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Also a bunch of not USMC specific, but still largely used ones is included. Some of the listed abbreviations are solely from the TV series SPACE and not used in todays Corps, therefore I have marked them with a "*". --- I recommend you by the way Tom Clancys book "MARINE" with ISBN 0-425-15454-8, if you want to know more about todays US Marines.

AAAV Advanced Amphibious Assault Vehicle, currently in testing, this will dramatically increase the MEUs capability, to send their forces to the beach and also a considerable range into the land behind; it is very fast in the water (up to 70 km/h or 38 knots) as well as on land (up to over 100 km/h), all with 18 fully equipped Marine warriors and 3 men crew and fixed mounted, modern weapons
ACE Air Combat Element: aviation part of a MEU
ACM Active Combat Maneuver (fight with the enemy, usually without decision)
Angry Angels* in SPACE the 127th attack fighter squadron, flying the Hammerhead attack fighter, which belonged to the 5th Air Wing (which MAG?) and was similar to todays Black Knights an elite squadron
ARG Amphibious Ready Group: combined force from US Navy and USMC with several ships, which can operate world wide with effective measures; a MEU is an important part of it
Black Knights despite there is also a helicopter squadron (HMM-264) with this nickname in the Corps, generally meant is the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA(AW)-314 (AW=All Weather) of MAG 11, 3rd Air Wing of the USMC: not only in their opinion the best fighter pilots squadron in todays world, today flying the Hornet attack fighter; the VMFA-314 was founded during WWII in 1943 and holds several military records
Blue Angels the best air show squadron in the world, flying the Hornet attack fighter, among the US Navy pilots are a Major (right wingman of the leading Navy Commander) and a further Marine, often a Lieutenant of the USMC
BLT Battalion Landing Team: for MEU purposes slightly tailored Marine Battalion
Bullfrog USMC internal nickname for the old, medium sized transport helicopter CH-46 (Sea Knight)
CAS Close Air Support: invented by the US Marines, this is still a key to their success, air raids combined with ground force fighting
CE Command Element: simply the leading staff and its equipment
CSSE Combat Service Support Element, the logistics team of a MEU
Dishonorable Discharge so far I can judge the most feared penalty for a Marine besides the death penalty, because this means, that he or she has failed miserably in fulfilling duties as Marine regarding the high Marine Ethos --- and only people, who want it badly, can become Marines due to the high physical and mental requirements in "boot camp"
FSSG Force Service Support Group, big logistics unit for a MEF
GCE Ground Combat Element, usually a BLT with some additional small units, the land fighting force of a MEU
GPS Global Positioning System, this military version has higher accuracy than the civilian versions, which are available only for the free market
HALO High Altitude, Low Opening drop: opposed to a standard drop the parachute is opened just high enough above the ground, to reduce the falling velocity immediately before grounding to a sound level --- a very dangerous technique, designed for quick time actions and in the case of enemy forces in vicinity of the drop zone
Hammerhead* (Aerotech SA-43) in SPACE the standard transatmospheric (=endo/exo) attack fighter, operated mostly from Space Carriers like the Saratoga
Harrier (AV-8B Harrier II, build by McDonnell Douglas, licensed from British Aerospace) the standard fighter jet of the MEUs today, it has STOVL capability and operates either from airports, or (mainly) from helicopter carrier amphibous warships of the ARGs, responsible for CAS and also for air superiority
HMMWV (High-Mobility Medium Wheeled Vehicle, M998) its origins go back to the classic "Jeep", and this vehicle can climb a lot (more) too; but it can also serve for a lot of support services, for example with mounts for Stinger SAMs (Surface to Air Missiles)
Hornet (McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 C/D Hornet, C is one, D is two pilot version) the main air superiority and attack fighter, which operates mainly from the big aircraft carriers, which are not part of an ARG, but quite often a carrier battle group is accompanied by an ARG and therefore the Hornets are not only able to fly with their Navy fellows Hornets, Tomcats and Super Hornets, but also supporting the MEU of the ARG
Huey (Bell UH-1N Iroquois) light war zone transport helicopter for little platoons and occasionally used for shooting with hand hold weapons or even a mounted light machine gun by Marines sitting in, utilizing the big open doors for this purpose
ISSCV* in SPACE an Inter Stellar Space Carrier Vehicle, nothing else then a weapons and warriors carrying, armored war zone transporter with VTOL feature (tilt rocket engines, somewhat resembling the real MV-22 Osprey!)
J.A.G. Judge Advocates General, joined service of US Navy and USMC for military investigation and justice purposes
JST (formerly also JAST, Joint Strike Fighter) future advanced multi purpose stealth fighter, the version for the Corps (there are planned versions for the Navy and even for the USAF too) will have the familiar STOVL capability; it is designed to replace the Harrier planes; currently the industrial competition of two aircraft companies is on the way
LAV (Light Armored Vehicle) this fast vehicle comes in a great variety of versions for slightly different purposes, such as simple gun carrying vehicle, anti tank, air defense, command and recovery version
LCAC Landing Craft, Air Cushioned: specialized hovercrafts for landing purposes, used by the MEUs to get fast onto the coast
M1A1 (General Dynamics Abrams Main Battle Tank) is the US Army inherited tank, which isn't making the Marines very happy; not only that it's clearly inferior to the German Leopard II model (and has the cannon "stolen" from it!), it fits not very well to the specialized purposes of the Marines (by the way: the US forces use U235 (fissionable Uranium) depleted Uranium for the grenades, opposed to the German forces, which never would use such a material for the very same cannon they have as ammunition)
M16A2 Combat Rifle using 5.56 mm ammunition, it can switched between semi automatic single shot mode and automatic mode, limited to three shots per trigger pull (to maintain precision and limit ammunition consumption); this is the very firearm, with which every single US Marine is a sniper --- at least compared with other military services!
M40A1 Sniper Rifle for the real snipers of the USMC this long range weapon (there are even more long ranging and more specialized weapons) can fire 7.62 mm ammunition over about 1 km with an error of usually less then 10 cm (!).
M590 Combat Rifle* in SPACE the successor to todays Combat Rifle, it seems to be a quite usual weapon --- due to todays standards!
M9/92F (Beretta Combat Pistol) is the usual semi automatic handgun for pilots and officers in the USMC; as any handgun it's accuracy is limited to distances of 5 to at most 8 m --- for any longer distances you need a combat rifle!
MAG Marine Air Group, part of an Air Wing of the Marines, and uniting several Squadrons of (different) warplanes
MAGTF Marine Air-Ground Task Force: standard structure of Marine units; combined air and ground combat elements are performing their multitude of tasks always together
MAU Marine Amphibious Unit, precursor of todays MEU
MEF Marine Expeditionary Force: unites several MEUs and additional combat and support elements with reinforcements, the biggest Marines force unit around (up to about 75,000 Marine warriors), they integrate a division, an air wing and a big support unit; at most three of them are present at any time
MEU Marine Expeditionary Unit: rather complete, combined amphibious force, uniting ACE, CE, CSSE and GCE
MEU (SOC) After a long, half year special training including missions like NEO or TRAP a MEU can qualify as Special Operations Capable and ready to go anywhere in the world to perform such difficult tasks
MSPF Maritime Special Purpose Force, precursor respective part of the (SOC) ingredients of a MEU (SOC)
MSSG Marine Service Support Group: logistics unit, as CSSE often part of a MEU
NEO Non-combatant Evacuation Operation, an especially important and frequently performed task from MEUs (SOC) to get civilians out of "unsound" locations
NVG Night Vision Goggles: already classical devices, which increase the sight at night or another (near!) darkness considerably by nearly one magnitude, comparable to a level, which is achieved by owls or cats: instead of 10% or so with these NVGs 70% or more of the incoming light particles can be recognized and are displayed monochromatic, usually in a greenish color for sensitivity purposes
Osprey (Bell-Boeing MV-22) advanced tilt rotor aircraft, some sort of intermediate vehicle between helicopter and fixed wing airplane, of course with STOVL capability; the USMC plans to replace the majority of older helicopter transporters by this aircraft, which has greater range and is faster
PAO Public Affairs Officer
Prowler (four seats, Grumman EA-6B, based on the old Intruder bomber) older special ECCM (Electronic Counter Counter Measures) plane for electronic warfare; got some bad publicity, when an irresponsible flying Marine Captain, who was then dishonorable discharged from the USMC, severed with his Prowler a cable of an Italian hanging cable car and killed 20 NATO civilians
Recon Marines are the elite of the elite: tough additional training ensures, that these reconnaissance experts are ready for the most secret, difficult and dangerous missions, which are performed by members of US forces; only matched by the similar US Navy SEALs
SEAL(s) SEa Air Land teams, despite these diving and combat experts are part of the US Navy, but not of the USMC, a minor group of them is usually part of a MEU, and they resemble strongly especially the Marine Recon(naissance) Teams
Semper Fidelis! the motto of the US Marines, it's Latin and means "Always Faithful!", sometimes also translated like "faithful until death" (this last one holds especially true in war times)
SMAW Shoulder launched Multipurpose Attack Weapon, a bazooka like rocket launcher for destructing enemy tanks and bunkers, aimed through a special mounted rifle shot with equal ballistic features
Stinger MIM-92 SAM (Surface to Air Missile) is an as well for from the shoulder as from vehicles like LAV and HMMWV used air defense rocket launcher
STOVL Short Take Off and Vertical Landing: special combination of these capabilities, which gets the most out by allowing higher take off weights --- due to fuel consumption the landing is naturally always at lower weight...
Super Cobra (Bell AH-1W "Whiskey Cobra") standard attack helicopter, equipped with rockets and a machine gun
Super Stallion (Sikorsky CH-53E) the heavy lift horse of the Corps; capable of carrying many Marines and SEALs or heavy freight like cannons and so on
TRAP Tactical Rescue of Aircraft and Personnel: saving of downed pilots and equipment in hostile environments
USMC United States Marine Corps, today about 200,000 elite warriors ("every Marine a rifleman!"), equipped with air, ground and amphibious vehicles and an huge multitude of weapons, which I can't describe here all
Wildcards* in SPACE the 58th squadron of the 5th Air Wing (which MAG? probably the same as the 127th), flying the Hammerhead attack fighter

 

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