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Encyclopedia > DEFCON

The defense readiness condition (DEFCON) is a measure of the activation and readiness level of the United States Armed Forces. It describes progressive postures for use between the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the commanders of unified commands. DEFCONs are matched to the situations of military severity. Standard peacetime protocol is DEFCON 5, descending in increasingly severe situations. DEFCON 1 represents expectation of actual imminent attack, and it has never been declared, except perhaps partially during the Gulf War in 1991. The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ... Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of America symbol The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a grouping comprising the Chiefs of service of each major branch of the armed services in the United States armed forces. ... Combatants United States Saudi Arabia & US-led Coalition Republic of Iraq Commanders Norman Schwarzkopf Saddam Hussein Strength 883,863 360,000 Casualties 240 killed in action, 776 wounded in action, 30 taken prisoner Est. ...


In a national state of emergency, seven different alert conditions known as LERTCONs can be issued. They consist of five Defense Conditions and two Emergency Conditions (EMERGCONs). A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend certain normal functions of government, may work to alert citizens to alter their normal behaviors, or may order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. ... An alert state is an indication of the state of readiness of the armed forces for military action or a State against terrorism. ... In U.S. military doctrine, LERTCON is an acronym standing for aLERT CONdition, and is a measure of the level of action and readiness to be taken in a given situation. ... EMERGCON (Emergency Condition) is a state of readiness that is separate from DEFCON, or defense readiness condition used by the United States. ...

Contents

Levels

DEFCON 5 
This is the condition used to designate normal peacetime military readiness. An upgrade in military preparedness is typically made by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and announced by the United States Secretary of Defense.
DEFCON 4 
This refers to normal, increased intelligence and the heightening of national security measures. Readiness remained at this level throughout most of the Cold War.
DEFCON 3 
This refers to an increase to force readiness above normal. Radio call signs used by American forces change to currently-classified call signs.
DEFCON 2 
This refers to a further increase in force readiness just below maximum readiness. It has been declared only once, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
DEFCON 1 
This refers to maximum readiness. It is not certain whether this has ever been used, but it is reserved for imminent or ongoing attack on US military forces or US territory by a foreign military power. Use of nuclear weapons is authorized.

The United States Secretary of Defense is the head of the United States Department of Defense (DoD), concerned with the armed services and The role of the Secretary of Defense is to be the principal defense policy advisor to the President and is responsible for the formulation of general defense... For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... In broadcasting, a callsign or call sign (also call letters) is a unique designation for a transmitting station. ... President Kennedy in a crowded Cabinet Room during the Cuban Missile Crisis. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 km (11 mi) above the epicenter. ...

History

Cold War

See also: Cold War

The highest alert condition the US military has been confirmed to have been at was DEFCON 2. During the Cuban Missile Crisis on 22 October 1962, Strategic Air Command (SAC) was ordered to 2 and the rest of the US military to 3. SAC remained at 2 until 15 November.[citation needed] For other uses, see Cold War (disambiguation). ... The armed forces of the United States of America consist of the United States Army United States Navy United States Air Force United States Marine Corps United States Coast Guard Note: The United States Coast Guard has both military and law enforcement functions. ... President Kennedy in a crowded Cabinet Room during the Cuban Missile Crisis. ... is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1965 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1965 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For the film of the same name, see Strategic Air Command (film) The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was the operational establishment of the United States Air Force in charge of Americas bomber-based and ballistic missile-based strategic nuclear arsenal from 1946 to 1992. ... is the 319th day of the year (320th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...


For much of the Cold War, US ICBM sites were always at DEFCON 4 rather than 5. A Minuteman III missile soars after a test launch. ...


Yom Kippur War

Higher alert conditions were also ordered during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. While the US military was technically at DEFCON 3 status during the Yom Kippur War, in certain theaters it operated under DEFCON 2 conditions as a show-of-force to repel Soviet naval vessels from entering the Bosporus Strait. For example, Pershing I missiles in West Germany were prepared for use. Combatants  Israel  Egypt,  Syria,  Jordan  Iraq Commanders Moshe Dayan, David Elazar, Ariel Sharon, Shmuel Gonen, Benjamin Peled, Israel Tal, Rehavam Zeevi, Aharon Yariv, Yitzhak Hofi, Rafael Eitan, Abraham Adan, Yanush Ben Gal Saad El Shazly, Ahmad Ismail Ali, Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Aly Fahmy, Anwar Sadat, Abdel Ghani el-Gammasy, Abdul... Fatih Sultan Mehmed Bridge over the Bosporus seen from over Rumelihisarı This article is about the strait; Bosphorus is also a Turkish Boğaziçi or İstanbul Boğazı) is a strait that separates the European part (Rumeli) of Turkey from its Asian part (Anadolu... The Pershing II Missile during a test flight The MGM-31 Pershing was a solid-fueled two-stage inertially guided medium range ballistic missile used by the U.S. Armys Missile Command. ...


Persian Gulf War

Some declassified documents suggest that DEFCON 1 was ordered and attained during the Gulf War of 1991.[1] The exact time quoted as "USCINCCENT AND ALL COMPONENTS ATTAINED DEFCON 1 AT 0925C" dated January 19, 1991.[2] (USCINCCENT = United States Commander in Chief Central Command, General Norman Schwarzkopf). This is specific to a limited geographic area and not a general DEFCON 1 for all forces. Combatants United States Saudi Arabia & US-led Coalition Republic of Iraq Commanders Norman Schwarzkopf Saddam Hussein Strength 883,863 360,000 Casualties 240 killed in action, 776 wounded in action, 30 taken prisoner Est. ... January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1991 (MCMXCI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the 1991 Gregorian calendar). ... General H Norman Schwarzkopf KCB, also known as Stormin Norman (born August 22, 1934) is a retired United States Army General who, while he served as Commander-in-Chief (now known as Combatant Commander) of U.S. Central Command, was commander of the Coalition Forces in the Gulf War of...


September 11th Attacks

The third time the United States reached DEFCON 3 was during the September 11, 2001 attacks [1]. A sequential look at United Flight 175 crashing into the south tower of the World Trade Center The September 11, 2001 attacks (often referred to as 9/11—pronounced nine eleven or nine one one) consisted of a series of coordinated terrorist[1] suicide attacks upon the United States, predominantly...


Operations

The DEFCON level is controlled primarily by the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and each DEFCON level defines specific security, activation and response scenarios for the troops in question. For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of America symbol The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) is a grouping comprising the Chiefs of service of each major branch of the armed services in the United States armed forces. ...


Different branches of the armed forces (like the Army, Navy, Air Force) and different bases or command groups can be activated at different defense conditions. The United States Army is the largest and oldest branch of the armed forces of the United States. ... USN redirects here. ... The United States Air Force (USAF) is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces and one of the seven uniformed services. ...


In popular culture

The DEFCON level is often mistakenly thought to be "Normal" at 1 and "Critical" at 5.[2]

  • The 1983 film WarGames includes a character explaining to another the significance of the "DEFCON" scale, as well as depicting a steady rise in threat levels as the film approaches its climax. The film also inspired the 2006 computer game DEFCON by Introversion Software.
  • The 1985 film Def-Con 4 depicts a trio of astronauts returning to Earth to find the after-effects of a nuclear exchange.
  • In the 1995 film Crimson Tide, the DEFCON scale is steadily raised as the USS Alabama prepares a preemptive nuclear strike on Russian rebels who have captured a Russian missile base in eastern Russia and were fueling ICBMs with the intent of launching on the United States and Japan.
  • The 1996 film Independence Day shows the president about to activate DEFCON 3 when the UFOs are first spotted.
  • In the 1998 film Armageddon, Lt. General Kimsey is seen ordering the country to DEFCON 3 during the initial meteor shower.
  • The 2000 film Thirteen Days depicts the Cuban Missile Crisis. In a scene in which President John F. Kennedy is fuming after he just learned that Strategic Air Command (SAC) Commander Curtis LeMay ordered SAC to DEFCON 2 from DEFCON 3, General Maxwell Taylor explains to President Kennedy that the country is not at war at DEFCON 2 but at DEFCON 1 - in an attempt to explain to audiences the differences in the DEFCON scale.
  • In the Season 3 finale of The Office entitled "The Job", Michael Scott, the boss, refers to the threat level of an imminent conversation with his ex-girlfriend as being DEFCON 10. Later in the episode, he ups it to DEFCON 20.
  • In the 1996 film Beavis and Butt-head Do America, Beavis makes a call to the Pentagon, putting it into DEFCON 4.
  • In the X-Men: Evolution cartoon, Mystique while posing as Professor X activates the DEFCON system so as to kill the remaining Students who are locked inside. Cyclops saves them by leading them to stay safe in the Cerebro.
  • A video game called Defcon 5 was released for the PlayStation in 1995 and for the Sega Saturn in 1996.
  • In the Megadeth song "Blackmail the Universe" off their 2004 album The System Has Failed a false news report describes a terrorist attack on Air Force One, and that the President is missing. The news reporter in the false news report says at the end of the report that "Our nation stands at DEFCON 3."
  • In the 2005 GMT boardgame Twilight Struggle, the DEFCON level moves in relation to the players' actions, with the player causing DEFCON 1 losing the game.
  • In the 2006 Introversion PC game DEFCON, the DEFCON level drops over time, until at DEFCON 1, players may launch nuclear weapons.
  • In the 2007 video game Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, at the start of every mission, the level of DEFCON is stated.
  • In the film By Dawn's Early Light, DEFCON is mentioned.
  • In the 2007 film Transformers, Secretary of Defense Keller puts the country at DEFCON Delta, "the highest on the system".
  • In the TV show Stargate: SG-1, multiple DEFCON levels are used throughout the show's tenure including the use of DEFCON 1 the season 8 episode "Full Alert".
  • In the TV show Smallville, multiple computers announce a state of DEFCON 1 after the antagonist starts a countdown for a nuclear missile in the season 5 episode "Hidden".
  • In the 2007 TV show "Flipping Out", the assistant mistakingly refers to moving to Defcon 5 as a move up instead of a move down.

Wargames can refer to: Complex military simulations (in a computer or in the real world). ... DEFCON is a real-time strategy game created by independent British game developer Introversion Software, developers of Darwinia. ... For other uses, see Defcon (disambiguation). ... Crimson Tide is a 1995 Hollywood submarine film starring Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman and directed by Tony Scott. ... USS Alabama (SSBN-731) is the sixth Ohio-class nuclear-powered fleet ballistic missile submarine, and the fifth United States ship to be named after the state of Alabama. ... Preemptive war (or preemptive attack) is waged in an attempt to repel or defeat a perceived imminent offensive or invasion, or to gain a strategic advantage in an impending (allegedly unavoidable) war. ... A Minuteman III missile soars after a test launch. ... Independence Day (also known as its promotional abbreviation ID4) is an Academy Award winning science fiction film directed by Roland Emmerich. ... This article or section contains a plot summary that is overly long or excessively detailed compared to the rest of the article. ... Thirteen Days (2000) is a Hollywood film about the Cuban Missile Crisis, directed by Roger Donaldson and starring Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, and Steven Culp. ... John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917–November 22, 1963), often referred to as John F Kennedy, JFK, or Jack Kennedy, was the 35th President of the United States. ... For the film of the same name, see Strategic Air Command (film) The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was the operational establishment of the United States Air Force in charge of Americas bomber-based and ballistic missile-based strategic nuclear arsenal from 1946 to 1992. ... Curtis Emerson LeMay (November 15, 1906 – October 1, 1990) was a General in the United States Air Force and the vice presidential running mate of independent candidate George C. Wallace in 1968. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: The Office (US) The Job is the 2-part final episode of the third season of the U.S. version of The Office. ... This article or section contains a plot summary that is overly long or excessively detailed compared to the rest of the article. ... Information Aliases Cornholio Gender Male Age Approx. ... This article is about the United States military building. ... X-Men: Evolution is an animated series containing the original cast of X-Men, mostly depicted as teenagers and some as adults. ... Mystique (Raven Darkholme) is a Marvel Comics character associated with the X-Men franchise. ... Charles Francis Xavier, also known as Professor X, is a fictional Marvel Comics superhero, known as the leader and founder of the X-Men. ... Cyclops (Scott Summers) is a fictional character who exists in the Marvel Comics Universe, a superhero who is the field leader of the X-Men. ... In the Marvel Comics universe, Cerebro (Spanish and Portuguese for brain) is a device that the X-Men (in particular, their leader, Professor Charles Xavier) use to detect mutants. ... Defcon 5 is a single player adventure/first-person shooter video game developed by Millenium Interactive Ltd, an UK-based studio. ... Megadeth is an American Thrash Metal band led by founder, frontman, and songwriter Dave Mustaine. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The System Has Failed is the first Megadeth album to be released after the break-up of the band in 2002. ... Twilight Struggle is a card-driven board wargame for two players, with its theme taken from the Cold War. ... DEFCON is a real-time strategy game created by independent British game developer Introversion Software, developers of Darwinia. ... Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 (GRAW 2) is the sequel to Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. ... By Dawn’s Early Light is an HBO Original Movie, aired in 1990 and set in the year 1991. ... Transformers is a 2007 live action film directed by Michael Bay and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, based on the Transformers franchise. ... Full Alert is an episode of the science fiction television series Stargate SG-1. ... Smallville is an American television series set in the fictional town of Smallville, Kansas. ... This article contains a complete summary of the fifth season of the American drama action/adventure sci-fi television series Smallville. ...

See also

Homeland Security Advisory System Color Chart In the United States, the Homeland Security Advisory System is a color-coded terrorism threat advisory scale. ... Information has been received about an attack on a specific target. ... The Joint Terrorist Analysis Centre (JTAC) advises the United Kingdom government on terrorist threat levels and related security considerations. ... In the US military, the term REDCON is short for Readiness Condition and is used to refer to a units readiness to respond to and engage in combat operations. ... An alert state is an indication of the state of readiness of the armed forces for military action or a State against terrorism. ...

References

  1. ^ 911 Commission Report
  2. ^ For details and a small list of offenders and exceptions, see Defcon Five

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
DEFCON - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (713 words)
The DEFCON level is controlled primarily by the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and each DEFCON level defines specific security, activation and response scenarios for the troops in question.
DEFCON is referred to several times in the 2002 film The Sum of All Fears.
DEFCON 4 status was used in the Beavis and Butthead movie when they went on a tour of the White House and the military thought it was under attack.
Defcon (computer game) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (690 words)
In Defcon, players are given a dehumanised 1980s computer-themed world map with the objective to kill as many foreign citizens as possible with a variety of nuclear weapons.
Defcon is intended to be a thoughtful game and does not feature unit production, resource collection or research, with each player's force chosen and positioned beforehand.
Defcon uses a realtime line of sight system common to traditional RTS games, whereby stationary units remain on the world map after being seen, but ones that are capable of movement do not.
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