Glossary

This glossary contains definitions of frequently used military terms and of military terms used on this website.

aeromedical evacuation
movement of patients to and between medical treatment facilities by air transportation.
airmobile operation
an operation in which combat forces and their equipment manoeuvre about the battlefield by fixed or rotary wing aircraft to engage in ground combat.
area of operations
that portion of an area of war necessary for military operations and for the administration of such operations.
battery
guns of the same size or calibre used for the same purpose and operating as one entity.
battle preparation
activities undertaken prior to a specific operation or engagement. Battle preparation includes issuing of ammunition, checking of weapons, issuing of orders and rehearsals of the tactical plan.
blue forces
forces used in a friendly role on an exercise.
brigade
the smallest formation. A brigade will consist of a balanced grouping of combat (infantry, armoured), combat support (artillery and engineers) and combat service support (logistics, signals, medical) units and sub-units. The composition of a brigade will depend on tasks and roles.
chain of command
succession of commanding officers from a superior to a subordinate through which command is exercised.
close country
operating environment characterised by forested areas or jungle. Close country operations often limit or preclude the use of some military assets, such as tanks, and require methods of operation specific to the environment.
combat support
fire support and operational assistance provided to combat elements.
combat service support
support provided to combat forces, primarily on the fields of administration and logistics.
combined operation
an operation conducted by forces of two or more allied nations acting together for the accomplishment of a single mission.
command post
a unit's or sub-unit's headquarters where the commander and his staff perform their activities.
command post exercise
an exercise in which forces are simulated, involving the commander, his staff, and communications within and between headquarters; may involve computer wargaming.
concept of operations
clear and concise statement of the line of action chosen by a commander in order to accomplish his mission.
demilitarised zone
defined area in which the stationing, or concentrating of military forces, or the retention or establishment of military installations of any description is prohibited.
division
a major administrative and tactical formation which combines in itself the necessary arms and services required for sustained combat. The composition of a division will depend on tasks and roles. A conventional division typically numbers around 35,000 personnel.
dug in
used to describe a force which has dug trenches for itself and its equipment so that personnel can operate either below the ground or level with it to minimise the effects of indirect fire.
exercise
a military manoeuvre or simulated wartime operation involving planning, preparation and execution; carried out for the purpose of training and evaluation; may be combined, joint or single service.
explosive ordnance
all munitions containing explosives.
explosive ordnance disposal
detection, identification, on-site evaluation, rendering safe, recovery and final disposal of unexploded explosives ordnance; may also include explosives ordnance which has become hazardous by damage or deterioration.
field exercise
exercise conducted in the field under simulated war conditions in which troops and armament of one side are actually present, while those of the other side may be imaginary or in outline.
fire plan
tactical plan for using the weapons of a unit or formation so that their fire will be coordinated.
fire support
application of fire, coordinated with the manoeuvre of forces, to destroy, neutralise or suppress the enemy.
formation
a grouping of units and sub-units of different functions, the composition of which will depend on tasks and roles. The largest formation within the NZ Army is a brigade-sized grouping called a Land Force Group (LFG). There are two LFGs in the NZ Army - 2nd LFG located in Linton Military Camp near Palmerston North, and 3rd LFG located in Burnham Military Camp near Christchurch.
forward observer
observer with forward troops trained to call for and adjust supporting fire (e.g., artillery, air, naval) and pass battlefield information.
high-level operation
operation against a force with objectives that include the defeat of opposing military forces and the achievement of long-term political and territorial objectives; includes operations against attempted large scale lodgments, invasion and major air and naval attacks.
in support of
assisting or protecting another formation, unit, or organisation while remaining under original control.
interoperability
ability of systems, units or forces to provide services to and accept services from other systems, units or forces and to use the services so exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together.
joint operation
an operation involving elements of more than one armed service of the same nation; for example, a joint Army-Navy operation.
live firing
in an exercise context, the use of live ammunition.
logistics
science of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of forces.
low-level operation
operation where the opponent engages in politically motivated hostile acts ranging from non-violent infringements of sovereign territory or interests to small scale military actions; has the potential to arise with little or no warning and may not require direct military involvement; includes operations against small scale air intrusions, harassment of shipping and limited harassment and raids by small groups.
mid-level operation
operation against enemy forces engaged in military operations to achieve specific political and territorial objectives set within restricted geographic boundaries; includes operations to counter major raids and geographically limited air and naval operations.
open country
operating environment characterised by open areas of grassland or rolling hills. Operations in open country often favour use of specific types of military assets, such as tanks and mechanised troop carrying assets.
operational preparedness
capability of a unit/formation, ship, weapon system, or equipment to perform the missions or functions for which it is organised or designed.
red forces
10 forces used in an enemy role on an exercise.
sub-unit
a grouping of approximately 100 personnel to fulfil a specific function; for example, an infantry or logistics company, an artillery battery, a signals, armoured or engineer squadron.
triage
evaluation and classification of wounded for purposes of treatment and evacuation; immediate sorting of patients according to type and seriousness of injury, and likelihood of survival, establishment of priority for treatment and evacuation.
unexploded explosive ordnance
explosive ordnance which has been primed, fused armed or otherwise prepared for action, and which has been fired, dropped, launched, projected or placed in such a manner as to constitute a hazard to operations, installations, personnel or material and remains unexploded either by malfunction or design or for any other cause.
unit
a grouping of approximately 750 personnel to fulfil a specific function, with a greater degree of specialisation within that function; for example, an infantry battalion will include a headquarters a number of companies with different infantry and support roles; an engineer regiment will contain a headquarters and a number of squadrons, each with different engineer and support roles.
war game
simulation by whatever means of a military operation involving two or more opposing forces, using rules, data, and procedures designed to depict an actual or assumed real life situation.

This page was last reviewed on 29 November 2007 and is current.