ACC- Air Combat Command Langley AFB, VA

AETC- Air Education and Training Command, Randolph AFB, TX a.k.a. “Ain’t Even Thinking About Combat”

AFMC- Air Force Material Command, Wright-Patt AFB, OH

AFOQT- Air Force Officer Qualifying Test

AFPC- Air Force Personnel Center located at Randolph AFB, TX. This place is the nefarious Puzzle Palace. Kind of like MPF at the AF-wide level. They handle all assignments and decide things like how many assignments will go to base X and when.

AGSM- Ainti-G Straining Maneuver – perform this maneuver to avoid losing consciousness

AFRC- Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, GA. Previously referred to as AFRES.

AFSOC- Air Force Special operations Command, Hurlburt Field, FL

AFSPC- Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, CO

AMC- Air Mobility Command, Scott AFB, IL

ASBC- Air and Space Basic Course, PME for 2nd and 1st Lts

AWACS-Airborne Warning and Control System


Barney- C-17

BAT- Basic Attributes Test

BDUs- Battle Dress Utilities – camouflage fatigues

BFM- Basic Fighter Maneuvers, a.k.a. dogfighting, or pointy nose dudes “shooting thier watches”

BOHICA- Bend Over, Here It Comes Again – self critiquing

Bold Face- Emergency procedure memory items – must be memorized and able to be recited verbatim

BSA- Basic Surface Attack

Buff- B-52


CAS- Close Air Support

CBT- Computer Based Training

CCT- Combat Controller – USAF Special Operations

CDS- Container Delivery System – airdrop with cargo loaded on top of honey-combed platforms

CFT- Cockpit Familiarization Trainer

CONUS- Continental United States

CSAF- Chief of Staff of the Air Force, aka the Big Cheese

CSAR- Combat Search and Rescue


DACBT- Dissimilar Air Combat Training

DASH-1 – The “owners manual” for the aircraft. This technical order or T.O. is divided into sections that list systems description and operation, checklists and normal procedures, emergency procedures, crew duties, operating limits, adverse weather procedures, etc. Your checklist is derived from this T.O., as is performance data charts, cargo loading data, etc. These books have hundreds of pages, but you will become very familiar with the important stuff and the trivial as time goes on.

It’s called the Dash-1 because it is listed as T.O. 1T-1A-1 or 1T-37B-1. They end in -1

DEERS- Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System. The system that registers your family for AF benefits such as TRICARE.

Downgrade- When you get any grade lower than an excellent…usually on a checkride, i.e. Lt. Monkey hosed his checkride, he got a 25 downgrade G.

Dollar Ride- Your very first flight in UPT – your freebie ride!

Drop- assignment night at the end of Phase 3 UPT – the night that you get your aircraft and assignment


EGI- Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation

ENNJPT- Euro Nato Joint Jet Pilot Training, Sheppard AFB, TX

ERO- Engine Running Onload/Offload – leave the props spinning, open the doors and unload/load the cargo and pax.

EWO- Electronic Wafare Officer


FAC- Forward Air Controller – implies ground-based controller embedded with ground units.

FAC(A)- Forward Air Controller (Airborne) Same, but a Hog instead of on the ground

FAIP- First Assignment Instructor Pilot, self explanatory…FAIPs come straight out of UPT, their first assignment after graduating is back at UPT as an instructor pilot.

FE- Flight Engineer

Fini Flight- a guy’s last flight in the aircraft before he/she leaves a squadron – usually a fun and memorable sortie that is followed by the fire trucks hosing him/her down.

Fred- C-5 – F*cking Ridiculous Economic Disaster

FTU- Formal Training Unit. This is the formal school attended after UPT where pilots learn how to fly their MDS aircraft. Also affectionately known as ‘the schoolhouse’. Formerly known as Replacement Training Unit (RTU).


G-LOC- G-induced Loss of Consciousness


HALO- High Altitude, Low Opening parachute personnel airdrop

Hammer- A particularly difficult IP who gives out tough grades

Herk- C-130 Hercules

Hook / Taco- Getting an unsatisfactory (U) grade on a flight, test, etc. Often shown as a visual hand signal, with one holding their hand as if cradling an imaginary taco. Synonyms – BUST/TUBE/BONE/SHIT THE BED/SCREW THE POOCH.

HTS – Harm Targeting System


IFE- In Flight Emergency

IFF- Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals
where they send you after T38s in UPT to go fly AT-38s and learn how to shoot guns/missiles, and drop bombs.


IFF- Identification Friend or Foe, part of the military’s transponder system that tells other jets and ground crews if a dude is a good guy or a bad guy.

IFFCC- Integrated Flight and Fire Control Computer – Makes our green sh!t look like fancy airplanes like the F-16.

IFT- Introductory Flight Training

IP- Instructor Pilot / also during tactical flying refers to the Initial Point prior to the Run-In.


JA/AT- Joint Airborne Air-Transportability Training. Bilateral training with the army; typically and airdrop mission with paratroopers. The Joint Airborne/ Air Transportability Training (JA/ATT) program is funded by the Air Force and jointly managed by the Air Force (AMC) and the Army (FORSCOM). Both the USAF and Army have training objectives they would like to achieve.

JPATS – Joint Primary Air Training System – the all encompassing system using the T-6 Texan as the flight trainer, its corresponding simulators for ground training, and TIMS (Training Integration Management System) for the ‘paperless classroom.’

JPPT – Joint Primary Pilot Training

J-STARS-Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System

JSUPT- Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training – this is Joint SUPT with other services, including USN, USMC, USCG, USA.


KHOOYA – “Keep Your Head Out Of Your Ass” – Sign painted on a barn roof at the VFR entry point into the T-41 pattern Selma, AL 1968/69. Pronounced — K-Who-YA.


LATN- Low altitude tactical navigation

LOWAT- Low altitude training

LOR- Letter of Reprimand


MIF- Maneuver Item File, basically the minimum grade (Unsat, Fair, Good, or Excellent) that you must have for a certain maneuver before the end of the block

MPF- Military Personnel Flight. The office at your base that will (at their own convenience and schedule permitting) handle issues like orders and ID cards.

Mud Hen- F-15E

MWS – Major Weapons System i.e. an F15, C17, etc. MWS is now MDS (Mission Design Series) so that it can generically be applied to any aircraft (not just weapon systems)

MX- Maintenance


NKAWTG- Nobody Kicks Ass Without Tanker Gas – A popular acronym used by crewmembers of the Mighty KC-135 Stratotanker and the almost as mighty KC-10 Extender.

NOTAM- Notice To Airmen – remarks about an airfield, airspace, etc.

NVG- Night Vision Goggles – a.k.a. NVD – night vision device


OCONUS- Outside Continental United States

OTS- Officer Training School, Maxwell AFB, AL


PAR- pronounced “P” “A” R”, not “par” – precision approach radar; a type of instrument approach.

PCS- Permanent Change of Station – moving when assigned to a new duty station

PDS- Permanent Duty Station – where you are permanently assigned

PPQ or PNQ- Potentially Pilot or Navigator Qualified

PACAF- Pacific Air Forces headquartered at Hickam AFB, HI

PIT- Pilot Instructor Training, the very happy place where they send all the new FAIPs who won’t be flying an MWS for another 4 years. Lucky Tweet trained dudes at Vance will probably get to go twice…once for Tweets and then a year later for T-6s. Older guys go to PIT too.

PME- Professional Military Education, grad school type classes every officer has to take (with ASBC as an exception) Different ranks go to different schools and learn how to be better officers, and get a checkmark in the promotion box



RNLTD- Report No Later Than Date

RTB- Return To Base


Santa Claus- A very generous evaluator or instructor – you screw up bad and instead of hooking you like he should, he says…”Merry Christmas”

SAM- Surface to Air Missile – this is when an IP on the ground sees you screwing up during your solo and “Hooks” you from the ground. This is a ground-to-air UNSAT.

SAT- Surface Attack Tactics

Slackademics- the first 6 weeks of UPT where you think you’re working hard but you really aren’t

Spectre – nickname for AC-130 Gunships first deployed to SEAsia in the 16th SOS at Ubon, Thailand in Oct. 1968

SUPT- Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training. This pilot training pipeline has a track select after phase 2 – phase 3 is divided among fighter/bombers, heavies, turboprops, and helos.

SWA – SouthWest Asia, or “The Box” as in Sandbox


TAF- Temporary Area Forecast – aviation weather forecast

TDY- Temporary Duty

TGP- Targeting Pod

TLAR- That looks about right, i.e. “using the TLAR method” when navigating or flying formation.

Track Select- Occurs following completion of Phase II (Tweets, T-6s, or T-34s but the Navy is kinda special) where you learn what your next follow-on aircraft will be (T-38s, T-1s, T-44s, or Helos)

TRICARE- AF-sponsored medical service for dependents.


UAV- Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

UPT- Undergraduate Pilot Training

USAFE- US Air Forces in Europe, Ramstein AB, Germany


Victor- victor radio, VFH radio


Weather Dash-1- 175-1’s are the official weather briefing worksheets given to aircrew prior to departure. A.k.a. Weather Dash One, Dash-1.

Wild Weasel – Mission to destroy enemy Surface to Air Missile Sites (SAM). Anti-SAM Mission.

WSO- Weapons Systems Officer

WX- Weather