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Special Forces Berlin
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Special Operations Glossary

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The Special Forces community and the military services in general use a multitude of words, phrases, and acronyms in its vocabulary, documentation, correspondence, and publications.  This glossary is intended to aid those unfamiliar with specific special operations terminology.

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P2C. Known as the "power to coerce". This is usually used in the context in as the place between the use of hard power and soft power when dealing with adversaries.

PA.  Public Affairs.

PACE.  As in PACE plan.  Primary, Alternate, Contingent, Emergency.

PAO.  Public Affairs Officer.

Paramilitary Forces.  "Forces or groups distinct from the regular armed forces of any country, but resembling them in organization, equipment, training, or mission".  (JP 1-20).

Partisan. A member of an armed resistance group fighting against an occupying force.

PAX.  Passengers.

PB.  Patrol Base.

PC.  1.  Precious Cargo.  2.  Patrol Cap.

PCI.  Pre-Combat Inspection.

PDF.  Principal Direction of Fire.

Peacekeeping.  "Military operations undertaken with the consent of all major parties to a dispute, designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an agreement (ceasefire, truce, or other such agreement) and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement".  (JP 1-02).

PERINTREP.  Periodic Intelligence Report.

PERINTSUM.  Periodic Intelligence Summary.

Personnel Recovery (PR). The recovery of U.S. military or DoD civilians or contractors from hostile territory. Learn more about personnel recovery.

PEWS.  Platoon Early Warning System.

PGP.  Pretty Good Privacy.  A computer encryption algorithm based on RSA.  Available commercially and used by many organizations.

PIR.  Priority Intelligence Requirements.

PID.  Positive Identification.

PJ.  Air Force para-jumper / para-rescue.

PL.  Patrol Leader; Phase Line.

PLAD.  Plain Language Address Dictionary.

PMCS.  Preventive Maintenance Checks and Services.

POC.  Point of Contact.

POE.  Point of Embarkation.

POE.  Plan of Execution.

POG.  Psychological Operations Group.

POL.  Petroleum, oil, and lubricants.

Political Warfare. A term used to describe ambiguous and nebulous conflicts that don't fit into conventional warfare or peacetime activities. Learn more about Special Forces and political warfare.

PONR.  Point of No Return.

POTF.  Pyschological Operations Task Force.

POW.  Prisoner of War.

PR.  Personnel Recovery.

PR FAS ATD. Personnel Recovery Functional Area Service Advanced Technology Demonstrator. An information management and Command & Control (C2) tool.

PRI.  Primary.  As in Primary Drop Zone.

PRMS.  Personnel Recovery Mission Software.

Product.  "Any visual, audio, or audivisual item generated and disseminated in support of a Psychological Operations program".  (FM 3-05.30)

Propaganda.  "Any form of communication in support of national objectives designed to influence the opinions, emotions, attitudes, or behavior of any group in order to benefit the sponsor, either directly or indirectly".  (JP 1-02).

PSYDET.  Psychological Operations Detachment.

PSYOP.  Psychological Operations.  Now known as MISO.  "Planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately teh behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals.  The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavoir favorable to the originator's objectives".  (JP 1-20).

PW.  Prisoner of War.

PWE. Political Warfare Executive, a British clandestine body created to produce both white and black propaganda during World War II.

PZ.  Pickup Zone. Referring to a strip or spot for an aircraft to land and pick up equipment or personnel.

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