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Air Force Acronyms

Air Force Acronyms

There are over 1000 Air Force acronyms and abbreviations. These cover training, deployment, rank, weapons, equipment, and more. Following is a list of a few of these acronyms categorized by type.

Why Are Acronyms Used?

An acronym is a special kind of abbreviation. Some abbreviations use the initials of the important words in the title of something. These are called initialisms and examples are NBC, US, and FBI. An acronym is an initialism with one added feature: the initials form a new word. Examples include NATO, NASA, and BASIC. Most people misuse the word “acronym” for the word “initialism.”
Acronyms are used to shorten speech and writing. Who wants to say “National Aeronautics and Space Administration” which has 14 syllables, instead of “NASA”, which has two? Acronyms and initialisms just make things easier and shorter.
Air Force Acronym

As mentioned earlier, there are over 1000 Air Force acronyms. For the purposes of this article, “acronym” will be synonymous with “initialism.” Following are some examples of abbreviations used for ranks and positions of

Air Force personnel. This is only a sampling:

A1C – Airman First Class
AB – Airman Basic
ABM – Air Battle Manager
Brig Gen – Brigadier General
Capt – Captain
CMSAF – Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force
COMAFFOR – Commander, Air Force Forces
CSAF – Chief of Staff of the Air Force
EWO – Electronic Warfare Officer
Gen – General
IG – Inspector General
IP – Instructor Pilot
Lt Col – Lieutenant Colonel
Maj – Major
NCO – Non-commissioned Officer
PTL – Physical Training Leader
ROAD – Retired On Active-Duty
SMSgt – Senior Master Sergeant
SNCO – Senior Non-commissioned Officer
SrA – Senior Airman
SSgt – Staff Sergeant
TSgt – Technical Sergeant
WAF – Women in the Air Force
WASP – Women Airforce Service Pilots
WSO – Weapon Systems Officer
Here are a few Air Force acronyms for machines, systems, and equipment. These include training equipment and weapons:
AWACS – Airborne Warning and Control System
CBRNE – Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High Yield Explosives
CFT – Cockpit Familiarization Trainer
DSCS – Defense Satellite Communications System
EELV – Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle
EGI – Embedded GPS/Inertial Navigation
GLCM – Ground Launched Cruise Missile
HARM – High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile
ICBM – Intercontinental Ballistic Missile
JPATS – Joint Primary Air Training System
LGB – Laser-Guided Bomb
MOAB – Massive Ordinance Air Blast Bomb
NVG – Night Vision Goggles
SAM – Surface to Air Missile
SBIRS – Space-Based Infrared System
UAS – Unmanned Aircraft System
X-plane – Experimental aircraft
Lastly, here are a few acronyms that have to do with an individual.
AWOL – Absent Without Leave
BAH – Basic Allowance for Housing
BDU – Battle Dress Uniform
COLA – Cost of Living Adjustment
ITT – Information, Tickets, and Travel
LOR – Letter of Reprimand
MRE – Meal Ready to Eat
NOTAM – Notice To Airmen
PFT – Physical Fitness Test
RTB – Return To Base
TLF – Temporary Living Facility
Air Force Communications

The Air Force, as with other branches of the military, needs to have excellent communication. To help with this, the Air Force Communications Agency or AFCA, was formed in 1966 and was later designated the Air Force Network Integration Center or AFNIC. Its headquarters is at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.
The AFNIC is a unit of the Air Force Space Command or AFSPC. The AFNIC oversees communication between command and military operations as well as providing standards and policies. Guidance and training is also offered through this agency.

It was reported in July of 2010 that the Science Applications International Corporation has been given a task order for the next four years for 19 million dollars. SAIC will provide software and support to the Air Force related to communication security. An electronic key management system will be developed along with enhancements. Basically, SAIC will help with the encrypted communications capabilities that the Air Force needs.

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