GLOSSARY
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up 0-9   Phoenix SRT SWAT teams have all sorts of high-tech equipment at their disposal. This officer carries a portable shield that provides excellent protection from gun fire.
10- 1 Signal Weak
10- 2 Signal Good
10- 3 Stop Transmitting
10- 4 Affirmative (OK)
10- 5 Relay (To)
10- 6 Busy
10- 7 Out of Service
10- 8 In Service
10- 9 Repeat (Say Again)
10-10 Negative
10-11 _____ On Duty
10-12 Stand By (Stop)
10-13 Existing Conditions
10-14 Message/Information
10-15 Message Delivered
10-16 Reply to Message
10-17 Enroute
10-18 Urgent
10-19 (In) Contact
10-20 Location
10-21 Call (____) by Phone
10-22 Disregard
10-23 Arrived at Scene
10-24 Assignment Completed
10-25 Report to (Meet)
10-26 Estimated Time of Arrival
10-27 License/Permit Information
10-28 Ownership Information (Vehicle)
10-29 Records Check
10-30 Danger/Caution
10-31 Pick Up
10-32 _____ Units Needed (Specify)
10-33 Help Me Quickly
10-34 Time
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ACP Administrative Command Post, the part of the CP function that manages logistics, the press, communications, and related operational support. The ACP is obe of two CPs, the other being the Tactical Command Post, where the operation is planned, directed, and commanded. Xou get y cup of coffee and a donut at the ACP.
AO Area of Operations, the designated limits for individuals, teams and the operation, defined during the planning process. It can be a whole shopping center or office building - or larger, the whole area affected by the operation.
AOR Area of Responsibility, the area within the AO that a two-officer team will have as a primary responsibility. For example, an entry team might have the right half of the living room of a residence as a pi imary AOR after the door-kick. A "sierra" or sniper team might have an AOR of the north wall of a structure, and if there are two sniper teams in the group, one may have the northeast wall, the other the northwest wall as AORs. A wolf pack (assault) team may have three subAORs within a building, taken in sequence after the door-kick. Individuals on the team will each have their own AORs within each room.
APV Armored Personnel Vehicle. Some teams use armored cars of the kind used by banks to transport cash.
ARG Accident Response Group, a DoE volunteer unit that responds to nuclear accidents. See also NEST
ATA Anti-Terrorist Assistance, a program operated by the State Department to train foreign law enforcement agencies in counterterrorism techniques. The U.S. Marshals Service SOG provides the tactical training at its Tactical Center in Louisiana.
ATAC Anti-Terrorist Alert Center. Located in Washington, D.C., and operated by the Navy, the center monitors terrorist activities worldwide and sends out alerts of impending attacks.
"Avalanche" The code word one department has adopted to warn of possible explosives in the AO; it also functions as an evacuation order from the AOR. Other departments will use other words. If you hear, "Avalanche! Avalanche! Avalanche!" on the radio, that's your cue (in this particular department) to evacuate the AOR and dash back to the LCC for further instructions.
up B  
Bang Slang for a flash-bang grenade.
BATF Bureau of Alcohol, tobacco & Firearms, a federal agency that controls the movement of these three controlled items, as well as explosives.
Bent Spear Codename for a nuclear weapons incident. See also Broken Arrow.
Black Talon A lethal, hollow-point bullet that fragments into claw-like shards upon impact.
Blow and Go Phrase used by CT units in reference to dynamic entries; you blow the explosive charges and immediately enter the building through the breach or hole.
Breach To forcibly make entry, with a ram, a kick, or with explosives-through a door or window, or right through a wall if necessary.
Broken Arrow Codename for a nuclear accident. lt is much more serious than a Bent Spear. See also Dull Sword.
BUD/S Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. A 26-week basic training course at Coronado, California, that all SEAL candidates must endure and pass in order to be considered for the SEAL teams.
up C  
C2 Command and Control, the process of controlling and directing an operation, based on military experience and principles of command in battle. The C2 in an operation is the operation commander, usually staffed by a person who is either the team leader, team commander, or the chief of police; the C2 is clearly identified in the pre-op briefing, and the C2 is, for the duration of the op, God.
CA Compromised Authority, when the crooks know you are coming-as happened at Waco forty-five minutes before the original assault that resulted in six agent deaths. When CA is discovered, one jurisdiction transmits over the tactical channel, "Jack rabbit! Jack rabbit! Jack rabbit!" Despite a careful plan for a deliberate entry and assault on a residence, if the subject comes out the door with a shotgun, one of the sniper/observer teams will probably make the CA code call over the radio to let C2 and the rest of the operation know there hasbeen a sudden change of plan and the op will go down now.
CAM Chemical Agent Monitor, a device that detects chemical warfare agents, such as sarin and soman. It is typically set up along a perimeter, downwind of a potential gas release to warn of an attack.
Canary Slang for a hostage.
CAT U.S. Secret Service's Counter-Assault Team.
C/B Chemical/Biological.
CBDCOM Chemical & Biological Defense Command, an Army command whose units respond to chemical and biological incidents.
CBIRF Chemical/Biological Incident Response Force, a Marine Corps unit.
Chicken Plate Slang for the ceramic or steel disk that fits inside a bulletproof vest. The plate, which is positioned over the heart, is designed to withstand hits from high-caliber bullets.
CI Confidential Informant, a "spy" of one sort or another, often a relative or associate of the subjects. While "snitches" are frequently unreliable and often just as bad as the people on whom they report, the information they provide can save lives and is potentially very important.
CIRG Critical Incident Response Group. A component of the FBI that oversees the deployment of the Hostage Rescue Team and negotiators to crises.
Comm/Commo Communications, refers to the frequency or method (not necessarily radio, as comm can be through hand and arm signals, notes, or other code systems). "The comm frequency is 'blue,"' means the blue radio channel is primary for the op.
CQB Close Quarter Battle, the kind of combat that is a hallmark of police special ops, where engagements are at extremely short range and happen at extremely high speed.
CQS Close Quarter Shooting, the particular kind of engagements common to SWAT operations within buildings, with a mix of hostages and crooks, often in the dark, and with smoke and explosions nearby.
CR Designation for a tear gas agent that can penetrate a gas mask filter that normally will stop CS and CN tear gas. CR is used against terrorists equipped with gas masks.
Crow Slang for a terrorist. See also Tango.
CST U.S. Secret Service's Counter-Sniper Team.
CTC Counterterrorism Center. Staffed and operated by the CIA, the center monitors the whereabouts and actions of terrorists worldwide.
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DAT/P Deliberate Assault Team/Plan, one way of moving in on the suspects, characterized by slow, precise, carefully controlled and coordinated movements; the alternative is an emergency assault team or plan, used when everything suddenly goes to hell.
Demo Demolitions, either the materials or the team members. Some teams have and use explosives to open doors, or to make doors in the middle of walls.
DevGroup Development Group, the new name for SEAL Team Six.
DoD Department of Defense.
DoE Department of Energy.
DoS Department of State, a federal agency that deals with terrorism involving Americans outside the continental United States.
Double Tap Two aimed shots fired in rapid succession at a terrorist to ensure that he does not pose any further threat. See also Mozambique.
Dry Hole An empty room or structure.
Dull Sword Codename for a situation in which a nuclear weapon malfunctions or is damaged, and could result in detonation or radioactive contamination. See also Bent Spear.
DVP Distinguished Visitor Protection, a mission often assigned to SWAT teams when the president or other famous persons come to town for a visit. Even a small team like Reno's has provided security for Presidents Reagan and Bush, General Schwartzkopf, visiting foreign heads of state, and public figures.
up E  
Eagle Slang for a good guy (i.e., counterterrorism operator).
EAT or EAP Emergency Assault Team/Plan, used for hasty reactions to events requiring immediate action, such as the rescue of a team caught or overwhelmed during a deliberate assault. An emergency assault is conducted despite the plan for the deliberateassault, when there isn't a choice. These plans anticipate situations where a team member gets shot, or something else puts a crimp in the deliberate assault plan; the assault has to continue, using the EAT or EAP.
EOC Emergency Operations Center.
EPIC El Paso Intelligence Center. Operated by the DEA, EPIC tracks and interdicts the movement of drugs, aliens, and weapons. Numerous federal agencies participate at EPIC, including the FBI, Secret Service, and Customs Service.
EMT Emergency Medical Technician, the team member or support staff who always is written into the plan to provide immediate aid to anybody who is injured during the course of an operation. An EMT on the team may very well shoot somebody, then immediately treat the wound he or she has just inflicted. The EMT is not normally on an assault or entry team, but may be part of an arrest team.
EOD Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the problem of getting rid of the case of old dynamite discovered in the basement of a residence or the det cord booby traps installed by a crook in a fortified house.
EP-1 or -2, -3 Entry Point One, a designated way for the entry team to go into a structure. It can be a door, window, or hole in the wall, which the demo team has just blown with a coil of det cord. Good teams normal- brief at least two entry points, the second providing an alternative if the first doesn't work for whatever reason. EP-1 is normally the front door; EP-2 might be the front picture window.
Evac Evacuation team or plan. If hostages or innocents -or wounded team members need to get pulled out of a residence, there is seldom time to sit around and talk about it; an evac team and plan will be part of the SOP and the briefing,
EXP Exit Point.
EX-1 Exit Point 1. The team will leave through a designated point in the structure, normally specified in the briefing.
up F  
FAA Federal Aviation Administration, a federal agency that is responsible for terrorist incidents that occur aboard U.S. aircraft.
FAP Final Assault Point.
FAST Fleet Antiterrorist Security Team, a Marine Corps unit.
FBG Flash-bang grenade. Also referred to as "bangs" and "flashcrashes"
Ferret A finned plastic capsule (12 gauge, 37 mm) that contains tear gas. The ferret has a blunt front end that is scored; it bursts open on impact, releasing the gas. Ferrets can penetrate 3/4-inch plywood barriers at 100 feet.
Frags Fragmentation grenades.
Frangible Ammo A copper-polymer bullet that turns into dust when it strikes a target, resulting in no ricochet or fragments flying back at the shooter. Frangible ammo is used by CT units for CQB drills.
Funny Platoon Nickname for Delta Force's all-female detachment, which conducts recon and collects intelligence for the team.
up G  
GIGN Groupe d'intervention cle la Gendarmerie Nationale, France's elite counterterrorist unit. Among GIGN's accomplishments were the rescue of a school bus of children that was hijacked in Djibouti by four terrorists in February 1976, and the assault of an Air France jetliner that was hijacked by Algerian terrorists in December 1994.
Glaser Round A high-velocity, prefragmented projectile produced in a soft point, round-nose style bullet. Nearly 100 percent of available energy is transferred to the target, resulting in massive trauma. The Glaser round gives a 9 mm the same stopping power as a .44 magnum.
Glass House Drill An exercise in which an assault team practices assaulting a target using tape on the floor to indicate the location of walls, doorways, furniture, etc. Glass house drills are done when an assault team doesn't have time to build a scale mock structure of the target.
GSG-9 Grenzschutzgruppe-9, Germany's elite counterterrorist unit. GSG-9 retook a hijacked Lufthansa 737 with 91 persons aboard that had been hijacked by terrorists in October 1977. The assault occurred at Mogadishu Airport; no hostages were killed.
up H  
HAHO High Altitude, High Opening. A parachute insertion technique used to thwart detection by hostile forces on the ground. Parachutists jump out at 20,000+ feet, deploy their chutes, and quietly drift to the predetermined landing site 25 to 50 miles away downwind from where they initially jumped out of the plane.
HALO High Altitude, Low Opening. A parachute insertion technique in which the parachutist falls to about 2,000 feet above the ground before deploying his parachute. HALO minimizes the time you spend floating down in your parachute, which is when you are most at risk from enemy observation and fire.
Head job Slang term meaning to be shot in the head.
HEU Highly Enriched Uranium.
HRT Hostage Rescue Team, an elite FBI unit that responds to terrorist and similar high-risk incidents.
HNT Hostage Negotiation Team.
Hydra-Shok Lethal hollow-point ammunition manufactured by Federal Cartridge Company. Many CT forces use Hydra-Shok ammo, including the FBI's HRT and the U.S. Marshals Service's SOG.
up I  
IND Improvised Nuclear Device (i.e., a homemade nuclear bomb).
INS Immigration & Naturalization Service, a federal agency that prevents the illegal entry of individuals into the United States.
INT Intelligence information, the detailed data needed to execute an operation. It can come from many sources-informants, pinhole cameras, and tiny microphones that can be inserted through walls.
up J  
Jedi Nickname for members of DevGroup, after the movie Star Wars.
JSOC Joint Special Operations Command. A component of the U.S. Special Operations Command headquartered at Pope AFB that oversees the employment of DevGroup, SFOD-D, and 160th SOAR.
up K  
Keep A secured location where people who have been pulled out of a location can be debriefed without distractions. The people kept at this location might be hostages or hostage takers who can provide information about who and what is still inside or still a threat to the officers conducting the operation. When a team has a distinguished visi- mission, a keep will be specified, perhaps by the Secret Service. Then, if something happens, a designated member of the team will take the VIP to the keep and will guard him or her, controlling access to the location, until a code word is transmitted indicating "all clear." Until then, nobody gets access to the keep.
Kicker Nickname for someone on an assault team who is responsible for kicking open a closed door.
up L  
Little Bird Nickname for an AH-6 or MH-6 helicopter used by the HRT and military CT forces for assaults and covert insertions.
LCC Last Cover and Concealment.
LP/OP Listening Post/Observation Post, the classic stake-out, surveillance situation where officers collect information without ever intending to make "hard" contact.
up M  
Medevac Medical support for the team.
MEU/SOC Marine Expeditionary Unit-Special Operations Capable. A specially trained and equipped Marine Corps unit that conducts unconventional warfare and hostage recovery.
Mob Nickname for DevGroup.
MOU Memorandum of Understanding, a formal (though not always written) set of instructions, guidelines and conditions for the roles of an individual, a two-officer team, or an entire special op unit. Essential for good team integration on an operation is to define the duties, responsibilities, and limits for each team member, particularly when people from different organizations participate on the same op.
Mousehole Nickname for a small, round-shaped breach made into walls and/or doorways with explosives. CT assault teams use mouseholes to move room to room in a building to avoid hallways (which are often booby-trapped or covered by weapons fire), as well as to surprise tangos.
Mozambique Slang for firing two bullets to the chest of a terrorist and one to the head.This ensures that the tango is permanently out of the picture. See also Double Tap.
up N  
NCA National Command Authority. The top-level of America's military chain-of-command, which consists of the President and the Secretary of Defense.
NEST Nuclear Emergency Search Team, a DoE unit that locates nuclear devices and weapons. See also ARG.
Night Stalkers See TF-160.
Non-Lethal Weapons
(Less Than Lethal)
Weapons designed to injure, stun, distract, confuse, etc., rather than kill a human being.
NVG Night Vision Goggle.
up O  
OC Oleoresin Capsicum, an inflammatory tear gas made from red peppers.The hotness of OC is based on the capsaicin content of oleoresin.The unit of measure is called a Scoville Heat Unit (SHU). Pure capsaicin is 15 million SHU. Spray containers used by CT units have 5 percent OC with 2 million SHU. OC causes immediate and temporary blindness, as well as induces choking, coughing, and nausea.
Op Plan A mission statement, normally written, that defines the operation's objectives and methods-a product of the team leader, team sergeant/supervisor. The op plan follows the classic five-paragraph order format used by the military.
Op Sec Operational Security, a set of procedures outlining how to avoid compromising the mission or its participants in any way.
Operator Member of a special ops team, a sworn officer participating in the tactical (not administrative) phase of the mission.
up P  
Parrot Slang for a person who has not yet been identified as a friendly or a bad guy. Hence, he is an unknown.
Plink A single discriminating shot, usually a bullet to the head.
up Q  
up R  
Ranch See Wally World.
Re-Org Another expression for the post-mission debriefing session, an evaluation of how the mission went, and how that compared to the way it was planned. A "lessons learned" session. Some teams do this quite formally, by subunits. The Re-Org is sometimes supported by careful documentation of the residence by officers who come through and make photographs and videotape records, maps, and diagrams of the location and its components.
ROE Rules of Engagement, part of the briefing and comes from the C2. Wolf pack ROE will be different than those for Sierra teams.
Room Broom Nickname for a compact submachine gun, such as the H&K MP5K.
Route When the subunits move up to the FAP, each will move along a designated route. This is part of the briefing and will include possible "rally points."
up S  
SAS Special Air Service, Great Britain's premier CT unit that gained world attention in 1980 when it recaptured Princess Gate from terrorists who had taken over the Iranian embassy in London (Operation Nimrod).
Scuba/HALO Physical Nickname for the thorough medical physical given to candidates applying to Delta Force.
SCT Scout Teams. The scouts help find the routes into and out of the AO, into the FUP and the AOR. They also determine the construction of the AOR, its entry points, exterior door, and window construction.
SEAL Sea/Air/Land, one component of the Navy's Special Warfare Command that is tasked with special operations. The acronym also jokingly stands for "Sleep, Eat And Live it up!"
Semtex A Czechoslovakian plastique explosive that is popular with terrorists.
SFOD-D Special Forces Operational DetachmentDelta, which is more popularly known as Delta Force.
Shell A shell is often an invisible ring of officers around an AO; they may be observers on a surveillance team around a drug house or a half-dozen people in plain clothes around a distinguished visitor. One of the shell will be called a "shadow" man, an officer who will stick close to the VIP, and another officer will cover him or her, the whole shell providing mutual cover in a discreet way.
Shadow Stalkers Nickname for the USMS Special Operations Group. lt comes from the fact that the unit hunts dangerous fugitives (a.k.a. shadows), as well as waits in the shadows of federal courthouses during high-profile cases to thwart terrorist attacks.
Shoot and Scoot A phrase that aptly describes how an assault team clears a building or structure: They find the bad guys, shoot 'em, and then quickly move on to the next room or area.
Shooter Nickname for the members of an assault team who are responsible for shooting hostiles. See also Kicker.
Sierra One department's term for a sniper/observer team, a two-officer element.
SIOC Strategic Information Operations Center, a specially equipped suite from which the FBI directs major investigations (e.g., World Trade Center bombing, Montana Freemen siege).
Slime Slang term meaning to be gassed with a chemical agent.
Snake A common term for a six-officer raid team, moving in line; the first two officers are often designated the "point" element.
SOG Special Operations Group. 1) In the FBI, SOG is responsible for covert intelligence gathering. 2) In the U.S. Marshals Service, SOG is an elite unit that deploys to high-risk situations, such as escorting terrorists to and from federal courts.
SRT Special Reaction Team. In the military, a specially trained unit that reacts to and resolves special threats, such as terrorist acts and hostage taking. Organized under a squad concept, the ideal SRT is comprised of nine members.
Stockholm Syndrome When hostages begin to empathize with their captors and turn against their rescuers. Named after a 1973 incident that occurred in Stockholm, Sweden, in which two suspects held four clerks hostage for 13 1 hours after an aborted robbery.When an assault team attempted to release them, the hostages shielded the suspects with their bodies. One hostage later married one of the suspects.
SWAT Special Weapons and Tactics, a unit that is trained and equipped to handle special, high-risk incidents (e.g., barricaded suspects, snipers, armed encounters). Most law enforcement agencies and military bases have SWAT teams.
up T  
Takedown An assault on a target.
Tango Slang for a terrorist. So named after the military's designation for the letter "T" (Tango) in the phonetic alphabet. See also Crow.
TCP Tactical Command Post, the location where the operation is launched and commanded, situated away from the ACP where the news media and crowds of curious bystanders usually congregate.
TF-160 Task Force 160, which is also known as the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (I 60th SOAR). It is an elite Army unit based out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, that engages in covert operations and ferries Delta Force and other special operations units around. The I 60th SOAR is nicknamed "Night Stalkers" because it does most of its work at night.
Tie-Tie (Flex Cuffs) A lightweight and flexible 22inch-long plastic band that is used to handcuff someone's wrists or legs.The keyless tie-tie is so strong (tensile strength of 370 pounds) that it can only be removed by cutting it off with a knife or a pair of clippers.
Trick To modify and/or customize a weapon.
up U  
Uncle Fester A person who publishes/shares information on how to make chemical weapons.
UC Undercover agent, a police officer acting under cover-as opposed to a CI, or confidential informant, who is perhaps a crook providing information for a payoff.
USCS United States Customs Service, a federal agency that prevents the illegal entry of substances, weapons, etc.
USMS United States Marshals Service
USSOCOM United States Special Operations Command. A unified command established in 1987 and headquartered at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida. lt has overall operational command of military special operations forces. See also JSOC.
USSS United States Secret Service.
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up W  
Wally World Nickname for Delta Force's new, multimillion dollar, special operations training facility at Ft. Bragg. (The original Delta Force HQ was located at Ft. Bragg's old stockade and was known as "The Ranch" because of the propensity of some operators to chew tobacco and wear cowboy boots. When Delta moved to its new facilities, the name came along with it.)
Willy Peter (WPs) Nickname for a White Phosphorus incendiary grenade.
Wolf Pack One department's term for an assault team, a two-officer sub-unit.
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