Area of operations

Definition (1):

The area of operations refers to an operational area that is defined by the joint force commander for land and maritime forces that should be large enough to accomplish their missions and protect their forces. Also called AO.

Definition (2):

“In U.S. armed forces parlance, an area of operations (AO) is an operational area defined by the force commander for land, air, and naval forces conduct of combat and non-combat activities.”

Generally, areas of operations do not include the whole operational area of the force commander. But those should be sufficiently large for subordinate commanders for accomplishing their goals, achieving objectives and missions, and for protecting their forces. Typically, within an AO, there will be one main supply route along which personnel, supplies, and vehicles will be transported.

Definition (3):

This term indicates an area where military operations are or will be conducted.

Use of the term in Sentences:

  • The Air Force’s initial mission was to refuel active duty aircraft on operational missions in the Atlantic area of operations.
  • The joint force commander was mentioning the area of operations to the subordinate commanders.
Category: Defense Terms
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