This is not meant to be a real world brevity communication list. This list has been optimized for the virtual world of air combat. Items may have different meanings than similar real world terms.

Items in Amber text should only be used when operationally necessary. The world does not need to know you pickled yet another Mk 82 unless there is a reason they do need the information.

Air to Air

Terms for what you see

BANDIT- “Bandit” is the brevity code for “An aerial target that have identified as hostile”. Hostile in this context means “ on the enemy team or side”.

BEARING(BEARS)-Magnetic bearing to target aircraft. “2 bogies bearing 240, high” “Bandits bears 270 for 30 (miles)”. When using bearing, we always mean the true bearing or compass bearing. Relative bearing is expressed using the Clock System.

BLIND-“Blind” is the brevity code for “I do not see an aerial target that have identified as friendly. Friendly in this context means “on the same team or side”.

IMPORTANT to know the difference between BLIND and NO JOY. If Dobs calls “ENGAGED, DEFENSIVE”, A response of “BLIND, NO JOY” from his wingman tells him that his wing sees neither. “BLIND, TALLY” tells him he does not see him but sees the bandit. “TALLY 2” tells him wing sees two but not identified either. “VISUAL,TALLY” means he sees both and has identified who is who.

BOGEY-“Bogey” is the brevity code for “An aerial target that I cannot or have not identified”.

FRIENDLY-“Friend” or “Friendly” is the brevity code for “An aerial target that have identified as friendly. Friendly in this context means “on the same team or side”.

NO JOY-“No Joy” is the brevity code for “I do not see an aerial target that is either a bogey or bandit.

TALLY-“Tally” or “Tally Ho” is the brevity code for “I see an aerial target that is either a bogey or bandit.

VISUAL-“Visual” is the brevity code for “I see an aerial target that have identified as friendly. Friendly in this context means “on the same team or side”.

Air to Air

Terms for what you are doing or telling someone to do

ANCHORED- I am in a fight over a fixed geographic point. This is important information because a stationary fight is very easy for additional bandits to find and enter. It may also be used as a directive (ANCHOR). Examples: “Dawger is ANCHORED, DEFENSIVE, BULLS 330 for 10” This is an information call letting everyone know Dawger is defending in a stationary fight at that position. “Dobs, ANCHOR” This tells Dobs to ANCHOR his fight at the current position if possible.

BLOW THROUGH- Directive/informative call that indicates aircraft will continue straight ahead at the merge and not turn with target/targets.

BRACKET(BRACKETING)-Directive to execute a bracket. Indicates geometry where friendly aircraft will maneuver to a position on opposing sides, either laterally or vertically from the target.

BREAK-Directive call to execute a maximum performance break turn. This should be FOLLOWED by descriptive of why you called break if possible. NEVER describe before directing when using “BREAK” Example: “Dawger, BREAK, Bogey Five O’clock”

BUG OUT-Directive to exit the fight on the briefed egress heading or the heading called.

BUSTER-Directive/information call to fly at maximum continuous speed. “HADES, BUSTER, HOMEPLATE”

CHECK-Turn less than 90 degrees, usually EASY

CLEARED-Cleared to execute your request and I will NOT support

COMBAT COMMS- Shut up if you are not engaged.

COMEOFF -Directive to maneuver as indicated to either regain mutual support or to (left/right/deconflict flight paths for an exchange of engaged and supporting roles; low/dry) implies both visual and tally.

CUTOFF- Extreme lead pursuit in order to block bandit egress route. Cut ’em off at the pass, pardner.

DRAG/DRAGGING – Directive/Information call to drag the bandit in a more or less straight line towards help or GREEN.

DROPPING-I am dropping this bandit. Information to let everyone know there is a free bandit.

EGRESS-Leave the area

ENGAGED-I am maneuvering with a bandit or attacking a bandit. Most helpful if followed by STATUS of OFFENSIVE, NEUTRAL or DEFENSIVE

EXTEND -Directive/Information. Short-term maneuver to gain energy, distance, or separation; normally with the (direction) intent of re-engaging.

FLOAT -Directive/informative call to expand the formation laterally within visual limits.

FUEL STATE-Please state your current fuel level.

GRABBING-I am climbing. Usually given with compass direction.

HOOK (Left/Right) -Directive to turn 180 degrees in place

HOUND DOG-I am in a position to kill the bandit/I request permission to enter the control zone. Requires response from friendly who is prosecuting same bandit. Responses are “Negative”, “Cleared” or “Press”

IN-I am attacking the bandit. Also used when rolling in on a ground attack run. Ground Attack Example: “Dawger, In from the South, Rockets”

JINK-A bandit is shooting or in guns range and you should “get skinny”

OFF-I am coming off my attack on the bandit but I am staying in the fight.  Also used during ground attack. Ground Attack Example: “Dawger, Off, Hot, North”

OUT-I am exiting the fight. Usually heading and reason given. “OUT, 240, SA” I am out of the fight heading 240 degrees in order to regain situational awareness.

OPS CHECK-Please state your fuel and A2A ordnance/ammunition state

PADLOCKED-If I take my eyes off the bandit I will lose sight. Padlocked calls require supporting fighters to take responsibility for ALL defensive lookout for the PADLOCKED fighter. ONLY to be used during active maneuvering engagement. If you aren’t pulling G, you probably should not be using PADLOCKED

POSITION(POSIT)-Position NOW. Where you are, not what you are doing.

POSTHOLE – Rapid descending spiral.

PRESS-Cleared to execute your request and I will support. Used to respond to various calls.

PUMP (direction) -Fly this direction to gain separation from threat with the intent to re-engage.

RAYGUN – Indicates a radar lock-on to unknown aircraft; a request for a buddy spike (position/heading/altitude) reply from friendly aircraft meeting these parameters (to prevent friendly fire).

REFERENCE-Directive to assume stated heading. (Direction). Example, “HADES,  REFERENCE 320”


SNAP-Hard turn to referenced direction (usually a magnetic course but may be fixed point)


STRIPPED- I am no longer with you.

SUPPORTING-I will be providing defensive lookout for you and will engage according to the doctrine in place.

Air to Air

Terms for describing things

ANGELS-Altitude in thousands of feet.Online, we mostly use “K” to denote thousands instead of “angels”. “Ten Kay” instead of “Angels 10”. It is one less syllable and communication brevity is always the watch word.

BINGO-Fuel state is minimum for safe return to designated HOMEPLATE. Bingo should be planned and briefed by mission lead.

BUDDY SPIKE-Friendly aircraft air-to-air indication on radar warning receiver (RWR); to be followed by position, heading, and altitude, if possible.

BULLSEYE/BULLS An established point from which the position of an object can be referenced made by cardinal/range . Example, “RALLY BULLS 340 for  20”. This designates the rally point to be 20 miles northwest of the Bullseye.

CHEERLEADER-I am in your fight but I cannot do anything to actually help. There are various reasons why this may happen.

COLD-Target is not HOT, i.e. pointed away.

CONS/CONNING Threat/bogey aircraft leaving contrails.

EASY-Turn Intensity. Nose level, speed maintained.

FURBALL – A turning fight involving multiple aircraft with known bandits and friendlies mixed.

GREEN-Information of heading to safe zone/friendly forces/bogey free area. Example, “GREEN South”

HARD-Intensity of turn. 4 G in most aircraft, slightly nose low for energy retention. Full power.

HOMEPLATE- Designated return to base airfield

JOKER-Fuel State determined in planning that is minimum for mission requirements. Defined on a local level. Fuel state above BINGO at which separation/bugout/event termination should begin.

LAG-I am in lag pursuit on the bogey/bandit/friendly. More often used to describe bandit state on defensive friend. Example: “Dobs, bandit is in deep lag” This lets Dobs know the bandit in his rear hemisphere is in deep lag pursuit on him and not in position to shoot. This is useful because a bandit in deep lag is hard to see once he starts to overshoot. In a defensive turn fight, you want to trap the bandit in lag. Once you get him there, keep him there. Do not reverse your turn and give him an instant gun solution.

LEAD-I am in lead pursuit on the bogey/bandit/friendly

MARKING -Friendly aircraft leaving contrails.

MERGE/MERGED-Information that friendlies and targets have arrived in the same visual arena.

POPEYE – Flying in clouds or area of reduced visibility.

PURE-I am in pure pursuit on the bogey/bandit/friendly

SPITTER – An aircraft that has departed from the engagement. Example, “FURBALL, 2 LOW, Spitter North.”

WEEDS- I am flying very low.

WINCHESTER – All I have left is my GUN.

Air to Air

Status Terms

DEFENSIVE-The bandit is behind of my 3-9 line and likely to stay there. Defensive calls MUST generate aggressive action and should be responded to verbally. Used in combination with ENGAGED or PADLOCKED or ANCHORED “ENGAGED DEFENSIVE”

NEUTRAL-The bandit is on my 3-9 line and likely to stay there. Used in combination with ENGAGED or PADLOCKED or ANCHORED “ANCHORED NEUTRAL”

OFFENSIVE-The bandit is ahead of my 3-9 line and likely to stay there. Used in combination with ENGAGED or PADLOCKED or ANCHORED “PADLOCKED OFFENSIVE”

General Responses and Directives

ABORT-Stop what you are doing, usually a ground attack


NEGATIVE-You are not cleared to execute your request/NO

ROGER – Radio transmission received; does not indicate compliance or reaction.

WILCO – I understand your transmission and will comply

Weapons Launch Terms

Use these sparingly, when the information is useful to someone.

BRUISER – I fired an Anti Ship Missile

FOX(number)– Launch of air-to-air weapons.

ONE – semiactive radar-guided missile, such as an AIM-7 Sparrow or Skyflash.
TWO – infrared-guided missile, such as an AIM-9 Sidewinder or AIM-132 ASRAAM.
THREE – active radar-guided missile, such as an AIM-120 AMRAAM or AIM-54 Phoenix.

MAGNUM– I fired an Anti Radiation Missile

PICKLE – Bomb released. Normally totally unnecessary call. Call “Off, Hot” after you come off your run.

RIFLE – Friendly air-to-ground missile launch.