One of the first steps of any aerial invasion is the destruction of the enemy's air-defense systems, as it makes for a much safer environment for the high-value aerial assets that follow, whether they be AWACS, tankers or strategic bombers.
Technically known as airborne early warning and control systems, the phrase "AWACS" often serves as a catch-all for the US military's aerial command and control functions. The lead and most visible craft of this sort is the Boeing E-3 Sentry, a 707 that's been modified to accommodate a massive, rotating radar dome on its back.
Pilots are a strange bunch. Whether they're flying fighters, bombers, refuellers, cargo planes or something else altogether, military pilots are unified by a common language that varies from obvious to utterly obscure. While we could write dozens and dozens of posts breaking down this sometimes strange, sometimes humorous language, today, we'll be covering basic flight communications slang, and we'll get on the combat stuff tomorrow.
An ever present part the modern military, missiles have been tweaked and adjusted to fill any role possible, provided the end result is creating a very large explosion. Like everything else, though, this has resulted in a raft of acronyms that make figuring out what sort of weapon was used where a frustratingly difficult task.
Perhaps one of the most mystifying elements of the military is the organization of different units. For example, when you hear the phrase "2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division," how does that fit into the Army as a whole? Today, we're going to try and demystify the basics.
The alphabet soup that is the military is most visible in the ships and aircraft that we see among America's armed forces. Some of these designations are fairly obvious. It's not hard to figure out that the "F" in "F-16" stands for fighter (the same is true of the F-14, F-15, F-22 etc.). What about an F/A-18, though? Well, in that case, the "F" still stands for fighter, while the "A" stands for an attack aircraft. We'll try to break this down, at least for aircraft, in today's Military Terminolo
We're introducing a new daily feature at Autoblog Military today, called "Military Terminology." As you may have guessed based on that rather obvious title, each day, we'll be posting a common military phrase, term or acronym and endeavor to explain what it means, how it was developed and if it has any other less official meanings. As always, topics will have a decided lean towards the vehicles, ships and aircraft of the armed forces.