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Military Terms and Definitions

pace — (*) For ground forces, the speed of a column or element regulated to maintain a
prescribed average speed.

pace setter — (*) An individual, selected by the column commander, who travels in the
lead vehicle or element to regulate the column speed and establish the pace necessary to
meet the required movement order.

packaged petroleum product — A petroleum product (generally a lubricant, oil, grease, or
specialty item) normally packaged by a manufacturer and procured, stored, transported,
and issued in containers having a fill capacity of 55 United States gallons (or 45
Imperial gallons, or 205 liters) or less.

packup kit — Service-provided maintenance gear including spare parts and consumables
most commonly needed by the deployed helicopter detachment. Supplies are sufficient
for a short-term deployment but do not include all material needed for every
maintenance task. Also called PUK. (JP 3-04)

padding — Extraneous text added to a message for the purpose of concealing its beginning,
ending, or length.

pallet — (*) 1. A flat base for combining stores or carrying a single item to form a unit
load for handling, transportation, and storage by materials handling equipment. 2.
(DOD only) 463L pallet – An 88” x 108” aluminum flat base used to facilitate the
upload and download of aircraft.

palletized load system — A truck with hydraulic load handling mechanism, trailer, and
flatrack system capable of self-loading and -unloading. Truck and companion
trailer each have a 16.5 ton payload capacity. Also called PLS. See also flatrack.
(JP 4-01.7)

palletized load system flatrack — Topless, sideless container component of palletized load
system, some of which conform to International Organization for Standardization
specifications. See also palletized load system. (JP 4-01.7)

palletized unit load — (*) Quantity of any item, packaged or unpackaged, which is
arranged on a pallet in a specified manner and securely strapped or fastened thereto so
that the whole is handled as a unit. (JP 4-01.6)

panel code — (*) A prearranged code designed for visual communications, usually
between friendly units, by making use of marking panels. See also marking panel.

panoramic camera — (*) 1. In aerial photography, a camera which, through a system of
moving optics or mirrors, scans a wide area of the terrain, usually from horizon to
horizon. The camera may be mounted vertically or obliquely within the aircraft, to
scan across or along the line of flight. 2. In ground photography, a camera which
photographs a wide expanse of terrain by rotating horizontally about the vertical axis
through the center of the camera lens.

parachute deployment height — (*) The height above the intended impact point at which
the parachute or parachutes are fully deployed.

paradrop — (*) Delivery by parachute of personnel or cargo from an aircraft in flight.

parallel chains of command — In amphibious operations, a parallel system of command,
responding to the interrelationship of Navy, landing force, Air Force, and other major
forces assigned, wherein corresponding commanders are established at each
subordinate level of all components to facilitate coordinated planning for, and
execution of, the amphibious operation. (JP 3-02.2)

parallel sheaf — In artillery and naval gunfire support, a sheaf in which the planes (lines) of
fire of all pieces are parallel. See also converged sheaf.

parallel staff — (*) A staff in which one officer from each nation, or Service, working in
parallel is appointed to each post. See also multinational staff; integrated staff; joint

paramilitary forces — Forces or groups distinct from the regular armed forces of any
country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission.

pararescue team — Specially trained personnel qualified to penetrate to the site of an
incident by land or parachute, render medical aid, accomplish survival methods, and
rescue survivors. Also called PRT.

parlimentaire — An agent employed by a commander of belligerent forces in the field to
go in person within the enemy lines for the purpose of communicating or negotiating
openly and directly with the enemy commander.

parrot — Identification friend or foe transponder equipment.

partial mission-capable — Material condition of an aircraft or training device indicating
that it can perform at least one but not all of its missions. Also called PMC. See also
full mission-capable; mission-capable; partial mission-capable, maintenance;
partial mission-capable, supply.

partial mission-capable, maintenance — Material condition of an aircraft or training
device indicating that it can perform at least one but not all of its missions because of
maintenance requirements existing on the inoperable subsystem(s). Also called
PMCM. See also full mission-capable; mission-capable; partial mission-capable;
partial mission-capable, supply.

partial mission-capable, supply — Material condition of an aircraft or training device
indicating it can perform at least one but not all of its missions because maintenance
required to clear the discrepancy cannot continue due to a supply shortage. Also called
PMCS. See also full mission-capable; mission-capable; partial mission-capable;
partial mission-capable, maintenance.

partial mobilization — See mobilization, Part 2.

partial storage monitoring — A periodic inspection of major assemblies or components
for nuclear weapons, consisting mainly of external observation of humidity,
temperatures, and visual damage or deterioration during storage. This type of
inspection is also conducted prior to and upon completion of a movement.

partisan warfare — Not to be used. See guerrilla warfare.
partner nation. Those nations that the United States works with to disrupt the production,
transportation, distribution, and sale of illicit drugs, as well as the money involved with
this illicit activity. Also called PN. (JP 3-07.4)

part number — A combination of numbers, letters, and symbols assigned by a designer, a
manufacturer, or vendor to identify a specific part or item of materiel.

pass — 1. A short tactical run or dive by an aircraft at a target. 2. A single sweep through
or within firing range of an enemy air formation.

passage of lines — An operation in which a force moves forward or rearward through
another force’s combat positions with the intention of moving into or out of contact
with the enemy. A passage may be designated as a forward or rearward passage of

passenger mile — One passenger transported one mile. For air and ocean transport, use
nautical miles; for rail, highway, and inland waterway transport in the continental
United States, use statute miles.

passive — (*) In surveillance, an adjective applied to actions or equipments which emit no
energy capable of being detected.

passive air defense — All measures, other than active air defense, taken to minimize the
effectiveness of hostile air and missile threats against friendly forces and assets. These
measures include camouflage, concealment, deception, dispersion, reconstitution,
redundancy, detection and warning systems, and the use of protective construction. See
also air defense; concealment, deception, dispersion. (JP 3-01)

passive defense — Measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects
of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative. See
also active defense.

passive homing guidance — (*) A system of homing guidance wherein the receiver in the
missile utilizes radiation from the target.

passive mine — (*) 1. A mine whose anticountermining device has been operated
preventing the firing mechanism from being actuated. The mine will usually remain
passive for a comparatively short time. 2. A mine which does not emit a signal to
detect the presence of a target. See also active mine.

pass time — (*) In road transport, the time that elapses between the moment when the
leading vehicle of a column passes a given point and the moment when the last vehicle
passes the same point.

password — (*) A secret word or distinctive sound used to reply to a challenge. See also
challenge; countersign.

pathfinder drop zone control — The communication and operation center from which
pathfinders exercise aircraft guidance.
pathfinder landing zone control — See pathfinder drop zone control.

pathfinders — 1. Experienced aircraft crews who lead a formation to the drop zone,
release point, or target. 2. Teams dropped or air landed at an objective to establish and
operate navigational aids for the purpose of guiding aircraft to drop and landing zones.
3. A radar device used for navigating or homing to an objective when visibility
precludes accurate visual navigation. 4. Teams air delivered into enemy territory for
the purpose of determining the best approach and withdrawal lanes, landing zones, and
sites for helicopterborne forces.

pathogen — A disease producing microorganism that directly attacks human tissue and
biological processes. (JP 3-11)

patient — A sick, injured, wounded, or other person requiring medical and/or dental care or

patient movement — The act or process of moving a sick, injured, wounded, or other
person to obtain medical and/or dental care or treatment. Functions include medical
regulating, patient evacuation, and en route medical care. See also patient; patient
movement items; patient movement requirements center. (JP 4-02)

patient movement items — The medical equipment and supplies required to support
patients during aeromedical evacuation. Also called PMIs.

patient movement policy — Command decision establishing the maximum number of days
that patients may be held within the command for treatment. Patients who, in the
opinion of responsible medical officers, cannot be returned to a duty status within the
period prescribed are evacuated by the first available means, provided the travel
involved will not aggravate their disabilities. See also evacuation; patient. (JP 4-02)

patient movement requirements center — Term used to represent any theater, joint or the
Global Patient Movement Requirements Center function. A joint activity that
coordinates patient movement. It is the functional merging of joint medical regulating
processes, Services’ medical regulating processes, and patient movement evacuation
requirements planning (transport to bed plan). Also called PMRC. See also patient.
(JP 4-02)

patrol — (*) A detachment of ground, sea, or air forces sent out for the purpose of
gathering information or carrying out a destructive, harassing, mopping-up, or security
mission. See also combat air patrol.

pattern bombing — The systematic covering of a target area with bombs uniformly
distributed according to a plan.

pattern laying — (*) In land mine warfare, the laying of mines in a fixed relationship to
each other.

payload — (*) 1. The sum of the weight of passengers and cargo that an aircraft can carry.
See also load. 2. The warhead, its container, and activating devices in a military
missile. 3. The satellite or research vehicle of a space probe or research missile. 4.
The load (expressed in tons of cargo or equipment, gallons of liquid, or number of
passengers) which the vehicle is designed to transport under specified conditions of
operation, in addition to its unladen weight.

payload build-up (missile and space) — The process by which the scientific
instrumentation (sensors, detectors, etc.) and necessary mechanical and electronic
subassemblies are assembled into a complete operational package capable of achieving
the scientific objectives of the mission.

payload integration (missile and space) — The compatible installation of a complete
payload package into the spacecraft and space vehicle.

payload (missile) — See payload, Part 2.

P-day — That point in time at which the rate of production of an item available for military
consumption equals the rate at which the item is required by the Armed Forces.

peace building — Stability actions, predominately diplomatic and economic, that
strengthen and rebuild governmental infrastructure and institutions in order to avoid a
relapse into conflict. Also called PB. See also peace enforcement; peacekeeping;
peacemaking; peace operations. (JP 3-07.3)

peace enforcement — Application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally
pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with resolutions or
sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and order. See also peace building;
peacekeeping; peacemaking; peace operations. (JP 3-07.3)

peacekeeping — Military operations undertaken with the consent of all major parties to a
dispute, designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an agreement (cease fire,
truce, or other such agreement) and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term
political settlement. See also peace building; peace enforcement; peacemaking;
peace operations. (JP 3-07.3)

peacemaking — The process of diplomacy, mediation, negotiation, or other forms of
peaceful settlements that arranges an end to a dispute and resolves issues that led to it.
See also peace building; peace enforcement; peacekeeping; peace operations.
(JP 3-07.3)

peace operations — A broad term that encompasses multiagency and multinational crisis
response and limited contingency operations involving all instruments of national
power with military missions to contain conflict, redress the peace, and shape the
environment to support reconciliation and rebuilding and facilitate the transition to
legitimate governance. Peace operations include peacekeeping, peace enforcement,
peacemaking, peace building, and conflict prevention efforts. Also called PO. See also
peace building; peace enforcement; peacekeeping; and peacemaking. (JP 3-07.3)

peacetime force materiel assets — That portion of total materiel assets that is designated to
meet the peacetime force materiel requirement. See also war reserves.

peacetime force materiel requirement — The quantity of an item required to equip,
provide a materiel pipeline, and sustain the United States force structure (active and
reserve) and those allied forces designated for United States peacetime support in
current Secretary of Defense guidance (including approved supply support
arrangements with foreign military sales countries) and to support the scheduled
establishment through normal appropriation and procurement leadtime periods.

peacetime materiel consumption and losses — The quantity of an item consumed, lost, or
worn out beyond economical repair through normal appropriation and procurement
leadtime periods.

peacetime operating stocks — Logistic resources on hand or on order necessary to support
day-to-day operational requirements, and which, in part, can also be used to offset
sustaining requirements. Also called POS. (JP 4-03)

peak overpressure — (*) The maximum value of overpressure at a given location which is
generally experienced at the instant the shock (or blast) wave reaches that location.

pencil beam — (*) A searchlight beam reduced to, or set at, its minimum width.

penetration — (*) In land operations, a form of offensive which seeks to break through the
enemy’s defense and disrupt the defensive system.

penetration aids — Techniques and/or devices employed by offensive aerospace weapon
systems to increase the probability of penetration of enemy defenses.

penetration (air traffic control) — That portion of a published high altitude instrument
approach procedure that prescribes a descent path from the fix on which the procedure
is based to a fix or altitude from which an approach to the airport is made.

penetration (intelligence) — The recruitment of agents within or the infiltration of agents
or technical monitoring devices in an organization or group for the purpose of acquiring
information or of influencing its activities.

percentage clearance — (*) In mine warfare, the estimated percentage of mines of
specified characteristics which have been cleared from an area or channel.

perception management — Actions to convey and/or deny selected information and
indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, and objective
reasoning as well as to intelligence systems and leaders at all levels to influence official
estimates, ultimately resulting in foreign behaviors and official actions favorable to the
originator’s objectives. In various ways, perception management combines truth
projection, operations security, cover and deception, and psychological operations. See
also psychological operations.

performance work statement — A statement of work for performance based acquisitions
that describe the results in clear, specific, and objective terms with measurable
outcomes. Also called PWS. (JP 4-10)

perils of the sea — Accidents and dangers peculiar to maritime activities, such as storms,
waves, and wind; collision; grounding; fire, smoke and noxious fumes; flooding,
sinking and capsizing; loss of propulsion or steering; and any other hazards resulting
from the unique environment of the sea.

perimeter defense — A defense without an exposed flank, consisting of forces deployed
along the perimeter of the defended area.

periodic intelligence summary — A report of the intelligence situation in a tactical
operation (normally produced at corps level or its equivalent and higher) usually at
intervals of 24 hours, or as directed by the commander. Also called PERINTSUM.

period — The time it takes for a satellite to complete one orbit around the earth. (JP 3-14)

period of interest — A period of time in which a launch of a missile is expected. Also
called POI.

perishable cargo — Cargo requiring refrigeration, such as meat, fruit, fresh vegetables, and
medical department biologicals.

permafrost — Permanently frozen subsoil.

permanent echo — Any dense and fixed radar return caused by reflection of energy from
the Earth’s surface or manmade structure. Distinguished from “ground clutter” by
being from definable locations rather than large areas.

permissive action link — A device included in or attached to a nuclear weapon system to
preclude arming and/or launching until the insertion of a prescribed discrete code or
combination. It may include equipment and cabling external to the weapon or weapon
system to activate components within the weapon or weapon system.

permissive environment — Operational environment in which host country military and
law enforcement agencies have control as well as the intent and capability to assist
operations that a unit intends to conduct. (JP 3-0)

persistency — (*) In biological or chemical warfare, the characteristic of an agent which
pertains to the duration of its effectiveness under determined conditions after its
dispersal. (JP 3-11)

persistent agent — A chemical agent that, when released, remains able to cause casualties
for more than 24 hours to several days or weeks. (JP 3-11)

persistent surveillance — A collection strategy that emphasizes the ability of some
collection systems to linger on demand in an area to detect, locate, characterize,
identify, track, target, and possibly provide battle damage assessment and retargeting in
near or real-time. Persistent surveillance facilitates the prediction of an adversary’s
behavior and the formulation and execution of preemptive activities to deter or forestall
anticipated adversary courses of action. See also surveillance. (JP 2-0)

personal effects — All privately owned moveable, personal property of an individual. Also
called PE. See also mortuary affairs; personal property. (JP 4-06)

personal locator beacon — (*) An emergency radio locator beacon with a two-way speech
facility carried by crew members, either on their person or in their survival equipment,
and capable of providing homing signals to assist search and rescue operations. Also
called PLB. See also crash locator beacon; emergency locator beacon.

personal property — Property of any kind or any interest therein, except real property,
records of the Federal Government, and naval vessels of the following categories:
surface combatants, support ships, and submarines.

personal protective equipment — The equipment provided to shield or isolate a person
from the chemical, physical, and thermal hazards that can be encountered at a
hazardous materials incident. Personal protective equipment includes both personal
protective clothing and respiratory protection. Also called PPE. See also individual
protective equipment. (JP 3-11)

person authorized to direct disposition of human remains — A person, usually primary
next of kin, who is authorized to direct disposition of human remains. Also called
PADD. See also mortuary affairs. (JP 4-06)

person eligible to receive effects — The person authorized by law to receive the personal
effects of a deceased military member. Receipt of personal effects does not constitute
ownership. Also called PERE. See also mortuary affairs; personal effects. (JP 4-06)

person in custody — Any person under the direct control and protection of US forces.

personnel — Those individuals required in either a military or civilian capacity to
accomplish the assigned mission.

personnel increment number — A seven-character, alphanumeric field that uniquely
describes a non-unit-related personnel entry (line) in a Joint Operation Planning and
Execution System time-phased force and deployment data. Also called PIN.

personnel locator system — A system that provides rough range and bearing to isolated
personnel by integrating the survival radio (if equipped with a transponder) with an
airborne locating system, based on an encrypted communications homing system. Also
called PLS. (JP 3-50)

personnel locator system code — A six digit number programmed into survival radios and
used by recovery forces to covertly locate isolated personnel. Also called PLS code.
(JP 3-50)

personnel reaction time (nuclear) — (*) The time required by personnel to take
prescribed protective measures after receipt of a nuclear strike warning.

personnel recovery — The sum of military, diplomatic, and civil efforts to prepare for and
execute the recovery and reintegration of isolated personnel. Also called PR. See also
combat search and rescue; evasion; evasion and escape; personnel; recovery;
search and rescue. (JP 3-50)

personnel recovery coordination cell — The primary joint force component organization
responsible for coordinating and controlling component personnel recovery missions.
Also called PRCC. (JP 3-50)

personnel recovery task force — A force comprised of US or multinational military forces
and/or other US agencies formed to execute a specific personnel recovery mission to
locate, support, and recover isolated personnel. Also called PRTF. (JP 3-50)

personnel replacement center — The processing centers at selected Army installations
through which individual personnel will be processed to ensure that soldier readiness
processing actions have been completed prior to reporting to the aerial port of
embarkation for deployment to a theater of operations. See also deployment. (JP 1-0)

personnel security investigation — An inquiry into the activities of an individual, designed
to develop pertinent information pertaining to trustworthiness and suitability for a
position of trust as related to loyalty, character, emotional stability, and reliability. Also
called PSI.

perspective grid — (*) A network of lines, drawn or superimposed on a photograph, to
represent the perspective of a systematic network of lines on the ground or datum

petroleum intersectional service — (*) An intersectional or interzonal service in a theater
of operations that operates pipelines and related facilities for the supply of bulk
petroleum products to theater Army elements and other forces as directed.

petroleum, oils and lubricants — A broad term that includes all petroleum and associated
products used by the Armed Forces. Also called POL. (JP 4-01.6)

phase — In joint operation planning, a definitive stage of an operation or campaign during
which a large portion of the forces and capabilities are involved in similar or mutually
supporting activities for a common purpose. (JP 5-0)

phase line — A line utilized for control and coordination of military operations, usually an
easily identified feature in the operational area. Also called PL. (JP 3-09)

phases of military government — 1. assault — That period which commences with the
first contact with civilians ashore and extends to the establishment of military
government control ashore by the landing force. 2. consolidation — That period
which commences with the establishment of military government ashore by the landing
force and extends to the establishment of control by occupation forces. 3. occupation
— That period which commences when an area has been occupied in fact, and the
military commander within that area is in a position to enforce public safety and order.
See also civil affairs; military occupation.

phonetic alphabet — A list of standard words used to identify letters in a message
transmitted by radio or telephone. The following are the authorized words, listed in
order, for each letter in the alphabet: ALFA, BRAVO, CHARLIE, DELTA, ECHO,

phony minefield — An area free of live mines used to simulate a minefield, or section of a
minefield, with the object of deceiving the enemy. See also gap, minefield. (JP 3-15)

photoflash bomb — (*) A bomb designed to produce a brief and intense illumination for
medium altitude night photography.

photoflash cartridge — (*) A pyrotechnic cartridge designed to produce a brief and
intense illumination for low altitude night photography.

photogrammetric control — (*) Control established by photogrammetric methods as
distinguished from control established by ground methods. Also called minor control.

photogrammetry — (*) The science or art of obtaining reliable measurements from
photographic images.

photographic coverage — The extent to which an area is covered by photography from
one mission or a series of missions or in a period of time. Coverage, in this sense,
conveys the idea of availability of photography and is not a synonym for the word

photographic intelligence — The collected products of photographic interpretation,
classified and evaluated for intelligence use. Also called PHOTINT.

photographic interpretation — See imagery interpretation.

photographic panorama — A continuous photograph or an assemblage of overlapping
oblique or ground photographs that have been matched and joined together to form a
continuous photographic representation of the area.

photographic reading — (*) The simple recognition of natural or manmade features from
photographs not involving imagery interpretation techniques.

photographic scale — (*) The ratio of a distance measured on a photograph or mosaic to
the corresponding distance on the ground, classified as follows:
a. very large scale — 1:4,999 and larger;
b. large scale — 1:5,000 to 1:9,999;
c. medium scale — 1:10,000 to 1:24,999;
d. small scale — 1:25,000 to 1:49,999;
e. very small scale — 1:50,000 and smaller.
See also scale.

photographic strip — (*) Series of successive overlapping photographs taken along a
selected course or direction.

photo interpretation key — See imagery interpretation key.

photomap — (*) A reproduction of a photograph or photomosaic upon which the grid
lines, marginal data, contours, place names, boundaries, and other data may be added.

photo nadir — (*) The point at which a vertical line through the perspective center of the
camera lens intersects the photo plane.

physical characteristics — Those military characteristics of equipment that are primarily
physical in nature, such as weight, shape, volume, water-proofing, and sturdiness.

physical damage assessment — The estimate of the quantitative extent of physical damage
(through munitions blast, fragmentation, and/or fire damage effects) to a target resulting
from the application of military force. This assessment is based upon observed or
interpreted damage. See also battle damage assessment. (JP 3-60)

physical security — (*) 1. That part of security concerned with physical measures
designed to safeguard personnel; to prevent unauthorized access to equipment,
installations, material, and documents; and to safeguard them against espionage,
sabotage, damage, and theft. 2. (DOD only) In communications security, the
component that results from all physical measures necessary to safeguard classified
equipment, material, and documents from access thereto or observation thereof by
unauthorized persons. See also communications security; security. (JP 6-0)

pictomap — A topographic map in which the photographic imagery of a standard mosaic
has been converted into interpretable colors and symbols by means of a pictomap

pictorial symbolization — (*) The use of symbols which convey the visual character of
the features they represent.

Pierson-Moskowitz scale — A scale that categorizes the force of progressively higher wind
speeds. See also sea state. (JP 4-01.6)

pillbox — (*) A small, low fortification that houses machine guns, antitank weapons, etc.
A pillbox is usually made of concrete, steel, or filled sandbags.

pilot’s trace — (*) A rough overlay to a map made by the pilot of a photographic
reconnaissance aircraft during or immediately after a sortie. It shows the location,
direction, number, and order of photographic runs made, together with the camera(s)
used on each run.

pinpoint — (*) 1. A precisely identified point, especially on the ground, that locates a very
small target, a reference point for rendezvous or for other purposes; the coordinates that
define this point. 2. The ground position of aircraft determined by direct observation
of the ground.

pinpoint photograph — (*) A single photograph or a stereo pair of a specific object or

pinpoint target — (*) In artillery and naval gunfire support, a target less than 50 meters in

pipeline — (*) In logistics, the channel of support or a specific portion thereof by means of
which materiel or personnel flow from sources of procurement to their point of use.
(JP 4-0)

piracy — An illegal act of violence, depredation (e.g., plundering, robbing, or pillaging), or
detention in or over international waters committed for private ends by the crew or
passengers of a private ship or aircraft against another ship or aircraft or against persons
or property on board such ship or aircraft.

pitch — (*) 1. The movement of an aircraft or ship about its transverse axis. 2. In air
photography, the camera rotation about the transverse axis of the aircraft. Also called

pitch angle — (*) The angle between the aircraft’s longitudinal axis and the horizontal
plane. Also called inclination angle.

plan for landing — In amphibious operations, a collective term referring to all individually
prepared naval and landing force documents which, taken together, present in detail all
instructions for execution of the ship-to-shore movement. (JP 3-02.2)

plan identification number — 1. A command-unique four-digit number followed by a
suffix indicating the Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) year for which the plan is
written, e.g., “2220-95”. 2. In the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System
(JOPES) database, a five-digit number representing the command-unique four-digit
identifier, followed by a one-character, alphabetic suffix indicating the operation plan
option, or a one-digit number numeric value indicating the JSCP year for which the
plan is written. Also called PID.

planimetric map — A map representing only the horizontal position of features.
Sometimes called a line map. See also map.

plan information capability — The capability that allows a supported command to enter
and update key elements of information in an operation plan stored in the Joint
Operation Planning and Execution System.

planned airlift requests — Requests generated to meet airlift requirements that can be
forecast or where requirements can be anticipated and published in the air tasking
order. See also air tasking order. (JP 3-17)

planned target (nuclear) — A nuclear target planned on an area or point in which a need is
anticipated. A planned nuclear target may be scheduled or on call. Firing data for a
planned nuclear target may or may not be determined in advance. Coordination and
warning of friendly troops and aircraft are mandatory.

planned target — Target that is known to exist in the operational environment, upon which
actions are planned using deliberate targeting, creating effects which support
commander’s objectives. There are two types of planned targets: scheduled and oncall.
See also on-call target; operational area; scheduled target; target. (JP 3-60)

planning and direction — In intelligence usage, the determination of intelligence
requirements, development of appropriate intelligence architecture, preparation of a
collection plan, and issuance of orders and requests to information collection agencies.
See also intelligence process. (JP 2-01)

planning directive — In amphibious operations, the plan issued by the designated
commander, following receipt of the order initiating the amphibious operation, to
ensure that the planning process and interdependent plans developed by the amphibious
force will be coordinated, completed in the time allowed, and important aspects not
overlooked. See also amphibious force; amphibious operation. (JP 3-02)

planning factor — (*) A multiplier used in planning to estimate the amount and type of
effort involved in a contemplated operation. Planning factors are often expressed as
rates, ratios, or lengths of time. (JP 4-0)

planning factors database — Databases created and maintained by the Military Services
for the purpose of identifying all geospatial information and services requirements for
emerging and existing forces and systems. The database identifies: unit requirements,
at the information content level, for geospatial data and services; system requirements
for standard Department of Defense geospatial data and services; research,
development, test, and evaluation requirements for developmental systems, identified
by milestone; and initial operating capability and full operating capability for emerging
systems. Also called PFDB. See also data; database; geospatial information and
services. (JP 2-03)

planning order — A planning directive that provides essential planning guidance and
directs the initiation of execution planning before the directing authority approves a
military course of action. Also called PLANORD. See also execution planning.
(JP 5-0)

planning phase — In amphibious operations, the phase normally denoted by the period
extending from the issuance of the order initiating the amphibious operation up to the
embarkation phase. The planning phase may occur during movement or at any other
time upon receipt of a new mission or change in the operational situation. See also
amphibious operation. (JP 3-02)

planning team — A functional element within a joint force commander’s headquarters
established to solve problems related to a specific task or requirement. The planning
team is not enduring and dissolves upon completion of the assigned task. (JP 3-33)

plan position indicator — (*) A cathode ray tube on which radar returns are so displayed
as to bear the same relationship to the transmitter as the objects giving rise to them.

plant equipment — Personal property of a capital nature, consisting of equipment,
furniture, vehicles, machine tools, test equipment, and accessory and auxiliary items,
but excluding special tooling and special test equipment, used or capable of use in the
manufacture of supplies or for any administrative or general plant purpose.

plastic zone — (*) The region beyond the rupture zone associated with crater formation
resulting from an explosion in which there is no visible rupture, but in which the soil is
permanently deformed and compressed to a high density. See also rupture zone.

plate — (*) 1. In cartography: a. a printing plate of zinc, aluminum, or engraved copper;
b. collective term for all “states” of an engraved map reproduced from the same
engraved printing plate; c. all detail to appear on a map or chart which will be
reproduced from a single printing plate (e.g., the “blue plate” or the “contour plate”). 2.
In photography, a transparent medium, usually glass, coated with a photographic
emulsion. See also diapositive.

platform drop — (*) The airdrop of loaded platforms from rear loading aircraft with roller
conveyors. See also airdrop; airdrop platform.

plot — (*) 1. Map, chart, or graph representing data of any sort. 2. Representation on a
diagram or chart of the position or course of a target in terms of angles and distances
from positions; location of a position on a map or a chart. 3. The visual display of a
single location of an airborne object at a particular instant of time. 4. A portion of a
map or overlay on which are drawn the outlines of the areas covered by one or more
photographs. See also master plot.

point defense — The defense or protection of special vital elements and installations; e.g.,
command and control facilities or air bases. (JP 3-52)

point designation grid — (*) A system of lines, having no relation to the actual scale, or
orientation, drawn on a map, chart, or air photograph dividing it into squares so that
points can be more readily located.

pointee-talkee — A language aid containing selected phrases in English opposite a
translation in a foreign language. It is used by pointing to appropriate phrases. See also
evasion aid. (JP 3-50.3)

point of no return — (*) A point along an aircraft track beyond which its endurance will
not permit return to its own or some other associated base on its own fuel supply.

point-to-point sealift — The movement of troops and/or cargo in Military Sealift
Command nucleus or commercial shipping between established ports, in administrative
landings, or during logistics over-the-shore operations. See also administrative
landing; administrative movement; logistics over-the-shore operations.

poised mine — (*) A mine in which the ship counter setting has been run down to “one”
and which is ready to detonate at the next actuation. See also mine.

polar coordinates — (*) 1. Coordinates derived from the distance and angular
measurements from a fixed point (pole). 2. In artillery and naval gunfire support, the
direction, distance, and vertical correction from the observer/spotter position to the

polar orbit — A satellite orbit in which the satellite passes over the North and South Poles
on each orbit, and eventually passes over all points on the earth. The angle of
inclination between the equator and a polar orbit is 90 degrees. (JP 3-14)

polar plot — (*) The method of locating a target or point on the map by means of polar

political intelligence — Intelligence concerning foreign and domestic policies of
governments and the activities of political movements.

political warfare — Aggressive use of political means to achieve national objectives.

politico-military gaming — Simulation of situations involving the interaction of political,
military, sociological, psychological, economic, scientific, and other appropriate

pool — 1. Maintenance and control of a supply of resources or personnel upon which other
activities may draw. The primary purpose of a pool is to promote maximum efficiency
of use of the pooled resources or personnel, e.g., a petroleum pool or a labor and
equipment pool. 2. Any combination of resources which serves a common purpose.

population at risk — The strength in personnel of a given force structure in terms of which
casualty rates are stated. Also called PAR. (JP 4-02)

port capacity — (*) The estimated capacity of a port or an anchorage to clear cargo in 24
hours usually expressed in tons. See also beach capacity; clearance capacity.

port complex — (*) A port complex comprises one or more port areas of varying
importance whose activities are geographically linked either because these areas are
dependent on a common inland transport system or because they constitute a common
initial destination for convoys.

port designator — (*) A group of letters identifying ports in convoy titles or messages.

port evacuation of cargoes — (*) The removal of cargoes from a threatened port to
alternative storage sites.

port evacuation of shipping — (*) The movement of merchant ships from a threatened
port for their own protection.

port of debarkation — The geographic point at which cargo or personnel are discharged.
This may be a seaport or aerial port of debarkation; for unit requirements; it may or
may not coincide with the destination. Also called POD. See also port of
embarkation. (JP 4-0)

port of embarkation — The geographic point in a routing scheme from which cargo or
personnel depart. This may be a seaport or aerial port from which personnel and
equipment flow to a port of debarkation; for unit and non-unit requirements, it may or
may not coincide with the origin. Also called POE. See also port of debarkation.
(JP 4-01.2)

port operations group — A task-organized unit, located at the seaport of embarkation
and/or debarkation under the control of the landing force support party and/or combat
service support element, that assists and provides support in the loading and/or
unloading and staging of personnel, supplies, and equipment from shipping. Also
called POG. See also combat service support element; landing force support
party; task organization. (JP 3-35)

port security — (*) The safeguarding of vessels, harbors, ports, waterfront facilities, and
cargo from internal threats such as destruction, loss, or injury from sabotage or other
subversive acts; accidents; thefts; or other causes of similar nature. See also harbor
defense; physical security; security.

port support activity — A tailorable support organization composed of mobilization
station assets that ensures the equipment of the deploying units is ready to load. The
port support activity operates unique equipment in conjunction with ship loading
operations. The port support activity is operationally controlled by the military port
commander or terminal transfer unit commander. Also called PSA. See also support.
(JP 3-35)

positional defense — See position defense.

position defense — (*) The type of defense in which the bulk of the defending force is
disposed in selected tactical localities where the decisive battle is to be fought.
Principal reliance is placed on the ability of the forces in the defended localities to
maintain their positions and to control the terrain between them. The reserve is used to
add depth, to block, or restore the battle position by counterattack.

positive control — A method of airspace control that relies on positive identification,
tracking, and direction of aircraft within an airspace, conducted with electronic means
by an agency having the authority and responsibility therein. (JP 3-52)

positive identification and radar advisory zone — A specified area established for
identification and flight following of aircraft in the vicinity of a fleet-defended area.
Also called PIRAZ.

positive phase of the shock wave — The period during which the pressure rises very
sharply to a value that is higher than ambient and then decreases rapidly to the ambient
pressure. See also negative phase of the shock wave.

Posse Comitatus Act — Prohibits search, seizure, or arrest powers to US military
personnel. Amended in 1981 under Public Law 97-86 to permit increased Department
of Defense support of drug interdiction and other law enforcement activities. (Title 18,
“Use of Army and Air Force as Posse Comitatus” - United States Code, Section 1385)

postattack period — In nuclear warfare, that period which extends from the termination of
the final attack until political authorities agree to terminate hostilities. See also
posthostilities period; transattack period.

posthostilities period — That period subsequent to the date of ratification by political
authorities of agreements to terminate hostilities.

poststrike reconnaissance — Missions undertaken for the purpose of gathering
information used to measure results of a strike.

power projection — The ability of a nation to apply all or some of its elements of national
power - political, economic, informational, or military - to rapidly and effectively
deploy and sustain forces in and from multiple dispersed locations to respond to crises,
to contribute to deterrence, and to enhance regional stability. See also elements of
national power. (JP 3-35)

PPI gauge — See international loading gauge.

practice mine — (*) 1. In land mine warfare, an inert mine to which is fitted a fuze and a
device to indicate, in a non-lethal fashion, that the fuze has been activated. See also
mine. 2. In naval mine warfare, an inert-filled mine but complete with assembly,
suitable for instruction and for practice in preparation. See also drill mine.

prearranged fire — (*) Fire that is formally planned and executed against targets or target
areas of known location. Such fire is usually planned well in advance and is executed
at a predetermined time or during a predetermined period of time. See also fire; oncall;
scheduled fire.

preassault operation — Operations conducted by the amphibious force upon its arrival in
the operational area and prior to H-hour and/or L-hour. See also amphibious force;
times. (JP 3-02)

precautionary launch — The launching of nuclear loaded aircraft under imminent nuclear
attack so as to preclude friendly aircraft destruction and loss of weapons on the ground
and/or carrier.

precautionary personnel recovery — The planning and pre-positioning of aircraft, ships,
or ground forces and facilities before an operation to provide personnel recovery
assistance if needed. Precautionary postures include: duckbutt; lifeguard; airborne
alert; and quick response posture. Also called precautionary PR. (JP 3-50)

precedence — 1. communications — A designation assigned to a message by the
originator to indicate to communications personnel the relative order of handling and to
the addressee the order in which the message is to be noted. Examples of
communication precedence from most immediate to least are flash, immediate, priority,
and routine. 2. reconnaissance — A letter designation, assigned by a unit requesting
several reconnaissance missions, to indicate the relative order of importance (within an
established priority) of the mission requested. 3. evacuation — The assignment of a
priority for medical evacuation that is based on patient condition, advice of the senior
medical person at the scene, and the tactical situation. See also flash message;
immediate message; priority message; routine message.

precession — See apparent precession.

precipitation static — Charged precipitation particles that strike antennas and gradually
charge the antenna, which ultimately discharges across the insulator, causing a burst of
static. Also called P-STATIC. (JP 3-13.1)

precise frequency — A frequency requirement accurate to within one part in

precise time and time interval — A reference value of time and time interval (frequency).
Standards are maintained through traceable measurements referenced to a primary
timing or frequency standard. The Department of Defense standard for precise time
and time interval is Universal Coordinated Time as maintained by the United States
Naval Observatory. (JP 3-59)

precision bombing — Bombing directed at a specific point target.

precision-guided munition — A weapon that uses a seeker to detect electromagnetic
energy reflected from a target or reference point and, through processing, provides
guidance commands to a control system that guides the weapon to the target. Also
called PGM. See also munitions. (JP 3-03)

precursor — Any chemical reactant which takes place at any stage in the production by
whatever method of a toxic chemical. This includes any key component of a binary or
multicomponent chemical system. (JP 3-11)

precursor chemical — Compounds that are required in the synthetic or extraction
processes of drug production, and become incorporated into the drug molecule. Not
used in the production of cocaine or heroin. (JP 3-07.4)

precursor front — (*) An air pressure wave which moves ahead of the main blast wave
for some distance as a result of a nuclear explosion of appropriate yield and low burst
height over a heat-absorbing (or dusty) surface. The pressure at the precursor front
increases more gradually than in a true (or ideal) shock wave, so that the behavior in the
precursor region is said to be non-ideal.

precursor sweeping — (*) The sweeping of an area by relatively safe means in order to
reduce the risk to mine countermeasures vessels in subsequent operations.

predicted fire — (*) Fire that is delivered without adjustment.

predominant height — (*) In air reconnaissance, the height of 51 percent or more of the
structures within an area of similar surface material.

preemptive attack — An attack initiated on the basis of incontrovertible evidence that an
enemy attack is imminent.

preinitiation — The initiation of the fission chain reaction in the active material of a
nuclear weapon at any time earlier than that at which either the designed or the
maximum compression or degree of assembly is attained.

prelanding operations — In amphibious operations, operations conducted between the
commencement of the assault phase and the commencement of the ship-to-shore
movement by the main body of the amphibious task force. They encompass similar
preparations conducted by the advanced force but focus on the landing area,
concentrating specifically on the landing beaches and the helicopter landing zones to be
used by the main landing force. Prelanding operations also encompass final
preparations for the ship-to-shore movement. (JP 3-02)

pre-launch survivability — The probability that a delivery and/or launch vehicle will
survive an enemy attack under an established condition of warning.

preliminary communications search — In search and rescue operations, consists of
contacting and checking major facilities within the areas where the craft might be or
might have been seen. A preliminary communications search is normally conducted
during the uncertainty phase. Also called PRECOM. See also extended
communications search; search and rescue incident classification, Subpart a.

preliminary demolition target — (*) A target, other than a reserved demolition target,
which is earmarked for demolition and which can be executed immediately after
preparation, provided that prior authority has been granted. See also demolition
target; reserved demolition target.

preliminary movement schedule — A projection of the routing of movement requirements
reflected in the time-phased force and deployment data, from origin to destination,
including identification of origins, ports of embarkation, ports of debarkation, and en
route stops; associated time frames for arrival and departure at each location; type of lift
assets required to accomplish the move; and cargo details by carrier. Schedules are
sufficiently detailed to support comparative analysis of requirements against
capabilities and to develop location workloads for reception and onward movement.

preload loading — (*) The loading of selected items aboard ship at one port prior to the
main loading of the ship at another. See also loading.

premature dud — See flare dud.

preparation fire — Fire delivered on a target preparatory to an assault. See also fire.

prepare to deploy order — An order issued by competent authority to move forces or
prepare forces for movement (e.g., increase deployability posture of units). Also called
PTDO. (JP 5-0)

preplanned air support — (*) Air support in accordance with a program, planned in
advance of operations. See also air support. (JP 3-09.3)

preplanned mission request — A request for an air strike on a target that can be
anticipated sufficiently in advance to permit detailed mission coordination and

preplanned nuclear support — Nuclear support planned in advance of operations. See
also immediate nuclear support; nuclear support.

pre-position — (*) To place military units, equipment, or supplies at or near the point of
planned use or at a designated location to reduce reaction time, and to ensure timely
support of a specific force during initial phases of an operation. (JP 4-0)

pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement, balance — That portion of the
pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement that has not been acquired or funded.
This level consists of the pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement, less the prepositioned
war reserve requirement, protectable.

pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement, protectable — That portion of the
pre-positioned war reserve materiel requirement that is protected for purposes of
procurement, funding, and inventory management.

pre-positioned war reserve requirement — That portion of the war reserve materiel
requirement that the current Secretary of Defense guidance dictates be reserved and
positioned at or near the point of planned use or issue to the user prior to hostilities to
reduce reaction time and to assure timely support of a specific force or project until
replenishment can be effected.

pre-positioned war reserve stock — The assets that are designated to satisfy the prepositioned
war reserve materiel requirement. Also called PWRS.

presail — The time prior to a ship getting under way used to prepare for at-sea events.
(JP 3-04)

prescribed nuclear load — (*) A specified quantity of nuclear weapons to be carried by a
delivery unit. The establishment and replenishment of this load after each expenditure
is a command decision and is dependent upon the tactical situation, the nuclear
logistical situation, and the capability of the unit to transport and utilize the load. It
may vary from day to day and among similar delivery units.

prescribed nuclear stockage — (*) A specified quantity of nuclear weapons, components
of nuclear weapons, and warhead test equipment to be stocked in special ammunition
supply points or other logistical installations. The establishment and replenishment of
this stockage is a command decision and is dependent upon the tactical situation, the
allocation, the capability of the logistical support unit to store and maintain the nuclear
weapons, and the nuclear logistical situation. The prescribed stockage may vary from
time to time and among similar logistical support units.

preset guidance — A technique of missile control wherein a predetermined flight path is
set into the control mechanism and cannot be adjusted after launching.

Presidential Call-up — Procedures by which the President brings all or a part of the Army
National Guard or the Air National Guard to active Federal service under section 12406
and Chapter 15 of title 10, US Code. See also active duty; federal service;
Presidential Reserve Call-up. (JP 4-05)

Presidential Reserve Call-up — Provision of a public law (title 10, US Code, section
12304) that provides the President a means to activate, without a declaration of national
emergency, not more than 200,000 members of the Selected Reserve and the Individual
Ready Reserve (of whom not more than 30,000 may be members of the Individual
Ready Reserve), for not more than 270 days to meet the requirements of any
operational mission. Members called under this provision may not be used for disaster
relief or to suppress insurrection. This authority has particular utility when used in
circumstances in which the escalatory national or international signals of partial or full
mobilization would be undesirable. Forces available under this authority can provide a
tailored, limited-scope, deterrent, or operational response, or may be used as a
precursor to any subsequent mobilization. Also called PRC. See also Individual
Ready Reserve; mobilization; Presidential Call-up; Selected Reserve. (JP 4-05)

pressure breathing — (*) The technique of breathing which is required when oxygen is
supplied direct to an individual at a pressure higher than the ambient barometric

pressure front — See shock front.

pressure mine — 1. In land mine warfare, a mine whose fuse responds to the direct
pressure of a target. 2. In naval mine warfare, a mine whose circuit responds to the
hydrodynamic pressure field of a target. See also mine. (JP 3-15)

pressure mine circuit — See pressure mine.

pressurized cabin — The occupied space of an aircraft in which the air pressure has been
increased above that of the ambient atmosphere by compression of the ambient
atmosphere into the space.

prestrike reconnaissance — Missions undertaken for the purpose of obtaining complete
information about known targets for use by the strike force.

prevention — 1. The security procedures undertaken by the public and private sectors in
order to discourage terrorist acts. (JP 3-07.2) 2. In space usage, measures to preclude
an adversary’s hostile use of United States or third-party space systems and services.
Prevention can include diplomatic, economic, and political measures. See also space
control. (JP 3-14)

prevention of mutual interference — In submarine operations, procedures established to
prevent submerged collisions between friendly submarines, between submarines and
friendly surface ship towed bodies and arrays, and between submarines and any other
hazards to submerged navigation (e.g., explosive detonations, research submersible
operations, oil drilling rigs, etc.). (JP 3-32)

prevention of stripping equipment — See antirecovery device.

preventive deployment — The deployment of military forces to deter violence at the
interface or zone of potential conflict where tension is rising among parties. Forces
may be employed in such a way that they are indistinguishable from a peace operations
force in terms of equipment, force posture, and activities. See also peace
enforcement; peacekeeping; peace operations. (JP 3-07.3)

preventive diplomacy — Diplomatic actions taken in advance of a predictable crisis to
prevent or limit violence. (JP 3-0)

preventive maintenance — The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of
maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing
for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before
they occur or before they develop into major defects.

preventive medicine — The anticipation, communication, prediction, identification,
prevention, education, risk assessment, and control of communicable diseases, illnesses
and exposure to endemic, occupational, and environmental threats. These threats
include nonbattle injuries, combat stress responses, weapons of mass destruction, and
other threats to the health and readiness of military personnel. Communicable diseases
include anthropod-, vector-, food-, waste-, and waterborne diseases. Preventative
medicine measures include field sanitation, medical surveillance, pest and vector
control, disease risk assessment, environmental and occupational health surveillance,
waste (human, hazardous, and medical) disposal, food safety inspection, and potable
water surveillance. Also called PVNTMED. (JP 4-02)

preventive war — A war initiated in the belief that military conflict, while not imminent, is
inevitable, and that to delay would involve greater risk.

prewithdrawal demolition target — A target prepared for demolition preliminary to a
withdrawal, the demolition of which can be executed as soon after preparation as
convenient on the orders of the officer to whom the responsibility for such demolitions
has been delegated. See also demolition target.

primary agency — The federal department or agency assigned primary responsibility for
managing and coordinating a specific emergency support function in the National
Response Plan. (JP 3-28)

primary aircraft authorization — The number of aircraft authorized to a unit for
performance of its operational mission. The primary authorization forms the basis for
the allocation of operating resources to include manpower, support equipment, and
flying-hour funds. Also called PAA.

primary aircraft inventory — The aircraft assigned to meet the primary aircraft
authorization. Also called PAI.

primary censorship — Armed forces censorship performed by personnel of a company,
battery, squadron, ship, station, base, or similar unit on the personal communications of
persons assigned, attached, or otherwise under the jurisdiction of a unit. See also

primary control officer — In amphibious operations, the officer embarked in a primary
control ship assigned to control the movement of landing craft, amphibious vehicles,
and landing ships to and from a colored beach. Also called PCO. (JP 3-02)

primary control ship — In amphibious operations, a ship of the task force designated to
provide support for the primary control officer and a combat information center control
team for a colored beach. Also called PCS. (JP 3-02)

primary flight control — The controlling agency on aviation ships and amphibious
aviation assault ships that is responsible for air traffic control of aircraft within 5
nautical miles of the ship. On most Coast Guard cutters, primary flight control duties
are performed by a combat information center, and the term “PRIFLY” is not used.
Also called PRIFLY. See also amphibious aviation assault ship; aviation ship.
(JP 3-04)

primary imagery dissemination — See electronic imagery dissemination.
primary imagery dissemination system — See electronic imagery dissemination.

primary interest — Principal, although not exclusive, interest and responsibility for
accomplishment of a given mission, including responsibility for reconciling the
activities of other agencies that possess collateral interest in the program.

primary review authority — The organization, within the lead agent's chain of command,
that is assigned by the lead agent to perform the actions and coordination necessary to
develop and maintain the assigned joint publication under the cognizance of the lead
agent. Also called PRA. See also joint publication; lead agent. (CJCSI 5120.02A)

prime contract — A contract or contractual action entered into by the United States
Government for the purpose of obtaining supplies, materials, equipment, or services of
any kind. (JP 4-10)

primed charge — (*) A charge ready in all aspects for ignition.

prime mover — A vehicle, including heavy construction equipment, possessing military
characteristics, designed primarily for towing heavy, wheeled weapons and frequently
providing facilities for the transportation of the crew of, and ammunition for, the

prime vendor — A contracting process that provides commercial products to regionally
grouped military and federal customers from commercial distributors using electronic
commerce. Customers typically receive materiel delivery through the vendor’s
commercial distribution system. Also called PV. See also distribution system.
(JP 4-09)

principal building — A building aboard a diplomatic or consular compound where
classified information may be handled, stored, discussed, or processed, but that does
not house the offices of the chief of mission or principal officer.

principal federal official — The federal official designated by the Secretary of Homeland
Security to act as his/her representative locally to oversee, coordinate, and execute the
Secretary’s incident management responsibilities under Homeland Security Presidential
Directive 5 for incidents of national significance. Also called PFO. (JP 3-41)

principal items — End items and replacement assemblies of such importance that
management techniques require centralized individual item management throughout the
supply system, to include depot level, base level, and items in the hands of using units.
These specifically include the items where, in the judgment of the Services, there is a
need for central inventory control, including centralized computation of requirements,
central procurement, central direction of distribution, and central knowledge and
control of all assets owned by the Services.

principal officer — The officer in charge of a diplomatic mission, consular office, or other
Foreign Service post, such as a United States Liaison Office.

principal operational interest — When used in connection with an established facility
operated by one Service for joint use by two or more Services, “principal operational
interest” indicates a requirement for the greatest use of, or the greatest need for, the
services of that facility. The term may be applied to a Service, but is more applicable to
a command.

principal parallel — (*) On an oblique photograph, a line parallel to the true horizon and
passing through the principal point.

principal plane — (*) A vertical plane which contains the principal point of an oblique
photograph, the perspective center of the lens, and the ground nadir.

principal scale — (*) In cartography, the scale of a reduced or generating globe
representing the sphere or spheroid, defined by the fractional relation of their respective
radii. Also called nominal scale. See also scale.

principal vertical — (*) On an oblique photograph, a line perpendicular to the true horizon
and passing through the principal point.

printing size of a map or chart — (*) The dimensions of the smallest rectangle which will
contain a map or chart, including all the printed material in its margin.

print reference — (*) A reference to an individual print in an air photographic sortie.

priority designator — A two-digit issue and priority code (01 through 15) placed in
military standard requisitioning and issue procedure requisitions. It is based upon a
combination of factors that relate the mission of the requisitioner and the urgency of
need or the end use and is used to provide a means of assigning relative rankings to
competing demands placed on the Department of Defense supply system.

priority intelligence requirement — An intelligence requirement, stated as a priority for
intelligence support, that the commander and staff need to understand the adversary or
the operational environment. Also called PIR. See also information requirements;
intelligence; intelligence process; intelligence requirement. (JP 5-0)

priority message — A category of precedence reserved for messages that require
expeditious action by the addressee(s) and/or furnish essential information for the
conduct of operations in progress when routine precedence will not suffice. See also

priority national intelligence objectives — A guide for the coordination of intelligence
collection and production in response to requirements relating to the formulation and
execution of national security policy. They are compiled annually by the Washington
Intelligence Community and flow directly from the intelligence mission as set forth by
the National Security Council. They are specific enough to provide a basis for planning
the allocation of collection and research resources, but not so specific as to constitute in
themselves research and collection requirements.

priority of immediate mission requests — See emergency priority; urgent priority.

priority system for mission requests for tactical reconnaissance — A system that assigns
each tactical reconnaissance request the appropriate priority as follows. Priority I —
Takes precedence over all other requests except those previously assigned priority I.
The results of these requests are of paramount importance to the immediate battle
situation or objective. Priority II — The results of these requirements are in support of
the general battle situation and will be accomplished as soon as possible after priority I
requests. These are requests to gain current battle information. Priority III — The
results of these requests update the intelligence database but do not affect the
immediate battle situation. Priority IV — The results of these requests are of a routine
nature. These results will be fulfilled when the reconnaissance effort permits. See also

prior permission — (*) Permission granted by the appropriate authority prior to the
commencement of a flight or a series of flights landing in or flying over the territory of
the nation concerned.

prisoner of war — A detained person as defined in Articles 4 and 5 of the Geneva
Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949. In
particular, one who, while engaged in combat under orders of his or her government, is
captured by the armed forces of the enemy. As such, he or she is entitled to the
combatant’s privilege of immunity from the municipal law of the capturing state for
warlike acts which do not amount to breaches of the law of armed conflict. For
example, a prisoner of war may be, but is not limited to, any person belonging to one of
the following categories who has fallen into the power of the enemy: a member of the
armed forces, organized militia or volunteer corps; a person who accompanies the
armed forces without actually being a member thereof; a member of a merchant marine
or civilian aircraft crew not qualifying for more favorable treatment; or individuals
who, on the approach of the enemy, spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading
forces. Also called POW or PW.

prisoner of war branch camp — (*) A subsidiary camp under the supervision and
administration of a prisoner of war camp.

prisoner of war camp — An installation established for the internment and administration
of prisoners of war.

prisoner of war censorship — The censorship of the communications to and from enemy
prisoners of war and civilian internees held by the United States Armed Forces. See
also censorship.

prisoner of war compound — (*) A subdivision of a prisoner of war enclosure.

prisoner of war enclosure — (*) A subdivision of a prisoner of war camp.

prisoner of war personnel record — (*) A form for recording the photograph,
fingerprints, and other pertinent personal data concerning the prisoner of war, including
that required by the Geneva Convention.

private sector — An umbrella term that may be applied in the United States and in foreign
countries to any or all of the nonpublic or commercial individuals and businesses,
specified nonprofit organizations, most of academia and other scholastic institutions,
and selected nongovernmental organizations. (JP 3-57)

privity of contract — The legal relationship that exists between two contracting parties, for
example, between the government and the prime contractor (JP 4-10)

proactive measures — In antiterrorism, measures taken in the preventive stage of
antiterrorism designed to harden targets and detect actions before they occur. (JP 3-07.2)

proactive mine countermeasures — Measures intended to prevent the enemy from
successfully laying mines. See also mine countermeasures. (JP 3-15)

probability of damage — (*) The probability that damage will occur to a target expressed
as a percentage or as a decimal. Also called PD.

probable error — See horizontal error.

probable error deflection — Error in deflection that is exceeded as often as not.

probable error height of burst — Error in height of burst that projectile and/or missile
fuzes may be expected to exceed as often as not.

probable error range — Error in range that is exceeded as often as not.

probably destroyed — (*) In air operations, a damage assessment on an enemy aircraft
seen to break off combat in circumstances which lead to the conclusion that it must be a
loss although it is not actually seen to crash.

probe — In information operations, any attempt to gather information about an automated
information system or its on-line users. See also information; information
operations; information system. (JP 3-13)

procedural control — (*) A method of airspace control which relies on a combination of
previously agreed and promulgated orders and procedures. (JP 3-01)

procedures — Standard, detailed steps that prescribe how to perform specific tasks. See
also tactics; techniques. (CJCSI 5120.02)

procedure turn — (*) An aircraft maneuver in which a turn is made away from a
designated track followed by a turn in the opposite direction, both turns being executed
at a constant rate so as to permit the aircraft to intercept and proceed along the
reciprocal of the designated track.

procedure word — A word or phrase limited to radio telephone procedure used to facilitate
communication by conveying information in a condensed standard form. Also called

processing — (*) 1. In photography, the operations necessary to produce negatives,
diapositives, or prints from exposed films, plates, or paper. 2. (DOD only) A system
of operations designed to convert raw data into useful information. (JP 2-0)

processing and exploitation — In intelligence usage, the conversion of collected
information into forms suitable to the production of intelligence. See also intelligence
process. (JP 2-01)

process owner — The head of a Department of Defense component assigned a
responsibility by the Secretary of Defense when process improvement involves more
than one Military Service or Department of Defense component. (JP 4-0)

proclamation — A document published to the inhabitants of an area that sets forth the basis
of authority and scope of activities of a commander in a given area and which defines
the obligations, liabilities, duties, and rights of the population affected.

procurement lead time — The interval in time between the initiation of procurement
action and receipt into the supply system of the production model (excludes prototypes)
purchased as the result of such actions. It is composed of two elements, production
lead time and administrative lead time. See also production lead time; receipt into
the supply system. (JP 4-10)

procuring contracting officer — A contracting officer who initiates and signs the contract.
Also called PCO. See also administrative contracting officer; contracting officer.
(JP 4-10)

producer countries — In counterdrug operations, countries where naturally occurring
plants such as coca, cannabis, or poppies are cultivated for later refinement into illicit
drugs. See also counterdrug operations. (JP 3-07.4)

production base — The total national industrial production capacity available for the
manufacture of items to meet materiel requirements.

production lead time — The time interval between the placement of a contract and receipt
into the supply system of materiel purchased. Two entries are provided: a. initial —
The time interval if the item is not under production as of the date of contract

placement; and b. reorder — The time interval if the item is under production as of
the date of contract placement. See also procurement lead time. (JP 4-10)

production logistics — That part of logistics concerning research, design, development,
manufacture, and acceptance of materiel. In consequence, production logistics
includes: standardization and interoperability, contracting, quality assurance, initial
provisioning, transportability, reliability and defect analysis, safety standards,
specifications and production processes, trials and testing (including provision of
necessary facilities), equipment documentation, configuration control, and

production loss appraisal — An estimate of damage inflicted on an industry in terms of
quantities of finished products denied the enemy from the moment of attack through the
period of reconstruction to the point when full production is resumed.

proficiency training aircraft — Aircraft required to maintain the proficiency of pilots and
other aircrew members who are assigned to nonflying duties.

profile — See flight profile.

program aircraft — The total of the active and reserve aircraft. See also aircraft.

Programmed Forces — The forces that exist for each year of the Future Years Defense
Program. They contain the major combat and tactical support forces that are expected
to execute the national strategy within manpower, fiscal, and other constraints. See
also current force; force; Intermediate Force Planning Level.

program of nuclear cooperation — (*) Presidentially approved bilateral proposals for the
United States to provide nuclear weapons and specified support to user nations who
desire to commit delivery units to NATO in nuclear only or dual capable roles. After
presidential approval in principle, negotiations will be initiated with the user nation to
develop detailed support arrangements.

prohibited area — A specified area within the land areas of a state or its internal waters,
archipelagic waters, or territorial sea adjacent thereto over which the flight of aircraft is
prohibited. May also refer to land or sea areas to which access is prohibited. See also
closed area; danger area; restricted area.

projected map display — (*) The displayed image of a map or chart projected through an
optical or electro-optical system onto a viewing surface.

projection print — An enlarged or reduced photographic print made by projection of the
image of a negative or a transparency onto a sensitized surface.

proliferation (nuclear weapons) — The process by which one nation after another comes
into possession of, or into the right to determine the use of, nuclear weapons; each
nation becomes potentially able to launch a nuclear attack upon another nation.

prompt radiation — The gamma rays produced in fission and as a result of other neutron
reactions and nuclear excitation of the weapon materials appearing within a second or
less after a nuclear explosion. The radiations from these sources are known either as
prompt or instantaneous gamma rays. See also induced radiation; initial radiation;
residual radiation.

proofing — The verification that a breached lane is free of live mines by passing a mine
roller or other mine-resistant vehicle through as the lead vehicle. (JP 3-15)

propaganda — Any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to
influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit
the sponsor, either directly or indirectly. See also black propaganda; grey
propaganda; white propaganda.

propelled mine — See mobile mine.

proper authority — An authority authorized to call an opposing force hostile; may be
either the President, the Secretary of Defense, the affected combatant commander,
and/or any commander so delegated by either the President, Secretary of Defense or the
combatant commander.

proper clearance — A clearance for entry of units into specified defense areas by civil or
military authorities having responsibility for granting such clearance.

property — 1. Anything that may be owned. 2. As used in the military establishment, this
term is usually confined to tangible property, including real estate and materiel. For
special purposes and as used in certain statutes, this term may exclude such items as the
public domain, certain lands, certain categories of naval vessels, and records of the
Federal Government.

property account — A formal record of property and property transactions in terms of
quantity and/or cost, generally by item. An official record of Government property
required to be maintained.

proportional navigation — A method of homing navigation in which the missile turn rate
is directly proportional to the turn rate in space of the line of sight.

protected emblems — The red cross, red crescent, and other symbols that designate that
persons, places, or equipment so marked have a protected status under the law of war.

protected frequencies — Those friendly frequencies used for a particular operation,
identified and protected to prevent them from being inadvertently jammed by friendly
forces while active electronic warfare operations are directed against hostile forces.
These frequencies are of such critical importance that jamming should be restricted
unless absolutely necessary or until coordination with the using unit is made. They are
generally time-oriented, may change with the tactical situation, and must be updated
periodically. See also electronic warfare. (JP 3-13.1)

protected persons/places — Persons (such as enemy prisoners of war) and places (such as
hospitals) that enjoy special protections under the law of war. They may or may not be
marked with protected emblems.

protected site — (*) A facility which is protected by the use of camouflage or
concealment, selective siting, construction of facilities designed to prevent damage
from fragments caused by conventional weapons, or a combination of such measures.

protection — 1. Preservation of the effectiveness and survivability of mission-related
military and nonmilitary personnel, equipment, facilities, information, and
infrastructure deployed or located within or outside the boundaries of a given
operational area. (JP 3-0) 2. In space usage, active and passive defensive measures to
ensure that United States and friendly space systems perform as designed by seeking to
overcome an adversary’s attempts to negate them and to minimize damage if negation
is attempted. See also mission-oriented protective posture; space control. (JP 3-14)

protection of shipping — The use of proportionate force by US warships, military aircraft,
and other forces, when necessary for the protection of US flag vessels and aircraft, US
citizens (whether embarked in US or foreign vessels), and their property against
unlawful violence. This protection may be extended (consistent with international law)
to foreign flag vessels, aircraft, and persons. (JP 3-0)

protective clothing — (*) Clothing especially designed, fabricated, or treated to protect
personnel against hazards caused by extreme changes in physical environment,
dangerous working conditions, or enemy action.

protective mask — A protective ensemble designed to protect the wearer’s face and eyes
and prevent the breathing of air contaminated with chemical and/or biological agents.
See also mission-oriented protective posture. (JP 3-11)

protective minefield — 1. In land mine warfare, a minefield employed to assist a unit in its
local, close-in protection. 2. In naval mine warfare, a minefield laid in friendly
territorial waters to protect ports, harbors, anchorages, coasts, and coastal routes. See
also minefield. (JP 3-15)

prototype — A model suitable for evaluation of design, performance, and production

provincial reconstruction team — An interim interagency organization designed to
improve stability in a given area by helping build the legitimacy and effectiveness of a
host nation local or provincial government in providing security to its citizens and
delivering essential government services. Also called PRT. (JP 3-57)

provisioning — See initial provisioning.

proword — See procedure word.

proximity fuze — (*) A fuze wherein primary initiation occurs by remotely sensing the
presence, distance, and/or direction of a target or its associated environment by means
of a signal generated by the fuze or emitted by the target, or by detecting a disturbance
of a natural field surrounding the target.

proximity operations — In space operations, on-orbit activities of a resident space object
that deliberately and necessarily maintains a close distance from another resident space
object for a specific purpose. Two objects in space that pass each other by natural
orbital mechanics (e.g., routine orbital conjunctions or close approaches) or Department
of Defense space systems which are designated to utilize cluster or formation flight to
maintain required proximity to provide required system functionality do not fall within
this definition. (JP 3-14)

pseudopursuit navigation — A method of homing navigation in which the missile is
directed toward the instantaneous target position in azimuth, while pursuit navigation in
elevation is delayed until more favorable angle of attack on the target is achieved.

psychological consolidation activities — Planned psychological activities across the range
of military operations directed at the civilian population located in areas under friendly
control in order to achieve a desired behavior that supports the military objectives and
the operational freedom of the supported commanders.

psychological operations — Planned operations to convey selected information and
indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective
reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups,
and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce
foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to the originator’s objectives. Also called
PSYOP. See also overt peacetime psychological operations programs; perception
management. (JP 3-53)

psychological operations assessment team — A small, tailored team (approximately 4-12
personnel) that consists of psychological operations planners and product
distribution/dissemination and logistic specialists. The team is deployed to theater at
the request of the combatant commander to assess the situation, develop psychological
operations objectives, and recommend the appropriate level of support to accomplish
the mission. Also called POAT. (JP 3-53)

psychological operations impact indicators — An observable event or a discernible
subjectively determined behavioral change that represents an effect of a psychological
operations activity on the intended foreign target audience at a particular point in time.
It is measured evidence, ascertained during the analytical phase of the psychological
operations development process, to evaluate the degree to which the psychological
operations objective is achieved. (JP 3-53)

psychological operations support element — A tailored element that can provide limited
psychological operations support. Psychological operations support elements do not
contain organic command and control capability; therefore, command relationships
must be clearly defined. The size, composition and capability of the psychological
operations support element are determined by the requirements of the supported
commander. A psychological operations support element is not designed to provide
full-spectrum psychological operations capability; reachback is critical for its mission
success. Also called PSE. (JP 3-53)

public affairs — Those public information, command information, and community
relations activities directed toward both the external and internal publics with interest in
the Department of Defense. Also called PA. See also command information;
community relations; public information. (JP 3-61)

public affairs assessment — An analysis of the news media and public environments to
evaluate the degree of understanding about strategic and operational objectives and
military activities and to identify levels of public support. It includes judgments about
the public affairs impact of pending decisions and recommendations about the structure
of public affairs support for the assigned mission. See also assessment; public affairs.
(JP 3-61)

public affairs ground rules — Conditions established by a military command to govern the
conduct of news gathering and the release and/or use of specified information during an
operation or during a specific period of time. See also public affairs. (JP 3-61)

public affairs guidance — Normally, a package of information to support the public
discussion of defense issues and operations. Such guidance can range from a
telephonic response to a specific question to a more comprehensive package. Included
could be an approved public affairs policy, contingency statements, answers to
anticipated media questions, and community relations guidance. The public affairs
guidance also addresses the method(s), timing, location, and other details governing the
release of information to the public. Public affairs guidance is approved by the
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Also called PAG. See also
community relations; public affairs. (JP 3-61)

public diplomacy — 1. Those overt international public information activities of the
United States Government designed to promote United States foreign policy objectives
by seeking to understand, inform, and influence foreign audiences and opinion makers,
and by broadening the dialogue between American citizens and institutions and their
counterparts abroad. 2. In peace building, civilian agency efforts to promote an
understanding of the reconstruction efforts, rule of law, and civic responsibility through
public affairs and international public diplomacy operations. Its objective is to promote
and sustain consent for peace building both within the host nation and externally in the
region and in the larger international community. (JP 3-07.3)

public information — Information of a military nature, the dissemination of which through
public news media is not inconsistent with security, and the release of which is
considered desirable or nonobjectionable to the responsible releasing agency.

public key infrastructure — An enterprise-wide service (i.e. data integrity, user
identification and authentication, user non-repudiation, data confidentiality, encryption,
and digital signature) that supports digital signatures and other public key-based
security mechanisms for Department of Defense functional enterprise programs,
including generation, production, distribution, control, and accounting of public key
certificates. A public key infrastructure provides the means to bind public keys to their
owners and helps in the distribution of reliable public keys in large heterogeneous
networks. Public keys are bound to their owners by public key certificates. These
certificates contain information such as the owner’s name and the associated public key
and are issued by a reliable certification authority. Also called PKI.

pull-up point — (*) The point at which an aircraft must start to climb from a low-level
approach in order to gain sufficient height from which to execute the attack or
retirement. See also contact point.

pulse code — A system of using selected pulse-repetition frequencies to allow a specific
laser seeker to acquire a target illuminated by a specific laser designator. See also
laser; laser designator; laser seeker. (JP 3-09.1)

pulse duration — In radar, measurement of pulse transmission time in microseconds; that
is, the time the radar’s transmitter is energized during each cycle. Also called pulse
length and pulse width.

pulsejet — (*) A jet-propulsion engine containing neither compressor nor turbine.
Equipped with valves in the front which open and shut, it takes in air to create thrust in
rapid periodic bursts rather than continuously.

pulse repetition frequency — 1. In lasers, the number of pulses that occur each second. 2.
In radar, the number of pulses that occur each second. Pulse repetition frequency
should not be confused with transmission frequency, which is determined by the rate at
which cycles are repeated within the transmitted pulse. Also called PRF. See also
laser. (JP 3-09.1)

pulsing — (*) In naval mine warfare, a method of operating magnetic and acoustic sweeps
in which the sweep is energized by current which varies or is intermittent in accordance
with a predetermined schedule.

purchase description — A statement outlining the essential characteristics and functions of
an item, service, or materiel required to meet the minimum needs of the Government.
It is used when a specification is not available or when specific procurement
specifications are not required by the individual Military Departments or the
Department of Defense.

purchase notice agreements — Agreements concerning the purchase of brand-name items
for resale purposes established by each Military Service under the control of the
Defense Logistics Agency.

purchasing office — Any installation or activity, or any division, office, branch, section,
unit, or other organizational element of an installation or activity charged with the
functions of procuring supplies or services.

purposeful interference — In space operations, deliberate actions taken to deny or disrupt
a space system, service, or capability. Purposeful interference threats include but are
not limited to: mission uplink or downlink interference; command uplink interference;
telemetry downlink jamming; positioning jamming; unauthorized access; information
insertion; and signal probing. Also called PI. (JP 3-14)

pursuit — (*) An offensive operation designed to catch or cut off a hostile force attempting
to escape, with the aim of destroying it.

pyrotechnic — A mixture of chemicals which, when ignited, is capable of reacting
exothermically to produce light, heat, smoke, sound or gas.

pyrotechnic delay — (*) A pyrotechnic device added to a firing system which transmits
the ignition flame after a predetermined delay.



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