HILARIOUS, INTERESTING, AND DISTURBING CLASSIFIED MILITARY CODENAMES

While researching my last post about classified military programs in the 2008 budget, I came across a database of present and past military CODENAMES, many of which are still classified. Usually names are created by combining two unrelated representational words but often with disastrous or bizarre results, like HARVEST PEOPLE or BIG SQUIRT. Some times the names completely fabricated like WHISPERING DEATH, and others I just have no idea what they were thinking like… uh.. CLARINET RAMROD. Below are some of the more unusual ones from hundreds that are know.

I should make it clear that I did not make any of these up, they all come from the US government.

Which are your favorites?

  • ACID TEST III – Joint U.S. Canada winter tactical deployment exercise held in Alaska in 1970.
  • ARCTIC CANDY – OpOrd, see Burning Candy
  • BACK PORCH – Tropospheric scatter communications system installed in Vietnam and linked with U.S. forces in Thailand.
  • BERNIE – USAF, classified intellgence program
  • BIG BELLY – Conversion program to enlarge conventional bomb load of B-52Ds, 12/1965-
  • BIG BIRD – The first of the reconnaissance satellites designed to perform both the search-and-find and close-look functions that previously required the use of separate spacecraft.
  • BIG SQUIRT – A broadcast station operated by Voice of America just below the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Vietnam and built by Page Communications.
  • BLOW HOLE – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency effort connected with target location and identification.
  • BONUS DEAL – A Strategic Air Command project to identify directed bombing.
  • BRICK BAT – A top priority that gives defense contractors precedence over other commercial companies in obtaining critical materials.
  • BRILLANT PEBBLES – SDIO, Space-based Laser/Recon
  • BUBBLE DANCER – OpOrd for U-2, world-wide U-2 weather sampling operations
  • BUGGY RIDE – A Strategic Air Command alert force launch from a single base.
  • BURNING CANDY – SAC OpOrd for RC-135C, RC-135D Rivet Brass, RC-135M Rivet Cord, and RC-135T Rivet Dandy missions, 1967-1971+; including: Arctic Candy, Baltic Candy, Cuban Candy and Mediterranean Candy.
  • BURNT POTATO – The Strategic Air Command north route first refueling track.
  • BURP GUN – A Strategic Air Command refueling track over western New York.
  • BUS TOKEN – Canadian high altitude air refueling Area 1 within the Strategic Air Command.
  • BUSY BEAVER – A Strategic Air Command manual (2005).
  • BUSY BIKINI – A Strategic Air Command track from Great Falls, MT to Minot, ND.
  • BUSY JEWELER – A Strategic Air Command visit of a VIP in February 1971.
  • BUSY ROBOT – Strategic Air Command model 154 operational test and evaluation exercise.
  • BUTTER FREEZER – Strategic Air Command refueling Area 3.
  • BUXOM BELLE – Strategic Air Command refueling track.
  • BUY NONE – A version of a USAF directed ORIT mission.
  • CHICKEN LITTLE – A mortar developed by the Army.
  • CHINESE MODEL – A complete four-station ACCUFIX chain.
  • CHROME DOME – Airborne Alert flights of B-52s from base out to a point from which the nuclear mission would not be executed without valid message from National Command Authority.
  • CHURCH PLATE – A Navy program to develop an airborne system able to gather information on distant targets and relay to launch platforms.
  • CLARINET RAMROD – A high classified Naval Electronics Command project formerly known as BOWLINE. It is related to CLARINET ANCHOR, the new name for SEA ANCHOR.
  • CLASSIC WIZARD – A Naval communications program with a master station on the island of Guam. Another facility will be on Adak Island, Alaska. (related to Surveillance/SIGINT satellite, launched 04/1976 ?)
  • CLUSTER GIRL – A classified Naval intelligence program initiated in FY77.
  • COBRA TIME – The collection of technical electronic intelligence by airborne Air Force platforms. Program cancelled.
  • COLD CLIMATIC – Air Force support to the Department of Transportation Climatic Impact Assessment program, cancelled.
  • COLD DRAFT – Warm fog dispersal by helicopter at March AFB, cancelled.
  • COLD MOUNTAIN – Military Airlift Command commanders conference in 1973.
  • COLLEGE BLAST – Aerospace Defense Command CQM-10A drone program.
  • COLLEGE COED Continuation of SDS operation by the Aerospace Defense Command.
  • COLLEGE DROPOUT – Aerospace Defense Command operational plan 41-65.
  • COLLEGE FAKER – Aerospace Defense Command training deployment and redeployment of EB-57 aircraft.
  • COLLEGE FINALS – Aerospace Defense Command fault detection tester interface program.
  • COLLEGE GIRLS – Air Force high level intercept activity against U-2 aircraft.
  • COLLEGE FLASH – Radar handoff procedures.
  • COLLEGE GOOF – Aerospace Defense Command procedures for identifying messages.
  • COMBAT ANGEL – Chaff-seeding, ordnance delivery by drone, 1967+; AQM-34G/H/J/Q/R; controlled by DC-130A using AN/APW-23, AN/UYK-15; AN/ALE-2/-38;
  • later AQM-34V, updated AQM-34H/J and new-built AQM-34V, used for ECM, 1974+
  • COMBAT POLKA – Operational test of the interface between the Air Force F-4D aircraft and Falcon (AIM-4D) missile.
  • COMBAT VULCAN – Infrared countermeasures for tactical aircraft
  • COMFY BRUTE – An Air Force engineering installation capability program.
  • COMFY DRESS – Electronic transmission reports of interference, jamming and intrusion, cancelled.
  • COMFY FLUFF – Analytic reports concerning anti-ballistic missile tests and exercises in electronic warfare, cancelled.
  • COMFY MUSIC – Service test of the Watkins-Johnson CEI-555 receiver, cancelled.
  • COMFY SPROUT – Denotes intelligence messages for the commander at Air Force Security briefings.
  • COMMANDO BANANA – Beddown of forces at Korat, cancelled.
  • COMMANDO INDIAN – The Air Traffic Regulation Centers (ATRC) segment of the Air Force’s Tactical Air Control System, 407L Program.
  • COMMANDO SOAP – A 15th Air Base Wing operations plan, cancelled.
  • CONSTANT CARIBOU – An Air-to-Surface weapon system evaluation program for anti-aircraft systems.
  • CONSTANT LOCUST – An Air Force Europe air-to-surface weapon system evaluation program, cancelled.
  • CONSTANT RAP – Additional ABNCP Autovon ground entry points.
  • CONSTANT VOLUME – A deployment evaluation and demonstration of the AWACS APR-75.
  • COOL MIDGET – Utilization and support of the 25th TASS.
  • COOL STUFF – An Air defense project, cancelled.
  • CORONET BACON – Tactical Air Command redeployment.
  • COTTON CANDY – OpOrd for KC-135A-II / RC-135D Office Boy, and KC-135A Rivet Stand missions, 1962-1965+
  • CRAZY CAT – A related system to CRAZY DOG employing an optical jamming system.
  • CREEK DONKEY – Name of an Air Force aircraft.
  • CROSS LEGS – A ground-based surveillance and early warning radar which the Chinese Communists developed.
  • CUTTY SHARK – A highly classified Navy program under the Naval Electronics Systems Command with GTE as prime contractor.
  • DANCING DOLLS – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency project, also known as NIGHT LIFE, which developed Low Light Level TV systems with a laser illuminator as part of the Army’s overall night reconnaissance and surveillance program.
  • DEEP DISH – Naval Ordnance Lab project including unmanned, deep-sea diving assemblies capable of taking tons of equipment to the bottom of the sea and returning after a pre-set time with recorded data.
  • DEEP FREEZE – A Naval operation in Antarctica.
  • DIAMOND DUST – A DARPA project which dealt with nuclear explosions underground.
  • DIAMOND SCULLS – FY 1973 Department of Defense underground, nuclear weapons effects test.
  • DICE THROW – A high explosive field test program to simulate the effects of nuclear weapons on a large array of experimental test items.
  • DIDO QUEEN – FY 1973 Department of Defense underground, nuclear weapons effects test.
  • DIXIE CUP – A Ford Aerospace & Communications development of a ballistic missile penetration aid in the form of a metallic re-entry vehicle-shaped decoy that would radiate electronic jamming signals before the ICBM enters the earth’s atmosphere. Development conducted under the Air Force’s Advanced Ballistic Re-entry Systems program.
  • EGYPTIAN GOOSE – A DARPA study to determine the feasibility of suspending a surveillance radar from a tethered balloon over a combat area to get a close look at well-defended enemy positions as a substitute for exposing a manned observation aircraft to hazardous gunfire. It is also used to detect incoming unidentified aircraft.
  • ELEGANT LADY – USAF, classified tactical program
  • END GAME – Two efforts have been identified under this code name. The first is a DARPA/Army Missile Command program involving evaluation of aircraft equipped with advanced weapons; the second involves a Naval Weapons Center RFP for the design and fabrication of an END GAME simulator and optical system to be used for simulating a missile seeker’s range closure on a target.
  • EXOTIC DANCER – Joint exercise involving Navy, Army, Marine and Air Force units.
  • FACE LIFT – An Air Force recovery procedure.
  • FAMILY MAN – See COLLEGE MEN.
  • GET WELL – A program on Tartar/Terrier/Talos to improve deficiencies in missile ships already built or under construction.
  • GHOST RIDER II – An Air Force drone contingency plan.
  • GIANT COMBO – Strategic Air Command operational test and evaluation of an ECM test and flight plan.
  • GIANT DEAL – A Strategic Air Command training operation.
  • GIANT PROFIT – A Minuteman modified operational missile test plan.
  • GIGANTIC JAM – Testing by the Tactical Air Command of ALT-28 electronic countermeasures equipment.
  • GIN PLAYER – SAC tests of Minuteman missile for identification and execution.
  • GLAD RAGS – A Strategic Air Command program restricting commanders to base.
  • GLAMOR GIRL – A program to move SR-71 aircraft to Europe.
  • GREENER PASTURES – An Army program for using Raytheon Hawk boosters with a 1,000 lb. bomb warhead with twice the range of the non-nuclear Lance, using the Lance launcher and distance measuring equipment.
  • GYPSY DANGER – A classified CNO (Chief of Naval Operations project supported by Rewson).
  • HARVEST PEOPLE – A logistics career management action plan.
  • HASTY LAD – A quick logistics automated data program.
  • HAVE ALIBI – An early program associated with the interdiction of enemy infiltration.
  • HAVE CAKE – Air Force exploitation of an ordnance system.
  • HAVE COFFEE – Airborne measurement of ballistic missile radiation; used U-2D ‘56-6721′
  • HAVE SPOON – Sino-Soviet Bloc aircraft landings on Air Force Systems Command bases.
  • HAVE DOUGHNUT – (or Have Donut) 1 MiG-21F-13, used for Air Combat Training at Groom Lake, USAF/USN joint project, predating Have Idea (1968)
  • HAVE FLAVOR – Exploitation of hardware by the Air Force Systems Command, cancelled.
  • HAVE NOVEL – Exploitation of a foreign rocket system.
  • HAVE EDUCATION – Exploitation of two foreign electronic and ordnance components.
  • HAVE DEGREE – Exploitation of a Soviet stainless steel ingot.
  • HAVE HEMP – Immediate procedures to cease operation of certain ECM equipment.
  • HAVE IDEA – Air Combat Training with various MiGs, to Constant Peg
  • HEAD COP – A Headquarters Command USAF program for continuity of operations plan.
  • HEAD DANCER – 3 EC-135K ‘55-3118′, ‘59-1518′, ‘62-3536′, 1961-1979
  • HEAVY CHEST – The bailment of C-7A aircraft to Air America, cancelled.
  • HEAVY CROWN – A civic action program to enhance the Air Force image, cancelled.
  • HEAVY HAND – An Air Force plan for dual basing in Europe, cancelled.
  • HEAVY SEESAW – A special air warfare study group, cancelled.
  • HIGH BOY – Code name of U-2 aircraft used in the Navy’s Aerospace Ocean Surveillance Program, an R&D effort aimed at advanced development of aircraft and spaceborne sensor systems to keep track of enemy movements on the sea surface, cancelled.
  • HIP POCKET – A Navy program to employ off-the-shelf equipment to improve ship defense against missile threats. The Navy is provided the equipment to see how it works, and to test its reliability at a very early stage. The system also aids industry in testing preliminary equipment.
  • HOT CHOCOLATE – A highly classified communications system. Consists of one shore station plus eight remote units (probably submarines), handled by the Office of Special Communications, out of Naval Electronic Systems Command.
  • HOT SHOT – An Air Force anti-nighttime infiltration weapon system.
  • HULA HOOP – System employs infrared vidicon cameras aboard KC-135 aircraft to measure radiation from targets.
  • IDEALIST – CIA codename for development of U-2
  • IVORY JUSTICE – Excercise, to improve UAE pilot readiness
  • JACK FROST I – Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directed and coordinated exercise in Alaska, to test and evaluate command procedures.
  • JAZZ ROCK – JOINT SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM/REGION OPERATIONS CONTROL CENTER; A USAF plan to make joint use of Air Force and FAA radars for civil air traffic control and air defense needs. It would implement five regional control centers, including one in Alaska, to replace SAGE centers.
  • JUST CAUSE – Operation, to arrest General Noriega in Panama, 1989
  • LEFT FOOT – An improved airborne communications intelligence collection and direction finding system configured in an RU-21 Army aircraft.
  • LINEAR UNICORN – Classified Navy program.
  • LONG DRINK – This operation involves tests to keep helicopters in the air for long periods through fueling constantly via an aluminum tube to the ground.
  • LONG LEGS – Operation, […]
  • LOOKING GLASS – SAC Airborne National Command Post (ABNCP) program to maintain command and control of US forces after a nuclear attack, usually based on the EC-135E. Employs the AN/ARC-89(V) airborne secure UHF multiplex communications system.
  • LUCKY DRAGON – Initial U-2 deployment to OL-20 (Bien Hoa), see also Giant Dragon and Trojan Horse
  • MAD BOMBER – An Army weapons system used on helicopters that dumps mortar shells and fragmentation bombs on enemy positions by tilting a trough.
  • MAIN EVENT – A joint Army, Navy, Air Force test to determine by simulation the effects of nuclear blast on weapons, materials, ground shock and buildings.
  • MOBY DICK – Free-floating balloons fitted with high-altitude optical cameras, 1947
  • NIGHT LIFE – An Army Missile Command/DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) project for the use of lasers, also known as DANCING DOLLS.
  • NYMPH VOICE – Also referred to as NYVO, this is an advanced development program sponsored by the Naval Air Systems Command with work performed by Magnavox, and believed to be an acoustic countermeasure device.
  • OFFICE BOY – 3 RC-135D ‘60-0356′, ‘60-0357′, ‘60-0362′, 1965-01/1967, to Rivet Brass, modified under Big Safari
  • OLD BOURBON – A test aircraft and the flight plan in support of a Strategic Air Command operational test and evaluation program.
  • OUTLAW BANDIT – USN, classified surveillance/C3I program ?
  • PALACE HOMECOMING – Career counseling and reassignment of returned POWs.
  • PALACE RETIREMENT – Retirement in lieu of PCS assignment action.
  • PAVE MOON – Nickname applied to the training program for the Air Force PAVE GAT system.
  • PEACE APPROACH – A radar approach control system for Iran, cancelled.
  • PEACE CRUSADE – NATO co-production of the F-16 aircraft.
  • PEACE HAWK – A fifth and final phase in the modernization of Saudi Arabia’s Air Force, involving approximately 100 Northrop F-5s.
  • PEACE PARROT – An Iranian Foreign Military Sales program, cancelled.
  • PEACE STRIKE – Foreign Military Sales of F-5B/E aircraft to Malaysia.
  • PEACE ZEBRA – Purchase of 160 F-16 aircraft by Iran from the U.S. Under the Ford Administration, DOD proposed that delivery begins in March 1979, a year ahead of schedule. The Carter Administration was to decide on delivery schedules.
  • PENCIL PUSHER – A deep underground silo basing mode for the MX being studied by Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.
  • PENNY COUNTER – A mobile air transportable Univac 1050 II computer system.
  • PIPE CLEANER – An Air Force project for which a few B-47E aircraft were modified.
  • POINT BLANK – Joint Chiefs of Staff directed and coordinated exercise.
  • POST CARD – A classified program of the Defense Communications Agency.
  • PROUD PHANTOM – A joint US-Egyptian Air Force exercise, involving F-4 Phantom aircraft of both countries.
  • UPHOLD DEMOCRACY – Operation, ‘invasion’ of Haiti, 1994
  • UPPER HAND – A joint U.S. Norwegian exercise designed to promote proficiency in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), underway logistic support, and communications procedures.
  • URGENT FURY – Operation, invasion of Grenada, 10/1983
  • VARSITY SPIRIT – Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directed and coordinated exercise.
  • VIGILANT SCHOLAR – AFSPC/AFIT Training Program, 12-month program to build in-depth aerospace knowledge and expertise for hand-picked officers, established 03/2000
  • WEDDING RING – An Army Missile Command intelligence analysis program conducted by Sylvania.
  • WEE LOOK – A multiple-band emitter surveillance equipment under development by McDonnell Douglas and Sylvania for use aboard Navy EA-3B and EA-3C aircraft.
  • WHISPERING DEATH – An air-deliverable quad 50 cal. machine gun capable of firing 2400 rounds per minute.
  • WHITE CLOUD – A Navy program for liquid propellant guns.

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