AAA Anitiaircraft Artillery. This term was replaced by the term air defense
artillery when missiles,
as well as aircraft became the aerial threat.
ABAR Alternate Battery Acquisition Radar. The backup radar in the IFC.
Air Defense Artillery. The type of Army unit dedicated to performing defense against enemy
aerial threats. After 1971, a separate branch of the Army.
US Army Air Defense Command. From 1957 to 1974 the Army component of
continental air defense, consisting primarily of Nike battalions. Headquarters was at Ent Air Force
ARAACOM Army Antiaircraft Command. 1950-1957. Predecessor to ARADCOM.
Artillery From 1957 to 1971 the field artillery and air defense artillery components of
were combined in a single branch called Artillery. In fact the two components remained distinct
and were formally separated into two branches in 1971.
Augmentation Additional assets of personnel or equipment added to an Army units
based on specific requirements.
Battalion An Army unit of approximately 500-700 soldiers commanded by a lieutenant colonel
and containing its own staff and limited support functions. Subordinate units of a
Battalion are called
batteries (in ADA and field artillery) or companies (everything else.) A typical Nike battalion had four firing batteries and a headquarters battery (HHB). Battalions had distinctive designations.
In the artillery, the basic fire unit, commanded by a captain and consisting of various
sections and platoons. In a Nike battery there was three sections- the fire control platoon, launcher platoon and the company headquarters (with clerks and cooks). Batteries were either HHBs or
lettered (firing batteries) A to D).
BIRDIE Battery Integrated Radar and Display Equipment. (AN/GSQ-5 &6)
A unit above the group commanded either by a brigadier general or a colonel. The
brigade oversaw a large geographical area and the normal subordinate unit was the group,
although battalions could be directly subordinate to a brigade. Brigades had additional fire control
and radar assets. Brigades were subordinate to the air defense regions which were the major
subdivisions of ARAACOM/ ARADCOM.
CONAD Continental Air Defense Command.
Group An artillery unit above a battalion, commanded by a colonel. The
group usually had
responsibility for several battalions over a specific geographical region and was usually, though not always, subordinate to a brigade. Groups had additional support and fire control assets.
HHB Headquarters and Headquarters Battery. Each headquarters above the battery-
level had a
separate headquarters battery which contained the units staff sections, maintenance, radar,
medical and additional assets at the commanders disposal.
HIPAR High-Power Acquisition Radar.
ICBM Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Extremely long range missiles (such as Titan and Minuteman) armed with nuclear warheads and capable of reaching the heartland of the Soviet Union. ICBMs were manned by Air Force personnel.
IFC Integrated Fire Control. The section of a Nike firing battery responsible for guiding the missile onto its target.
Mess Section The section in the battery headquarters with cooks and kitchen equipment to provide hot meals for the soldiers assigned to the battery.
Missile Master (AN/FSG-1) Area fire control radar for Nike, usually run at the group or brigade level. Operational in 1959 and replaced by the more cost efficient Missile Mentor in the mid-60s.
Missile Mentor AN/TSQ-51 Fire Distribution System. A solid state radar system which was deployed starting in 1966 and only took up space in two trailers.
Mobility The degree to which an Army unit can move itself to a new location and still perform its mission. Nike units in the Continental US had fixed mobility meaning they could not move themselves.
NORAD North American Air Defense Command. The combined (with the Royal Canadian Air Force) command responsible for North American theater air defense.
Strategic Air Command. The branch of the Air Force responsible for ICBM and strategic
SAM Surface to Air Missile. The technical description for a Nike.
Signal The branch of the Army responsible for communication.
Technician A civilian employee of the Army National Guard who is also a soldier and works
fulltime in a position comparable to a TOE position in the unit. Technicians, though civilian
employees, were required to wear their uniforms to work.
TOE Table of organization and Equipment. The authorizing document which established the organizational structure and equipment allowances for a unit in the Army.
TTR Target Tracking Radar.