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AGSM – Anti-G Straining Maneuver. A technique that employs muscle-tightening and quick breathing in an effort to maintain blood in the cranium when under increased G-loading in flight.

Aircrew – Generic term for any aircraft crew member, whether at the flight controls or not.

A-LOC – Almost G-induced Loss of Consciousness.  Nearly passing out due to lack of blood in the brain as a result of pulling G’s.


CAG – An obsolete but more-easily spoken term for CVW. Also, informal title for the CVW Commander, typically a Navy Captain (O-6).

Callsign – A nickname aircrew use to address one another on the ground and in-flight, in lieu of using real names and ranks.

CVW – Carrier Air Wing. A US Navy aviation organization composed of approximately eight independent squadrons that join as one team when deployed aboard an aircraft carrier.


ECMO – Electronic Countermeasures Officer. An NFO who crews the backseat of an EA-18G Growler.

Ejection Seat – A device designed to propel the occupant safely out of and away from a distressed aircraft.


FAC – Forward Air Controller. A pilot serving alongside ground forces, acting as a liaison with combat support aircraft. Derivation: FAC(A) – airborne FAC.

FEBO – Fighter Even, Bogey Odd. An obsolete deconfliction strategy intended to prevent mid-air collisions.  Requires fighters to arrive at the merge on even altitudes (e.g. 22,000 ft, 30,000 ft, etc.) and the adversaries at odd altitudes (e.g. 25,000 ft).

Flag Officer – A commissioned military officer who has attained the rank of general (land forces) or admiral (maritime forces), at the rank of O-7 or above.


G – Gravitational Force.  The pull of earth’s gravity that people and objects experience as “one G” in an unaccelerated state or “zero G” when falling.

G-LOC – G-induced Loss of Consciousness.  Passing out due to lack of blood in the brain as a result of pulling G’s.

God – (See Fighter Pilot.)


Knot(s) – Nautical mile(s) per hour.


Joke – (See God.)


Merge – The point in time and space when opposing aircraft meet, generally heading in opposite directions.

Midshipman – A college student enrolled either at the US Naval Academy or in an ROTC program.


Nautical Mile – A unit of measure based on the circumference of the earth, equal to one minute of latitude. Equivalent to approx. 6,072 feet or 115% of a statute mile.

NFO – Naval Flight Officer. A US Navy commissioned officer assigned to non-pilot-in-control aerial duties such as weapons control, radar intercept, or electronic countermeasures.


OCS – Officer Candidate School. A program for college graduates who did not attend a service academy or participate in ROTC. Successful program completion results in commissioning as a military officer.


Ready Room – A common area where squadron aircrew congregate, socialize, and brief & debrief missions.

RIO – Radar Intercept Officer. An NFO who crews the backseat of an F-4 Phantom or F-14 Tomcat.

ROTC – Reserve Officer Training Corps. An officer commissioning program that allows students to attend non-service academies (i.e. public and private universities and colleges) where students pursue a bachelor’s degree while preparing for service as a commissioned officer.


SEAWARS – Seawater-activated Release System. A device intended to release a parachuting aircrew from the parachute upon landing in the ocean to minimize entanglement and possible drowning.

Service Academy – A federal university that provides students an undergraduate degree and the preparation needed to serve as a commissioned officer in the US armed forces after graduation.

Squadron – An aviation organization composed of aircrew, support personnel, aircraft, and equipment.


Vestibular System – aka inner ear. An anatomical apparatus involved in maintaining balance and spatial orientation.


WSO – Weapons System Officer. An NFO who crews the backseat of an F/A-18D Hornet or F/A-18F Super Hornet.