The source for approved Defence terms, definitions and abbreviations is the Australian Defence Glossary (ADG).

The ADG is updated periodically and should be consulted to review any amendments to the data in this glossary.


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A party acknowledged as potentially hostile to a friendly party and against which the use of force may be envisaged.


alert order (alerto)

Directs Service Chiefs to force assign force elements to an operation.


1. Draws upon a number of strategic planning documents including the Chief of Defence Force (CDF) Planning Directive and CDF Warning Order.

2. If a warning order has not been issued, the alert order initiates operational planning.


area of intelligence interest (AII)

The area in which a commander requires intelligence on those factors and developments likely to affect the outcome of current and future operations.



A supposition on the current situation or a presupposition on the future course of events, either or both assumed to be true in the absence of positive proof, necessary to enable the commander in the process of planning to complete an estimate of the situation and make a decision on the course of action.




Deny access to an area or information, or prevent movement in a particular direction.



An option at a commander’s decision point along a line of operation that allows the commander flexibility to anticipate decisive points by deviating from, and returning to, that line of operation.



Break through an obstacle or defensive measures.




A set of military operations planned and conducted to achieve a strategic end state or objective within a given time and geographical area.



Restrict an adversary’s activities to a narrow area.



Seize and retain an adversary’s personnel, equipment, infrastructure and information.


cease order (ceaseo)

An order to conclude military operations as directed.


centre of gravity (COG)

The primary entity that possesses the inherent capability to achieve an objective or the desired end state.



Remove resistance or materiel from, and/or cause actors to leave, an area.



Compel an actor to adopt desired behaviours by threat of force.


collection plan

A plan for collecting information from all available sources to meet collection requirements and for transforming those requirements into orders to collection elements.


commander’s critical information requirements (CCIR)

The critical information a commander needs to make decisions.

Note: CCIR comprise priority intelligence requirements, friendly force information requirements and essential elements of friendly information.


commander’s decision point (CDP)

A point in time and space at which a commander must make a decision in order to influence the operation in a particular target area of interest.

Note: Must be offset from the point where the action has to take place, in order to allow sufficient lead-time for action to be initiated.


commander’s intent

A formal statement, usually in the concept of operations or general outline of orders, given to provide clear direction of the commander’s intentions.


comprehensive approach

A multinational approach that responds effectively to complex crises by orchestrating, coordinating and de-conflicting military and non-military activities.


concept of operations (conops)

A clear and concise statement of the line of action chosen by a commander in order to accomplish the mission.



Restrict an actor’s movement to an area.



Persuade an actor to adopt desired behaviours, or maintain physical influence over an area to prevent its access and use.


course of action (COA)

A possible plan that would achieve an objective or the desired end state.


critical capability (CC)

An action (verb) done by the centre of gravity which enables it to achieve an objective or the desired end state.


critical factor (CF)

A critical capability, critical requirement or critical vulnerability.


1. Critical factors are identified during centre of gravity analysis.

2. The key term is ‘critical’. A system may consist of many things, but few are likely to be critical.


critical requirement (CR)

A thing (noun), resource, or means that is essential for a critical capability to enable a centre of gravity to function.


critical vulnerability (CV)

Those critical requirements, or components thereof, that are inherently targetable and vulnerable to neutralisation, defeat or destruction in a way that will contribute to undermining a centre of gravity.


culminating point

The point in time and location where a force will no longer be stronger than the adversary and risks losing the initiative. Notes: 1. This may be due to reduced combat power, attrition, logistics, dwindling national will or other factors. 2. To be successful, the operation must achieve its objectives before reaching its culminating point.


D  |

decisive point (DP)

A significant operational milestone that exists in time and space or the information domain which constitutes a key event, essential task, critical factor or function that, when executed or affected, allows a commander to gain a marked advantage, or contributes to achieving success.



Diminish the effectiveness of an adversary such that they are either unable or unwilling to achieve their objective.



Repel an attack.



Reduce the effectiveness of a capability.



Prevent an actor from arriving at a location before a specified time or event.



Prevent an actor from using personnel, equipment, infrastructure and information.



Render an adversary or object permanently ineffective.



Persuade an actor that the consequences of a course of action would outweigh potential gains.



Render an actor’s capabilities irrelevant by not allowing them to be employed at a critical time and place.



Reduce an actor’s ability to act as a coordinated whole.




The consequence of an action or cause, which impacts physical, physiological, psychological or functional capabilities.


end state

The political and/or military situation to be attained at the end of a campaign or operation, which indicates that the objective has been achieved.


essential elements of friendly information (EEFI)

Critical exploitable information concerning friendly dispositions, intentions, capabilities, morale, knowledge and potential vulnerabilities that, if compromised, could threaten the success of friendly force.


essential task

A specified or implied task that an organisation must perform to accomplish the mission.

Note: An essential task is typically included in the mission statement.


execute order (executo)

An order to initiate military operations as directed.



friendly force information requirement (FFIR)

Information regarding the activities or capabilities of own or adjacent units.




high value target (HVT)

An asset which is likely to be required for completion of the adversary's mission.



implied task

A task derived during Mission Analysis that an organisation must perform or prepare to perform to accomplish a specified task or the mission, but which is not stated in the higher headquarters order.



Engage an adversary before they can affect friendly forces.



Separate an actor from their source of support and deny freedom of movement.



joint (J)

Activities, operations and organisations in which elements of at least two Services participate.


Joint Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (JIPOE)

A systematic, dynamic process for analysing the threat and the environment, considered in the dimensions of space and time.

Note: It is designed to support staff planning and prepare the foundations for informed military decision-making.




line of communication (LOC)

A land, water or air route that connects an operating military force with one or more bases of operations, and along which supplies and reinforcements move.


line of operation (LOO)

A line linking decisive points to allow sequential progression towards an operational objective or the desired end state.



main effort (ME)

A concentration of forces or means, in a particular area, time and phase of an operation, where a commander seeks to bring about a decision.


master target list (MTL)

The encompassed listings of targets designated for a campaign or operation, and comprise the joint target list, restricted target list and no-strike list.


mission (msn)

A clear, concise statement of the task of the command and its purpose.


multinational (MN)

Activities, operations and organisations, in which elements of more than one nation participate.



named area of interest (NAI)

A geographical area where information is gathered to satisfy specific intelligence requirements.



Render an actor or objects temporarily ineffective.



operation (op)

A series of tactical actions with a common unifying purpose, planned and conducted to achieve a strategic or campaign end state or objective within a given time and geographical area.


operation instruction (opinst)

Indicates the commander’s intention and possibly the overall plan but leaves the detailed course of action to the subordinate commander.


operation order (opord)

A directive, usually formal, issued by a commander to subordinate commanders for the purpose of effecting the coordinated execution of an operation.


operation plan (oplan)

A plan for a single or series of connected operations to be carried out simultaneously or in succession.


1. It is usually based upon stated assumptions and is the form of directive employed by higher authority to permit subordinate commanders to prepare supporting plans and orders.

2. The designation ‘plan’ is usually used instead of ‘order’ in preparing for operations well in advance.

3. An operation plan may be put into effect at a prescribed time, or on signal, and then becomes the operation order.


operational art (opart)

The skilful employment of military forces to attain strategic goals through the design, organisation, sequencing and direction of campaigns and operations.


1. Operational art translates strategic into operational and ultimately tactical actions.

2. It requires a commander to:

a. identify the military conditions or end state that constitute the strategic objective

b. decide the operational objectives that must be achieved to reach the desired end state

c. order a sequence of actions that lead to fulfilment of the operational objectives

d. apply the military resources allocated to sustain the desired sequence of actions.


operational design

The contemporary application of operational art in producing a schematic that represents the commander’s operational approach to a situation.


operational level

The level at which campaigns and operations are planned and conducted to accomplish strategic objectives.


operational objective

A condition that needs to be achieved during a campaign or operation to enable the desired end state to be reached.

Note: Correct assessment of operational objectives is crucial to success at the operational level.


operational reach

The distance and duration across which a force element can successfully employ its military capabilities.




Breach an adversary’s defence and affect their defensive system.



A definitive stage of an operation or campaign during which a large portion of the forces and capabilities are involved in similar or mutually supporting activities for a common purpose.



Stop an action from occurring.


priority intelligence requirement (PIR)

An intelligence requirement for which a commander has an anticipated and stated priority in the task of planning and decision making.



Preserve the effectiveness of personnel, equipment, infrastructure and information.





Maintain possession of personnel, equipment, infrastructure and information for friendly use.


rules of engagement (ROE)

Directives endorsed by Government and issued by commanders, which delineate the circumstances, and limitations within which military force may be applied to achieve military objectives.


1. They do not inhibit or replace but are part of the command function.

2. They may be framed to limit certain actions; alternatively, they may authorise actions to the full extent permissible under domestic and international law.




Gain possession of and protect personnel, equipment, infrastructure and information.



Gain possession of personnel, equipment, infrastructure and information by force.



An option at a commander’s decision point along a line of operation, initiated by a significant shift in operational direction, which identifies a new line of operation to achieve a revised or new objective.



The ordering of decisive points into lines of operation, and the subsequent ordering of lines of operation into a logical progression in time, space and purpose.



Enhance the friendly force's position, delay an adversary's response, or lead an adversary into an inadequate or inappropriate response to set the conditions for decisive action.


specified task

A task that is specifically assigned to an organisation by its higher headquarters.



Impose control and establish security over an area while restoring services and support to civilian agencies, which set the conditions to allow primacy of indigenous organisations.


strategic level

The level at which nations determine national or multinational security objectives and deploy national resources to achieve them.


supporting plan

A plan, complementing the main plan, which provides detailed information concerning specialised and discrete aspects of an operation, and may cover areas such as communications, electronic warfare, movement, administration, public information, and intelligence collection.



Temporarily degrade a capability.



The arrangement of related and mutually supporting actions in time, space and purpose to maximise their combined intended effects.



tactical level

The level at which activities, battles and engagements are planned and executed to accomplish military objectives assigned to tactical formations and units.



An entity or object which may be subject to an effect.


target area of interest (TAI)

A geographical point or area where key adversary capabilities are vulnerable to targeting by friendly forces.




Weaken an actor’s capabilities, morale, loyalty or reliability by affecting their military, cultural, economic, societal or political strength.




war game

A simulation, by whatever means, of a military operation involving two or more forces (opposed or not) using rules, data, and procedures designed to depict an actual or assumed real life situation.


warning order (wngo)

A planning directive that describes the situation, allocates forces and resources, establishes command relationships, provides other initial planning guidance, and initiates subordinate unit mission planning.