FMs 100-103 and 44-100.
weapons hold (JP 1-02, NATO) - In air defense, a weapon control order imposing a status whereby weapons systems may only be fired in self-defense or in response to a formal order. (See also weapons free, weapons tight, and air defense weapon control status.) See FM 44-100.
weapon signature - Any smoke, vapor trail, noise, heat, flash, tracer, or flight characteristic that denotes a specific weapon system. (See also signature.)
weapons of mass destruction (JP 1-02) - In arms control usage, weapons that are capable of a high order of destruction and/or of being used in such a manner as to destroy large numbers of people. Can be nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons, but excludes the means of transporting or propelling the weapon where such means is a separable and divisible part of the weapon.
weapons tight (JP 1-02, NATO) - In air defense, a weapon control order imposing a status whereby weapons systems may be fired only at targets recognized as hostile. (See also air defense, weapons free, and weapons hold.)
weathering - The process of decontamination by natural evaporation or decomposition of the chemical agent. See FM 3-100.
wedge formation - A unit formation with subordinate elements in a V formation with the point toward the suspected or templated enemy positions. This facilitates control and transition to the assault (line formation). The wedge provides maximum firepower forward and good firepower to the flanks. (See also vee formation and formation.) See FMs 7-7, 7-8 and 7-20.
white lists - Listings that identify and locate individuals who have been identified as being of intelligence or counterintelligence interest and who are expected to be able to provide information or assistance in existing or new intelligence areas of interest. The individuals are usually in accordance with, or favorably inclined toward, US policies. Contributions are based on a voluntary and cooperative attitude.
white propaganda (JP 1-02) - Propaganda disseminated and acknowledged by the sponsor or by an accredited agency thereof.
withdrawal operation (JP 1-02, NATO) - A planned operation in which a force in contact disengages from an enemy force. (Army) - A type of retrograde where a force in contact plans to disengage from the enemy and move in a direction away from the enemy. (See retrograde.)
world geographic reference system (GEOREF) (JP 1-02) - A worldwide position reference system that may be applied to any map or chart graduated in latitude and longitude regardless of projection. It is a method of expressing latitude and longitude in a form suitable for rapid reporting and plotting.
wounded in action (WIA) (JP 1-02) - A casualty category applicable to a hostile casualty, other than the victim of a terrorist activity, who has incurred an injury due to an external agent or cause. The term encompasses all kinds of wounds and other injuries incurred in action, whether there is a piercing of the body, as in a penetration or perforated wound, or none, as in the contused wound. These include fractures, burns, blast concussions, all effects of biological and chemical warfare agents, and the effects of an exposure to ionizing radiation or any other destructive weapon or agent. The hostile casualty's status may be very seriously ill or injured, seriously ill or injured, incapacitating illness or injury, or not seriously injured.
wrong (JP 1-02) - A proword meaning, "Your last transmission was incorrect, the correct version is "_____."
X-hour - The unspecified time that commences unit notification for planning and deployment preparation in support of potential contingency operations that do not involve rapid, no-notice deployment.
X-hour sequence - Extended sequence of events initiated by X-hour that allows a unit to focus on planning for a potential contingency operation, to include preparations for deployment.
zone of action (JP 1-02, NATO) - A tactical subdivision of a larger area, the responsibility for which is assigned to a tactical unit; generally applied to offensive action. (Army) - The offensive operational area assigned to a unit or commander that is defined by a forward boundary, rear boundary, lateral boundaries, and a coordinating altitude. (See also sector.)
zone of fire - A maneuver control measure usually utilized during amphibious operations that is an area within which designated ground fire support units and naval gunfire support ships deliver, or are prepared to deliver, fire support. Fire may be observed or unobserved. The zone of fire is used to coordinate the efforts of the fire support ships and units with each other and with the ground scheme of maneuver. The size and location of a zone of fire is based on the ground force boundaries; the area in which the supporting ships and units can provide effective fire; visibility; range of the ship's guns; and the height of intervening terrain. (See also fire support area (FSA), fire support station (FSS), and naval gunfire support (NGFS).) See FM 6-series.
zone reconnaissance - A directed effort to obtain detailed information concerning all routes, obstacles (to include chemical or radiological contamination), terrain, and enemy forces within a zone defined by boundaries. A zone reconnaissance normally is assigned when the enemy situation is vague or when information concerning cross-country trafficability is desired. (See also reconnaissance (recon) (recce).)
zone of separation (ZOS) - That space controlled by a third-party neutral force that enforces the parameters specified by international agreement, ceasefire agreement, or United Nations mandate.
ZULU time - A measure of time that conforms, within a close approximation, to the mean diurnal rotation of the Earth and serves as the basis of civil timekeeping. ZULU time is determined from observations of the stars, radio sources, and also from ranging observations of the Moon and artificial Earth satellites. The scale determined directly from such observations is designated Universal Time Observed (UTO); it is slightly dependent on the place of observation. When ZULU time is corrected for the shift in longitude of the observing station caused by polar motion, the time scale ZULU time is obtained. Formerly called Greenwich Mean Time (See also Universal Time.) See FM 101-5.
|Updated 27 July 1997.|
Table of Contents
Operational Terms Index.