Brevity List

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In air combat, being concise is key. Seconds can be the difference between life and death. Consequently, various terms over the years have been established to convey greater meanings, while also saving those precious seconds on the airwaves.

While this is not a definitive list of code-words and terms used in aerial combat, these are the major code-words that should be understood.

Mission Brevity

Brevity codewords used in the administration and conduct of a mission.

Mission Brevity
Code-word Meaning Comm Example
As Fragged Unit performing mission as briefed. "Magic Uzi 11, checking in as fragged, ready for tasking"
Bent System is broken. "Magic, Uzi 11 is gadget bent"
Bingo Fuel state needed for recovery at HOME PLATE. "Uzi 11 is bingo, requesting vectors for closest tanker"
BRAA Point out using Bearing, Range, Altitude, Aspect. Relative from friendly fighter to target.
Bullseye (B/E) Fixed point in the battlespace from which references are given.
Buster Set max continuous power (mil power).
Chicks Admin term to denote friendly aircraft.
Clean No sensor info on group of interest / No visible battle damage / No external stores.
Commit Directive to intercept the group of interest. "Uzi 11, Magic, commit lead group, bullseye 3-2-5, 68, track south west, hostile"
Cons Contrails. "Uzi 11, tally cons"
Faded Sensor data is lost on group or contact. "Magic, lead group faded, last known bullseye 3-4-2, 45, track north"
Feet wet / dry Flying over water / land. "Magic, Uzi 11, currently feet wet"
Fence in / out Set cockpit switches as appropriate before entering / exiting the combat area. "Uzis, Fence In"
Gadget RADAR / Emitter equipment. "Magic, Uzi 11 is gadget bent"
Gate Set max speed, including afterburner. "Uzis, set gates"
Home Plate Home airfield / ship. "Magic, Uzi 11 requesting vectors to home plate"
Joker Fuel state above bingo, bug out / RTB should be initiated. "Magic, Uzi 11 is joker, requesting RTB"
Judy Aircrew has taken over control of the intercept. "Uzi 11, tally one, judy"
Midnight C2 sensors are unavailable. Opposite of SUNRISE. "All players, Magic is midnight"
No Factor Not a threat. "Uzi 11,
No Joy Aircrew does not have visual contact with the target / bandit.
Pigeons Magnetic bearing and range to HOMEPLATE.
Playtime Amount of time that aircraft can remain aloft. "Magic, Uzi 11 playtime 60 minutes"
Posit Request for friendly position, either in reference to B/E or other fixed location.
Push Switch to designated frequency. "Uzi 11, Magic, push 134.0 for control"
Saunter Fly at speed of best endurance.
Sick System is operational, but degraded.
Snap Directive to expedited turn to desired heading / Fighter request for BRAA to indicated group. "Uzi 11, Magic snap 3-5-0, group BRAA 0-3-0, 35, twenty thousand, track west, hostile, leaning on Hawg 01"
Sparkle Mark or Marking target by IR Pointer (Laser)
Status Request for an individual's / group's tactical situation.
Sunrise C2 Sensors are available. Opposite of MIDNIGHT. "All players, Magic is sunrise"
Tally Sighting of target, enemy aircraft or position. "Uzi 11 tally! Engaging"
Uniform UHF / AM radio.
Victor VHF / AM radio.
Visual Sighting of a friendly aircraft or position. Opposite of BLIND. "Uzi 12 visual lead"
What luck Request for results on mission / task. "Uzi 11, Magic, what luck strike?" "Magic, Uzi 11, two weapons away, standby on BDA"
What state Request for amount of fuel and missiles remaining. "Uzi 11, Magic, what state?" "Magic, Uzi 11 is skosh, fuel 6.7"

Tactical Brevity

Brevity code-words found in tactical scenarios, either air to air (A/A) or air to ground (A/G) engagements.

Tactical Brevity
Code-word Meaning Comm Example
Abort Cease action / attack.
Active Referenced emitter is radiating at the stated location. "Magic, 2 Active bullseye 0-9-0, 25"
Alpha Check Request for bullseye check.
Anchor Directive to orbit specific point. "Uzi 11, Magic, anchor Anapa"
Arizona No anti-radiation ordnance remaining.
Asleep Referenced emitter is no longer radiating at the stated location.
Azimuth Direction to threat / picture label describing two groups separated laterally. "Magic, new picture, two groups azimuth 10, track east, south group bullsye 3-6-0, 10, 20 000 hostile, north group bullseye 0-1-0, 21, 30 000, hostile"
Bandit GROUP is confirmed as enemy, has not reached engagement criteria. "Magic, lead group bullseye 2-7-0, 40, 20 000, bandit, two contacts, flank north west"
Beam GROUP is travelling perpendicular to friendly fighters path, enemy version of notching. Used as a fill in on BRAA and B/E calls. "Uzi 11, Magic, threat BRAA 1-8-0, 15, 15 000, hostile, beam North"
Birds Friendly surface to air missiles.
Blind No visual contact with friendly aircraft / ground position. "2s Blind!"
Blow Through Directive to continue straight ahead at the merge.
Bogey GROUP is of unknown identity.
Broke Lock Loss of RADAR / IR lock on. "Uzi 11 broke lock, shot trashed"
Buddy Lock RADAR locked to a known friendly aircraft.
Buddy Spike Friendly RADAR lock-indications on RWR. "Uzi 11 buddy spike, Hornet, 20 000, track north"
Bugout Separation from engagement with no intent to reengage / return. "Uzis, bugout west"
Champagne Picture label with three groups, two seperated in Azimuth in the leading edge, and another seperate group trailing. "Magic, three group champagne, 20 wide, 20 deep, track west, north lead group bullseye 0-6-6, 66, 20 000 hostile, trail group 0-8-4, 70, 25 000 hostile, trail group 29 000, hostile"
Cold To flow away from the engagement.
Defensive / Defending Aircraft is under attack, maneuvering defensively, and unable to ensure deconfliction and mutual support "Stroke 3 defending 6"
Delouse Directive to detect, ID, and engage (if required) unknown platform trailing friendly. "Uzi 12, delouse Uzi 11, snap 0-9-0"
Dirt RWR indications of surface threat in search mode. See MUD and SINGER. "Uzi 11, dirt 8"
Down Referenced emitter has stopped emitting at stated location.
Drag Track direction of a GROUP, similar to COLD in that the group is flowing away from the fight. Used as a fill in on BRAA and B/E calls. "Magic, lead group maneuver, drag east"
Engaged Friendly fighter is being engaged by hostile forces. "Uzi 11 is engaged, defending"
Fast GROUP is at or faster than 600 Kts ground speed. Used as a fill in on BRAA and B/E calls. "Magic, north lead group bullseye 2-0-0, 67, 35 000, track east, hostile two contacts, fast"
Flank Track direction of a GROUP, pointed 30 - 60 degrees off of friendly. Enemy version of CRANK. Used as a fill in on BRAA and B/E calls.
Fox # Indicates launch of friendly missile. 1 for semi-active, 2 for IR seeking, 3 for active.
Furball Non-friendly and friendly aircraft are merged together.
Gimbal Sensor is approaching azimuth / elevation limits.
Gorilla Large formation of undiscernible number and formation, not commonly used.
Green Direction of no known enemy threats. "Uzi 11, magic, green north west"
Group Any number of contacts within 3NM of each other.
High GROUP is at or above forty thousand feet. Used as a fill in on BRAA and B/E calls. "Magic south lead group bullseye 2-3-0, 81, 41 000, track east, hostile, fast"
Hostile GROUP is confirmed as enemy, has reached engagement criteria.
Hot Track direction of a GROUP, is pointing right at friendly fighter. May be used as a fill in on BRAA and B/E calls dependent on controller.
Husky Active missile has attained High Pulse Repetition Frequency (HPRF), no longer requires support from the launching fighter. "Uzi 11, husky, out south"
In Turning towards known threat. Opposite of OUT. "Uzi 11, in north"
Leaker Airborne threat that has passed through friendly defences.
Leaning on GROUP is showing bias towards a friendly element. "Uzi 11, Magic, group BRAA 3-5-0, 45, 23 000, hot, hostile, leaning on you"
Locked RADAR lock on target, SORT and TARGETING are not assumed.
Maddog Visual active missile shot, with no previous lock.
Magnum Launch of a friendly anti-radiation missile. "Uzi 11, magnum SA-6, Krymsk"
Merge / Merged Friendly and hostile forces have entered the visual arena. "Uzi 11, Magic, merged two, 25 000"
Mud RWR indications of a surface threat locking on. See DIRT and SINGER. "Uzi 11, Mud 8, Khasab"
Naked No RWR indications. "Uzi 11 is naked, in right"
Out Turning away from known threat. Opposite of IN. "Uzi 11, pitbull lead group, out south"
Pig(s) Friendly launch of glide weapons, such as the JSOW. "Uzi 11, pigs away, Khasab"
Pitbull Active missile has attained Medium Pulse Repetition Frequency (MPRF), no longer requires support from the launching fighter. "Uzi 11, pitbull leadgroup, out west"
Range Picture Label describing two groups seperated in distance, along the same line of bearing "Magic, new picture, two groups range 15, track east, lead group bullsye 0-7-5, 10, 20 000, hostile two contacts, south group bullseye 0-8-0, 26, 30 000, hostile"
Raygun RADAR lock onto unknown aircraft. "Uzi 11 raygun bullseye 0-9-0, 50, 30 000"
Remington No ordnance remaining other than gun / self protection munitions. "Uzi 11 is remington, egressing south west"
Rifle Launch of a friendly A/G missile. "Hawg 01, rifle SA-8, Khasab"
SAM Visual on a surface to air missile launch. "Uzi 11, SAM launch Jask!"
Singer RWR indications of surface threat missile launch. See DIRT and MUD. "Uzi 11, singer 2, defending south"
Skosh Aircraft is out of / no longer able to employ active missiles. "Uzi 11 skosh, requesting RTB"
Sniff Passive sensor indications of a RADAR emitter. Artificial on Hoggit servers. "Magic, single group bullseye 0-8-5, 56, 27 000, track west, hostile two contacts, sniff Flanker"
Splash / Splashed Target destroyed, weapons impact. "Uzi 11 splash lead group!"
Target Assignment of targeting responsibilities. "Uzi 11, Magic, target lead group bullseye 2-8-4, 75, 29 000, track west, hostile"
Targeted Fighter has acquired assigned GROUP and has assumed responsibility for engagement. "Uzi 11 targeted trail group"
Timeout Launched missile has reached end of its projected flight path, and should have reached termination. "Uzi 11 timeout west group"
Trashed Friendly launched missile defeated. "Uzi 11 broke lock, shot trashed"
Trespass Addressed flight has entered threat range of a surface threat. "Uzi 11 trespass 6, bullseye 3-0-0, 25"
Tumbleweed Unit has limited to no situational awareness, and requires information. "Uzi 11 is tumbleweed, Magic, Bogeydope"
Vanished GROUP has faded, however, has been correlated to a missile shot. "Magic, lead group vanished"
Vic Picture label with three groups, with a single group leading, and two groups trailing in azimuth. "Magic, new picture, three group vic, 20 deep, 20 wide, track east, lead group bullseye 2-7-4, 54, 20 000 hostile, north trail group 30 000 hostile, south trail group 28 000 hostile"
Winchester Aircraft is out of all munitions. "Uzi 11 is winchester, RTB"

Carrier Brevity

Work in progress, please standby!

ATC / Flight Terminology

Work in progress, please standby!

In the meantime, check out [1]

Miscelaneous Codewords and Abbreviations

Please find below a list of miscellaneous terms and abbreviations you may hear on Hoggit servers. Bear in mind some of these terms are colloquilisms, and explanations of various acronyms.

Brevity Meaning
(Number) o´clock General direction relative to you, as on a clock face: 12 is ahead, 6 is rear, 3 & 9 are left & right
(Rate of) Closure Relative rate of approaching aircraft, with respect to your own aircraft
(V)ID Call to identify the target, (Visual) Identification
AAA Anti-Aircraft Artillery
AAR Air-to-Air Refueling
Abort (abort abort) Cease action / attack / event / mission
ACM Air Combat Maneuvering
AGL Above Ground Level, obtained from radar altimeter. Moves with ground, such as going over a mountain
AGM Air-to-Ground Missile
Alert 5 Aircraft on carrier that are on five minute standby for launch, to provide rapid backup
AMRAAM Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile
Anchor(ed) Hold at current / indication position
Angels Height of friendly aircraft in thousands (1000) of feet from mean sea level (MSL): Angels 21 equals 21,000 feet MSL
AOA Angle Of Attack, the relation between the air hitting the plane and the direction of travel
ARM Anti-Radiation missile
ASL Above Sea Level
Asleep Referenced SAM is no longer detected to be radiating. Opposite of Awake
AWACS Airborne Warning and Control System
Awake Referenced SAM is now detected to be radiating. Opposite of Asleep
Bandit Confired enemy, however, has not met engagement criteria
BDA Battle Damage Assesment
Bearing Given direction on a compass, for example when spotting a target: contact bearing 123°
Bent Referenced system is broken / damaged
BFM Basic Fighter Maneuvering
Bingo Minimum fuel state needed for recovery to (air)base
Bingo on the ball (aka Trick or Treat) Aircraft is running out of fuel, so this will be last landing attempt, before diverting to a nearby airfield
Bittersweet / blue on blue Friendly units (accidentally) engaging other friendly units
Blind No (visual) contact on the target ( / friendly) unit
Bogey Unidentified aircraft
Bogey Dope Request for target information to nearest (or specified) group, in BRAA
Bolter Aircraft during carrier landing has failed to catch an arresting wire, thus needing to try and land again
BRA(A) Bearing, Range, Altitude, (Aspect: Hot, Flanking or Cold)
BRC Base Recovery Course
Break (direction) Call to move in indicated direction, in a high G turn
Buddy Spike Response to 'Raygun'; Friendly unit is actively locking on to me,
Bugout Moving out in specified direction with no intent to reengage / return
BVR Beyond Visual Range
CAP Combat Air Patrol, (supporting other units in the area by) engaging hostiles in air-to-air
CAS Close Air Support, (supporting other units in the area by) engaging ground targets
CBU Cluster Bomb Unit (Mk-20 Rockeye, CBU-87, CBU-97)
CCZ Carrier Controlled Zone
Cease (action) Discontinue, stop (cease fire means stop shooting)
Chaff Countermeasure to defeat RADAR and RADAR guided missiles.
Check six Look behind you
Cherubs Altitude in hundreds (100) of feet: Cherubs 5 is 500 feet
Clara Pilot has no visual on the 'meatball' or IFLOLS, used for glideslope when landing on a carrier
Cleared Hot Ordinance release / attack is authorized
Cloak / lights off Turn off lights so that only NVG lights are shown on the aircraft
Combat Spread Aircraft flying line abreast, with a decent amount of seperation to avoid all getting hit at once (100 - 300 feet)
Commit Intercept group of interest, begin the action
Contact Unit detected at <relative point (you, bullseye, other)>, <BRA>, <hot / cold / flanking>
Contact Detected unit
Course Actual direction of travel in degrees on compass; North 0°, East 90°, South 180°, West 270°
Cranking Flanking the enemy whilst keeping them locked up in the gimbal edges of the radar
Danger close Friendly units are in close proximity of the target and are likely to be in the splash zone of the weapon
Declare Identify specified group or track(ed target)
Defensive / defending Maneuvering to avoid threat (typically a missile)
Departing (the envelope) Leaving / flying outside aircraft limits, aircraft has become uncontrollable
Drag 1)Any impedance to the aicraft's forward movement through the air 2) Contact flowing cold.
Ease Guns to Land Pulling the throttles back on carrier landing (never do this)
ECM Electronic Counter-Measures
Engage Commence attack, fire control order
EW Electronic Warfare
Eyeball Visual (EO) or infrared acquisition of a target
Faded Radar contact is lost on previously acquired target
Feet dry / wet Over land / water
Fence In / Out Set cockpit switches as appropriate before entering / exiting the combat area
Firewall Push the throttles all the way forward, for maximum engine power output. Slang for Gate
Flanking Target is heading in a ± 45 degree angle, in a effort to crank / notch you
Flight Group of airplanes in a tasking / mission
Flight Envelope Performance limits of an aircraft
Flight Level (FL) Flight altitude in hundreds of feet; FL 300 is 30,000 feet MSL
Fox # (short, medium, long) Shooting a missile
Fox 1 Semi-active radar-guided missile: homes onto reflected radar waves emitted from launch aircraft
Fox 2 Infrared-guided missile, homes in on (engine) heat from the targeted unit
Fox 3 Active radar-guided missile: first homes on reflected radar like semi-active, then activates its own small radar
Furball Indicating known friendly and non-friendly aircraft in close proximity to each other, such as during a dogfight
GBU Guided Bomb Unit
GCI Ground Control Intercept
Gimbal (limit) Limits on a sensor operating range, such as the radar or targetting pod
Group Number of targets close together, approximately within 3 NMI of each other
Heading Where my aircraft is pointing on a compass
Hold fire Emergency order to not shoot, destroy already launched missiles / weapons
Hostile Contact identified as enemy, with clearance to fire
Hot / cold Hot means the contact has the nose pointed towards you, cold means he is going away from you
HOTAS Hands On Throttle And Stick
HUD Heads-Up Display
IFF Identification Friend or Foe; determining if the target is hostile or friendly
IFR Instrument Flight Rules: flying with your aircraft instruments in bad weather conditions
ILS Instrument Landing System
IMC Instrument Meteorological Conditions
JDAM Joint Direct Attack Munition, GPS guided bomb (GBU-31, GBU-38)
Jink(ing) Unpredictable maneuvers to negate a tracking solution or lock
JSOW Joint StandOff Weapon, glidebomb etc. (AGM-154)
Level flight Not climbing or descending
Laser On Call to begin laser illumination (Use this if your buddy is lasing for your munitions).
Lasing You have begun laser illumination
Level wings Not banking or rolling
Maddog Active missile is launched where its radar is immediately turned on, engaging the first target it sees
Magnum Anti-radiation missile launch
Mark your father / mom Give position relative to the carrier: aircraft number, bearing and range
Marking Contrailing (smoking) / In contrailing altitude: typically > 25,000 and < 40,000 feet
Markpoint Designated point of interest, typically within the datalink / sensor system
Merge(d) Friendlies and targets are in the same visual arena / geographical location
Mil Power The maximum amount of thrust from a jet engine without engaging the afterburner
Mother, Boat, Bingo Field Aircraft Carrier
Music Use of jamming to deny being locked up, either by you, friend, or foe
Nails RWR contact in search mode
Naked No RWR or (radar) information on enemy
No joy No (visual) contact on the target ( / enemy) unit; opposite of 'Tally'
Notching Flying perpendicular to the aircraft attacking you with radar (missiles) to try and spoof the radar (missile)
On station Unit has reached assigned location
Orbit(ing) Hold current / indicated position, typically in a circular orbit above the indicated location
Overshoot Being forced out in front of an opposing aircraft, most likely due to having too much airspeed
Package Group of different aircraft combined to perform a single mission
Padlocked Crew cannot takes eyes off the target without losing it
Payload Usefull loadout of an aircraft, including ordinance, fuel, etc.
Pickle (Cluster / General-purpose) Bomb Unit release
Picture Request for AWACS to provide air information / air overview relevant to mission
Pitbull Missile has gone active (turned on its own radar)
Pk Probability of kill
Pop-up Units have suddenly appeared
Press Pushing on to the enemy you are engaging (shortly)
PRF Pulse Repetition Frequency.
Punch out To eject from the airplane
Radar (Radio Detection And Ranging) A pulsed beam of energy used to scan for, detect, and return information about a target
Raygun Locking up an unknown target, querying the IFF response from friendly units
Rejoin Return to close formation flight
Rifle Air to ground missile launch
ROE Rules Of Engagement, dicates how you are to engage targets (ie return fire only)
RWR Radar Warning Receiver
SAM Surface-to-Air Missile
SAM (direction) Visual acquisition of SAM in flight or SAM launch, including position reference
Section Flights are divided into sections of 2 - 3 aircraft (similar to fireteams in a squad)
Semi-active (Missile) Has its own radar receiver, but targets reflected radar waves / illumination from the host aircraft
Shack Weapons impact on ground (unit), unofficial
Situational Awareness (SA) Knowing what is going around you at all times: where are enemies, where are friendlies, is my six clear?
Sparkle IR Pointer (from a Targetting Pod)
Spike Threat on the RWR receiver: 'Badger 1-1 has an SA-10 spike at twelve o'clock'
Splash(ed) Enemy target hit/destroyed
Stack Two or more contacts are within group criteria, but differ in altitude (typically greater than 10000 feet difference)
Stall Due to high / low AOA, the maximum lift capability is exceeded, resulting in an abrupt loss of lift
Status Report situation
STOVL Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing
Tally (Ho) Recognition of an enemy unit; opposite of 'No Joy'
TFR Terrain Following Radar
Trashed Missile has been defeated
VFR Visual Flight Rules; fly by your eyesight when it is clear enough to see
Visual Recognition of an friendly unit or (landmark) object
VTOL Vertical Take-Off and Landing
Wilco Will Comply with received instructions
Winchester No ordinance (missiles, bombs) remaining
WVR Within Visual Range
Zulu (time) GMT+0, Greenwich Time

Reference Documents

Please see below for more comprehensive documents outlining NATO and U.S. operational brevity code-words.