Afghan War Glossary
Books on Afghanistan
The military community uses a multitude and variety of terms, phrases, and expressions in its vocabulary. This is especially true in the Afghan theater of operations. Some terms, phases, and words are formal in nature while others are derived from common usage. This glossary is intended to assist those new to the Afghan theater or others unfamiliar with terminology or slang used by those working or serving in Afghanistan.
To search for the term, acronym or phrase
OA. Operational Analysis.
OA. Open Architecture.
OA. Obligation Authority.
O/A. On or About.
OAA. Office of Acquisition Assistance.
Oak Grove. A firm that provides support and services to the military in Afghanistan. One such contract (in conjunction with Tiger Swan) was to provide agricultural advisors to CFSOCC-A to support the Village Stability Operations program. See news story here.
OAPA. Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs.
OB. Order of Battle.
OC. Operations Center.
OCB. Oversight Coordination Body. The OCB was established as a result of the 2012 Chicago Summit. NATO allies and ISAF partners decided to provide support to the Afghan National Security Forces based on the understanding that the Afghan Government will make increasing financial contributions to these efforts. The OCB was established to provide overall coordination of the funding contributed to the ANSF and to ensure donors can confidently commit their support; while, strengthening transparent, accoutable, and cost-effective funding mechanisms. Source ISAF Facebook.
"OC Net". This phrase refers to Observer Controllers who work at the Combat Training Centers (JMRC, NTC, JRTC, etc.). The phrase also applies to SFAATs who are advising police and the ANA at mulitiple levels and who pass SITREPs up, down and across to other SFAATs so they can keep each other informed on problems the ANSF are having.
OCC. Operations Coordination Center. See OCCs.
OCC-AT. Operations Coordination Center -Advisor Team.
OCC-D. Operation Coordination Center - District.
OCC-P. Operation Coordination Center - Provincial.
OCC-R. Operation Coordination Center - Regional.
OCHA. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
OCHQ. Operational Corps Headquarters.
OCIE. Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment.
OCO. Overseas Contingency Operations.
OCONUS. Outside of the Continental United States.
OCS. Officer Candidate School.
ODA. Operational Detachment Alpha. As in Special Forces ODA. A twelve-man team that undergoes intensive Special Forces Training.
ODB. Operational Detachment Bravo. A company sized Special Forces unit that occupies an AOB and provides C2 and support to 2-6 ODAs.
ODCR. Observation Discussion Conclusion Recommendation.
OFC. Optical Fiber Core.
OGA. Other Government Agency.
OE. Operational Environment. The OE is the composite of the conditions, circumstances, and influences that affect the employment of capabilities and bear on the decision of the commander.
OEF. Operation ENDURING FREEDOM. The Afghan part of the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Started in 2001 and will end in . . . . . . . . . . or be called something else . . . like Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
OEM. Original Equipment Manufacturer.
OFDA. Office of Foreig Disaster Assistance.
OFS. Operation Freedom's Sentinel. Replaced Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). Same war, different name.
OGA. Other Governmental Agency.
OIC. Officer In Charge.
OIG. Office of Inspector General.
OIP. Organizational Inspection Program.
OIR. Operation Inherent Resolve.
OLBP. Observations Lessons Best Practice.
O&M. Operations and Maintenance.
OMAR. Organization for Mine clearance and Afghan Rehabilitation.
"Omari". The name of the Taliban's 2016 spring offensive - named in honor of Mullah Omar (former leader of the Taliban) who died in 2013 in a Pakistani hospital.
OMB. Office of Management & Budget.
OMC-A. Organization for Military Cooperation - Afghanistan.
Omega Program. A highly classified program where members of SEAL Team 6 and the CIA work together to capture or kill high-level al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan. See a news story on this topic in this NYT's news story.
OMLT. Operational Mentoring Liaison Team. Advisor teams provided by NATO nations.
ONS. Operational Needs Statement.
ONSC. The Afghan Office of the National Security Council.
O/O. On Order.
OOA. Out of Area.
OOB. Order of Battle. Usually called OB for Order of Battle.
OODA Loop. Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.
OOTW. Operations Other Than War.
OP. Operation or observation point.
OPCEN. Operations Center. Similar to a TOC or JOC.
OPCOM. Operational Command.
OPCON. Operational Control.
Operation Khaibar. The name of the annual Taliban operation for fighting season 2014. The official start date for FS 14 was May 12th, 2014. "Khaibar" or "Khyber" refers to a series of battles in 629 C.E. in which Muslim forces seized a series of Jewish fortifications at An-Natat and Ash-Shiqq in the Khyber Region north of Mecca.
Operation MILK COOKIES. This secret National Security Agency (NSA) operation to intercept messages was based out of Fort Meade and run in conjunction with the U.S. Post Office. It centered on the use of complex algorithms to spot hidden messages in letters disguised as children's correspondence to Santa Claus. The operation was also tied to another facility known as ELFCHELON.
Operational Coordination Center. OCCs are Operational Coordination Centers located at the regional (corps), provincial, and sometimes district levels.
Operational Reach. The distance and duration across which a joint force can successfully employ military capabilities. Operational reach is a tether; it is a function of intelligence, protection, sustainment, endurance, and relative combat power.
OPG. Operational Planning Group.
OPLAN. Operation Plan.
OPO. Office of Police Ombudsman. The OPO investigates misdeeds conducted by the Afghan National Police and other entities of the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
OPORD. Operation Orders.
OPR. Office of Primary Responsibility.
OPSEC. Operational Security.
OPSUM. Operations Summary.
OPSYNC. Operational Synchronization Matrix.
OPT. Operational Planning Team.
OPTAG. Operational Training and Advisory Group, British Army.
OPTEMPO. Operations Tempo. The pace of operations or work. Busy or slow. A high OPTEMP means the unit is alwasy going out on missions or patrol.
ORB. Officer's Record Brief.
ORC. Operational Readiness Cycle. A methodology of rotating Afghan army units through phases of combat employment, leave, refit, and re-training. Something that, as of mid-2016, the ANA has yet to be able to do successfully.
ORP. Operations Rally Point.
ORSA. Operations Research and Systems Analysis. Smart guys with calculators who look like college professors.
OSC. Office of Security Cooperation.
OSC-A. Office of Security Cooperation - Afghanistan.
OSCE. Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
OSD. Office of the Secretary of Defence.
OSINT. Open-Source Intelligence. Info gathered from TV, newspapers, magazines, etc.
OSOCC. On-Site Operations
Coordination Centre. Developed by the United Nation's Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to assist countries in coordinating
international search-and-rescue efforts following an earthquake. Its
priviate online workspace is called the Virtual OSOCC (VOSCC). It will
operate one or more Bases of Operations or BOOs.
Osprey. The Osprey is a VTOL and STOL aircraft with the capabilities and performance of a helicopter and turboprop fixed wing aircraft. It comes in many variants to include the CV-22 and MV-22. Learn more about the CV-22 Osprey.
OSR. Office of Secondary Responsibility.
O/S. On station (when referring to aircraft overhead; usually providing CAS or CCA).
OTA. Office of Technical Assistance.
OTERA. Organizing, Training, Equipping, Rebuilding, and Advising. What we are doing with the Afghan National Security Forces over the past several years. Other names closely related to OTERA include "partnering", "Security Force Assistance", "Train, Advise, and Assist", and "Functionally-based SFA".
OTI. An office of the USAID, the Office of Transition Initiatives worked to increase resilience in areas of Afghanistan vulnerable to insurgent exploitation. One of its programs was the Community Cohesion Initiative (CCI).
Oxygen Thief. A useless person who does no work, is incompetent, and/or talks too much.
The definitions provided in this Afghan War Glossary are from many different sources to include publications, documents, and personal knowledge. In some instances, there are several definitions or meanings to a word or phrase.
To suggest additional terms for the glossary or to correct any inaccuracies or broken links send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All external sites open up in an new window.