Glossary (B-GA-403-000/FP-001, Canadian Forces Aerospace Shape Doctrine)

The definitions contained in this glossary are derived from a number of sources. Where this publication is the source of a definition, no source is indicated. Definitions taken from other sources are indicated in parentheses at the end of each term, utilizing the following abbreviations:

  1. AFTP – Air Force Terminology Panel; and
  2. DTB – Defence Terminology Bank,

aerospace control
The implementation and coordination of the procedures governing airspace planning and organization in order to minimize risk and allow for the efficient and flexible use of airspace. (DTB record 3422)

Note: aerospace control is synonymous with airspace control.

aerospace warning
A warning based on the detection, assessment and validation of an impending or actual intrusion into an airspace of interest by aircraft, missiles or spacecraft. (DTB  record 44191)

air component commander (ACC)
A designated, operational-level commander responsible for making recommendations to a supported commander on the proper employment of assigned, allocated, attached and/or made available forces; planning and coordinating aerospace operations; assigning missions and tasks; and accomplishing such missions as may be directed by the supported commander. (DTB record 34079)

air defence
All measures designed to nullify or reduce the effectiveness of hostile air action. (DTB  record 48)

air domain
All areas, entities and activities related to, or affecting, the air environment. Note: The air domain includes infrastructure, people, cargo, aircraft and other conveyances. (DTB record 41193)

air interdiction (AI)
Air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, degrade or destroy an adversary’s military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively and at such distance that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and manoeuvre of friendly forces is not required. (DTB  record 3343, modified)

air sovereignty operations
All military measures conducted across the spectrum of conflict to control sovereign airspace. Such an operation does not need to have aircraft airborne. The airspace is being controlled, not protected. (DTB  record 44195)

airspace control authority (ACA)
The commander designated to assume overall responsibility for the operation of the airspace control system in their assigned area. (DTB  record 19471, modified)

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air superiority
That degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea and air forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force. (DTB  record 3364)

air supremacy
That degree of air superiority wherein the opposing air force is incapable of effective interference. (DTB  record 3366)

air surveillance operation
An operation conducted to monitor designated airspace by detecting and tracking operations or intrusions. (i  record 44196)

air tasking order (ATO)
A document issued by an aerospace operations centre under the authority of the air component commander directing subordinate air forces to execute aerospace missions.

Note: An air tasking order is authoritative and is the product of the air planning process. It is valid for a prescribed period and provides sufficient tactical detail for subordinate commanders to execute missions. (DTB  record 30607, modified)

anti-air warfare (AAW)
Measures taken to defend a maritime force against attacks by airborne weapons launched from aircraft, ships, submarines and land-based sites.

Note: In the air force, AAW is synonymous with counter-air operations. (DTB  record 18987)

area defence
In air defence, deployment of units or sub-units to provide an effective degree of protection over specified area. (DTB  record 24098)

area of operations (AOO)
A geographical area, within an area of responsibility, assigned to a subordinate commander within which that commander has the authority to plan and conduct tactical operations. (DTB  record 3528)

area of responsibility (AOR)
The geographical area assigned to an operational-level commander within which that commander has the authority to plan and conduct military operations. (DTB  record 34612)

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battle damage assessment (BDA)
The assessment of effects resulting from the application of military action, either lethal or non-lethal, against a military objective. (DTB  record 26988)

close air support (CAS)
Air action against hostile targets which are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces. (DTB  record 23335)

close combat attack (CCA)
A coordinated attack by armed aviation against targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces. (DTB  record 34045)

collateral damage (CD)
Inadvertent casualties and destruction in civilian areas caused by military operations. (DTB  record 26989)

combat air patrol (CAP)
An aircraft patrol provided over an objective area, the force protected, the critical area of a combat zone, or in an air defence area, for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile aircraft before they reach their targets. (DTB  record 256)

command and control (C2)
The exercise of authority and direction by a commander over assigned, allocated and attached forces in the accomplishment of a mission. (DTB  record 5950)

common operating picture (COP)
An interactive and shared visual representation of operational information gathered from various sources. (DTB  record 41401)

computer network attack (CNA)

Action taken to disrupt, deny, degrade or destroy information resident in a computer and/or computer network, or the computer and/or computer network itself.

Note: A computer network attack is a type of cyber attack. (DTB  record 26982)

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control of the air
The level of influence over the aeropsace domain exerted by friendly forces relative to the aerospace capabilities of the adversary.

counter-insurgency (COIN)
Those military, paramilitary, political, economic, psychological, and civic actions taken to defeat insurgency. (DTB  record 3941, modified)

cyber domain
The sphere of activity that uses information technology to produce effects. (AFTP proposed definition)

A sphere of activity, influence or knowledge related to a specific physical or conceptual property.

 Note: In joint doctrine, the domains are physical, moral and informational. (DTB  record 44221)

electromagnetic domain
The sphere of activity that uses the electromagnetic spectrum to produce effects.

electronic attack (EA)
Use of electromagnetic energy for offensive purposes. (DTB  record 30833)

electronic warfare (EW)
Military action to exploit the electromagnetic spectrum encompassing: the search for, interception and identification of electromagnetic emissions, the employment of electromagnetic energy, including directed energy, to reduce or prevent hostile use of the electromagnetic spectrum, and actions to ensure its effective use by friendly forces. (DTB  record 4164)

fighter engagement zone (FEZ)
The part of the air defence area neither by the missile engagement zone nor by the low level engagement zone and in which fighters have freedom of action to identify and, if necessary, engage other aircraft. (DTB  record 33499)

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Actions that seek to produce a first order physical effect against a target’s capabilities.

Note: They include lethal and non-lethal means. (DTB  record 33777)

force application
The use of military force to achieve an effect.

Note: Military force can be kinetic or non-kinetic. (AFTP proposed definition)

force enabler
A capability provided to a force that is essential to mission accomplishment. (DTB  record 37304)

force multiplier
A capability provided to a force that enhances the probability of success in mission accomplishment. (DTB  record 37306)

force protection (FP)
All measures and means to minimize the vulnerability of personnel, facilities, equipment and operations to any threat and in all situations, to preserve freedom of action and the operational effectiveness of the force. (DTB  record 23554)

forward air controller (FAC)

A qualified individual who, from a forward position on the ground or in the air, directs the action of combat aircraft engaged in close air support of land forces. (DTB  record 552)

Note: The term joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) is used synonymously with FAC and refers in general terms to the person performing the same duties. ABFAC (airborne FAC) is an aircrew member who controls close air support missions from an airborne position while operating an aircraft.

information domain       
The sphere of activity where unprocessed data is processed, manipulated, used or communicated to produce a desired effect. (AFTP proposed definition)

informational domain
The sphere in which the information and cyber domains exist to produce desired effects.

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information operations (info ops)
Coordinated actions to create desired effects on the will, understanding and capability of individuals and groups, in support of overall objectives by affecting their information, information-based processes and systems, while exploiting and protecting one’s own. (DTB  record 31721)

intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR)
An activity that synchronizes and integrates the planning and operation of all collection capabilities with processing and dissemination of the resulting information to the right person, at the right time, in the right format, in support of current and future operations. (DTB  pending)

maritime domain
All areas, entities and related activities on, under or adjacent to a sea, an ocean or other navigable waterway.

Note: The maritime domain includes infrastructure, people, cargo, vessels and other conveyances. (DTB  record 43601)

missile engagement zone (MEZ)
The defined airspace where missile systems have normally the priority to engage various targets. (DTB  record 890)

moral domain
The sphere in which people interact on a psychological, ethical and/or cognitive level. (DTB  record 41423)

near real time (NRT)
Pertaining to the timeliness of data or information which has been delayed by the time required for electronic communication and automatic data processing. This implies that there are no significant delays. (DTB  record 22876)

non-permissive environment
An environment in which friendly forces anticipate obstructions to, or interference with, operations. (DTB  record 43595)

offensive counter-air operation (OCA)
An operation mounted to destroy, disrupt or limit adversary air power as close to its source as possible. (DTB  record 4956, modified)

operational command (OPCOM)
The authority granted to a commander to assign missions or tasks to subordinate commanders, to deploy units, to reassign forces, and to retain or delegate operational and/or tactical control as the commander deems necessary.

Note: It does not include responsibility for administration. (DTB  record 19477)

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operational control (OPCON)
The authority delegated to a commander to direct forces assigned so that the commander may accomplish specific missions or tasks which are usually limited by function, time, or location; to deploy units concerned, and to retain or assign tactical control of those units. It does not include authority to assign separate employment of components of the units concerned. Neither does it, of itself, include administrative or logistic control. (DTB  record 1056)

operational planning process (OPP)
A coordinated staff process used by a commander to determine the best method of accomplishing assigned tasks and to direct the action necessary to accomplish the mission. (DTB  pending)

permissive environment
An environment in which friendly forces anticipate no obstructions to, or interference with, operations.

Note: A permissive environment does not necessarily imply absence of threat. (DTB  record 43594)

physical domain
The sphere in which people live and work. (DTB  record 41433)

rules of engagement (ROE)
Directives issued by competent military authority which specify the circumstances and limitations under which forces will initiate and/or continue combat engagement with other forces encountered. (DTB  record 5285)

special operations forces
Military units of an army, navy and air force which are designated for special operations, and are organized, trained and equipped specially to conduct such operations. (DTB  record 33206)

suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD)
That activity which neutralizes, temporarily degrades or destroys adversary air defences by a destructive and/or disruptive means. (DTB  record 5469, modified)

tactical air control party (TACP)
A subordinate operational component of a tactical air control system designed to provide air liaison to land forces and for the control of aircraft. (DTB  record 1429)

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tactical command (TACOM)
The authority delegated to a commander to assign tasks to forces under [the commander’s] command for the accomplishment of the mission assigned by higher authority. (DTB  record 5491)

tactical control (TACON)
The detailed and, usually, local direction and control of movements or manoeuvres necessary to accomplish missions or tasks assigned. (DTB  record 5493)

unmanned aerial system (UAS)
A system that includes the necessary equipment, network, and personnel to operate an unmanned aerial vehicle. (DTB  record 44145)

unmanned aircraft (UA) / unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
A powered, aerial vehicle that does not carry a human operator, uses aerodynamic forces to provide vehicle lift, can fly autonomously or be piloted remotely, can be expendable or recoverable, and can carry a lethal or non-lethal payload. Ballistic or semi-ballistic vehicles, cruise missiles, and artillery projectiles are not considered unmanned aerial vehicles. (DTB  record 44144)

The assessment of effects resulting from the application of military action, either lethal or non-lethal, against a military objective. (DTB  record 26988)

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