A-10 (Warthog)--Anti-tank airplane designed to support troops on the ground.
AH--Attack Helicopter. Followed by number indicating model. AH-1 is Cobra, AH-64 is Apache.
AK-47 (AK, AK-74)--Standard machine gun in Soviet-Bloc and Iraqi arsenal. Recent modification is called AK-74.
Air Superiority--A condition that exists when aircraft can operate in a theater without serious threat from enemy forces. Although enemy forces still operate, they are not very successful in shooting down allied aircraft.
Air Supremacy--A condition that exists when aircraft can operate with little or no threat from enemy forces. Enemy forces do not attack attacking aircraft with great effectiveness.
Amir (sometimes spelled Emir)--Commander or leader in Arabic.
Apache (AH-64)--Main attack helicopter in U.S. Army. Used to defeat enemy armor and support ground troops.
APC--Armored Personnel Carrier.
Assad, Hafez--Leader of Syria. Should Iraq be defeated, Assad stands to become the most powerful ruler in the Arab world. Like Hussein, his human rights record is dismal, but he has sent troops to Operation Desert Shield.
AV-8--Harrier "jump jet" used by U.S. Marines and British forces. Takes off and lands vertically.
AWACS--Airborne Warning and Control System. Noticeable because of its large radar disk attached to its fuselage, the AWACS is capable of locating, identifying and targeting enemy aircraft from long distances. Saudi Arabia purchased several AWACS in the early 1980's and the U.S. has deployed a small unit in Operation Desert Storm.
Aziz, Teriq--Iraqi Foreign Minister. The only Christian member of Saddam Hussein's cabinet.
B-52--The United States strategic bomber for the last thirty years. It can deliver a devastating payload anywhere in the world. Currently stationed in Saudi Arabia and Diego Garcia.
Baghdad--Capitol of Iraq.
Baker, James--U.S. Secretary of State.
Blackhawk (UH-60)--Standard utility and transport helicopter in U.S. service.
Bomb Damage Assessment--Detailed process of examining photographs, interviewing pilots and conducting intelligence to determine if bombing operations were successful in eliminating a threat. Bombs often hit their target, but they do not always eliminate the threat.
BMP--Soviet-built Iraqi armored personnel carrier.
BTR--Soviet-built Iraqi armored personnel carrier. Usually followed by number indicated model.
Bradley Fighting Vehicle (M-2, M-3) --U.S. armored personnel carrier currently being integrated into U.S. forces.
C3--Command, Control, and Communication. Priority targets in any attack.
CAP--Combat Air Patrol. Aircraft on patrol over ships and airports to provide fighter cover to potential targets.
Carpet bombing--The massive bombing of a particular area devastating all structures, personnel, and vehicles. Six B-52's can destroy a two-mile by one-half mile area.
CENTCOM--One of eight joint commands in the U.S. military. CENTCOM has jurisdiction in the Middle East region. It is headed by Norman Schwartzkopf.
CHAPPARAL--U.S. anti-aircraft missile system.
CINC--Commander in Chief.
Close Air Support--The use of aircraft to support troops on the ground with pinpoint bombing and strafing runs.
Cluster Bomb--Air-dropped bomb that releases hundreds of "bomblets" to destroy targets.
Cobra (AH-1) attack helicopter. Designed to support troops on the ground.
de Cuellar, Javier Perez--Secretary-General of the United Nations. Has repeatedly sought a diplomatic answer to Kuwaiti situation.
E--Stands for electronic warfare aircraft.
E-6 (Prowler)--Shipborne electronic warfare jet. Used to jam enemy communications and radar.
ECM--Electronic counter measures used to confuse and disrupt enemy communications and radars.
Exocet--French-made, Iraqi anti-ship missile used to destroy the U.S.S. Stark and many oil tankers.
F--Indicates Fighter Aircraft.
F-4 (Wild Weasel)--Air-defense suppression jet.
F-14 (Tomcat)--Primary air combat aircraft aboard U.S. carriers in the Gulf.
F-15 (Eagle)--Air Force air combat aircraft. F-15E used for attack.
F-16 (Falcon)--Air Force fighter and attack aircraft.
F-18 (Hornet)--Navy and Marine fighter and attack aircraft.
F-111--Medium-range, swept-wing bomber operating out of Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Combat proven in Vietnam and Libya, it is used for bombing operations that require a large quantity of explosives.
F-117--The Stealth fighter. Used primarily for deep penetration attack missions.
FLIR--Forward-looking, Infa-red. Sight used to detect targets at night.
Fahd, King--(Sometimes spelled Fahad)--Ruler of Saudi Arabia since 1982.
Feet Dry--Aircraft crossing from sea to land.
Feet Wet--Aircraft crossing from land to sea.
Fox--Pilot's codename for aircraft missile.
KTO--Kuwaiti Theater of Operations. Military term to describe overall location of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf.
Kurds--Minority in Iraq that is opposed to Saddam Hussein's rule. Thousands of Kurds were killed with chemical weapons in 1988.
HARM--U.S. missile system that hones in on enemy radar and destroys them.
Harrier--British-designed vertical take-off and landing jet used by our Marines. Numbered AV-8.
HAWK--U.S. anti-aircraft missiles. Launchers hold three missiles each.
HEAT--High-explosive, anti-tank. Shell used in M-1 tank to destroy enemy armor. See also SABOT.
HIND--Soviet MI-24 attack helicopter. Variant is HIND-D.
Hussein, King--Leader of Jordan. Initially tried to negotiate a settlement, but his efforts were unsuccessful.
Hussein, Saddam--Ruler of Iraq. Considered a madman by most of the Western world and a hero in much of the Arab world.
IFF--Identify Friend or Foe. Computers on-board American weapons that check the target by reading its transponder code. If it is friendly, the weapon is not used, if it is an enemy, the weapon continues its mission.
JCS--Joint Chiefs of Staff. Current chairman of JCS is Collin Powell. They are in charge of the different armed services and see that Presidential orders are carried out.
Jihad--An Arabic word commonly used for a "holy war."
Lafayette Park--A small, one block park across the street from the White House. For years protesters and homeless have used the park as a home, and many of the anti-war protests are occurring here.
LCAC--Landing Craft, Air Cushioned. Used to land Marines in shallow and mined waters.
Lock-on--Indicates radar has acquired an enemy target.
M-1--Main U.S. battle tank.
M-3--Designation for scout version of the Bradley Fighting vehicle.
M-16--Standard machine gun used by U.S. forces.
M-60--(1) Medium sized tank used by Marine Corps. (2) Standard machine gun used by the infantry.
M-109--Self-propelled artillery piece in both U.S. and Iraqi arsenals.
M-113--Armored personnel carrier used by both American and Iraq.
Mecca--The most holiest of Islamic cities. Located in southern Saudi Arabia.
MI-24--Iraqi attack helicopter (see HIND)
MIG--Mikoyan-Gurevich aircraft. Soviet-made aircraft followed by number indicating model.
MLRS--Multiple Launch Rocket System. U.S. rocket launcher used by artillery units.
Mossad--The Israeli secret service. Any U.S. intelligence operation in the Middle East will certainly involve them.
MRE--Meals ready to eat. Standard U.S. rations for the troops. Replaces the old C-rations.
Mubarak, Hosni--Leader of Egypt. As one of the moderate Arab leaders, he has strived to help the Saudi despite internal political problems.
Mustard gas--(CH2CICH2)2S--World War I era poison gas that causes skin irritation.
NBC--Nuclear, Biological, Chemical.
Night Vision Goggles--Goggles worn by troops that amplify available light thus enabling them to see clearly at night.
OPEC--Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Cartel designed to oversee oil production.
PATRIOT--Anti-missile missile used to defend U.S. and allied forces.
R--Code letter for reconnaissance aircraft.
Reactive Armor--Explosive charges placed on tanks to deter armor-piercing shells. The explosion deflects the shell and prevents penetration of the armor.
Resolution 678--Authorization of force resolution passed by United Nations.
Riyadh--Capitol of Saudi Arabia.
RPG--Rocket powered grenade.
Sabah (al Sabah)--Amir of Kuwait's family.
SABOT--Nickname for Armor-piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot. M-1 tanks armor-piercing round primarily used against tanks.
SAM--Surface to air missile.
Scud (Scud B)--Soviet-made surface to surface missile used by the Iraqis.
Secretary-General--President of the United Nations.
Security Council--Group of fifteen countries inside the U.N. that responsible for maintaining the peace around the world. Five permanent members, others rotate. All resolutions against Iraq have passed the Security Council.
Shamir, Yitzhak--Prime Minister of Israel.
Sidewinder--Heat-seeking anti-aircraft missile.
Smart bombs--Bombs that are capable of adjusting their flight to a more specific target.
Sortie--One mission by one aircraft.
Sparrow--Radar-guided anti-aircraft missile.
Squawk--Slang for the signal sent out by transponders on-board aircraft. "Squawk 334" is a command to send out the code 334 to all IFF weapons.
Strategic Bombing--Attacking the infrastructure and industry of an enemy, along with military targets far behind the enemy lines.
STINGER--Shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile in U.S. and allied arsenals.
SU--Designation given to Soviet made Sukhoi aircraft. Number indicates model.
T--NATO classification for Soviet-made tank. Followed by number indicating model number.
Tactical Bombing--Bombing of military targets that are threatening friendly forces.
Title 50--Number of the U.S. Code for War and National Defense.
Tomahawk--Ship-borne (or air-borne) cruise missile which is guided to its target by computer and can deliver conventional or nuclear warhead.
Tornado--English fighter/bomber used by British and Saudi air force.
TOW--Tube-launched, optically-tracked, wire-guided anti-tank missile.
Tracers--Shells coated in Phosphorous to help guide a gunner to his target.
Transponder--Emits a signal for identification purposes to IFF-equipped weapons.
Triple A--Also called ack-ack. Anti-aircraft artillery.
UH-1 (Huey)--Vietnam-era transport and utility helicopter still in service in the Gulf.
UH-60 (Blackhawk)--Standard transport helicopter in use by U.S. forces.
Wild Weasel--Air Defense suppression jet. A F-4 modified to destroy enemy radar and anti-aircraft weapons.
Other Gulf War Books and Videos
Aircraft Pins and Flight Jackets and other Military Surplus.